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Banking statistics UK | 2020
What are the biggest banks? Which banks are winning and losing customers? How are opinions about banks changing? Find the latest UK banking statistics here.
Updated . What changed?
The UK banking sector is the largest in Europe and one of the most prominent globally. 97% of the UK population have a day-to-day bank account, making them an inevitable part of our everyday life. We gathered the latest banking statistics on the biggest and best banks in the UK, along with carrying out our own research revealing how often people are switching their accounts, their opinions on well-established banks and digital banks as well as the most common reasons why users feel negative about their bank.
What are the biggest banks in the UK?
Out of the hundreds of banks operating in the UK, we analysed the top five banks that are currently the market leaders in terms of size (using market capitalisation) in 2020.
HSBC is the largest bank in the UK, with a market cap of $161 billion. This is well over double the next biggest bank, Lloyds Banking Group, with a market cap of $61 billion. Barclays was the third biggest bank ($41 billion), followed by NatWest ($39 billion) and Standard Chartered ($30 billion).
|Bank||Market cap ($ billion)|
|Lloyds Banking Group||60.95|
Switching bank accounts: The latest statistics
According to our latest survey, 61% of Brits said they have switched banks at some point in their life. Out of those switching, 44% switch at least once every five years. The most common (26%) switching period was every three to five years. However, some consumers stay loyal to their banks for far longer, with a fifth of consumers staying with their bank for up to 20 years.
|How often do Brits switch banks?||Percentage|
|More than once a year||4.15%|
|Once every 1–2 years||13.70%|
|Once every 3–5 years||25.66%|
|Once every 6–9 years||18.69%|
|Once every 10–19 years||18.11%|
|Once every 20+ years||19.68%|
Generational differences: Younger generations are switching banks more often
Generation Z is the least likely generation so far to stick with the same bank, according to a Finder survey in 2020.
We found that 57% of gen Z adults switched their main account within two years of turning 18. By comparison, only 26% of millennials and 19% of generation X moved bank within two years of turning 18. The generation most likely to stick with their banks early into adulthood were baby boomers, with only 16% moving banks in the two years after they turned 18.
How many adults switched their main account within two years of turning 18?
|How many adults switched their main account within two years of turning 18?||Percentage|
UK current account switches (January to March 2020): Which banks are winning and losing?
Looking at 2020’s third quarter (1 July – 30 September), Starling Bank and Monzo made net gains of 12,652 and 9,157 customers respectively, while Barclays, HSBC, NatWest and Santander all made net losses.
Halifax had the highest overall increase in customers, with a net gain of 22,742 customers. However, Halifax was offering a switch deal during this period and was the only high-street bank to make considerable gains.
The data shows a 65% drop in total switches during lockdown vs the first three months of 2020, which reflects a decline in the number of switching incentives while banks seemed to focus on their existing customers.
What are the most famous consumer banks in the UK?
Some banks have developed strong brands over many years of operating, while others (such as digital banks) have become known for being disrupters. Here we analyse which banking brands are the top 50 most well-known in the UK in 2020.
Overall, in the UK, Barclays is the most famous bank, followed by Nationwide Building Society, HSBC and Santander. All of these banks have been operating for over 100 years, slowly building their brand presence and dominance in the banking sector.
However, a few digital banks have managed to break into the top 50 most well-known banks without operating for such a long time. For example, Monzo (34th), Starling Bank (39th) and Revolut (49th) all broke into the top 50 most famous banks despite only being founded in the last 10 years.
Generational differences: The rising fame of digital banks for younger generations
Digital banks seem to have found particular fame with younger generations. For example, for millennials, Monzo was ranked the 19th most well-known bank and Starling Bank was the 23rd most famous bank. In comparison, Monzo ranked 44th for gen X and 46th for baby boomers, while Starling Bank ranked 39th for gen X and 42nd for baby boomers.
However, the most well-known bank among millennials was still Barclays. Lloyds Bank was the most famous among gen X and Halifax was the most famous among baby boomers.
Customer opinions of banks
Customer sentiment towards 10 of the UK’s biggest high-street and digital-only banks fell by 7 percentage points (pp) during lockdown, according to our new research with social analytics specialist BrandsEye.
This leaves overall consumer sentiment for the banking industry at -24% on a possible scale of +100% to -100% for the period between 1 March and 31 July.
However, over 800,000 social media posts from customers revealed that digital banks saw a sentiment decline of almost three times that of high-street banks during the pandemic. On average digital-only banks’ customer sentiment fell by 14 percentage points compared to just 5 percentage points for high-street banks.
While this is a blow for digital-only banks, it should be noted that high-street banks had, and continue to have, a much lower overall sentiment (-13% vs -35% currently).
To find out more about digital banking in the UK, explore the latest digital banking statistics here
|Sentiment pre-lockdown||Sentiment post-lockdown||Percentage point difference|
Reasons high-street bank users feel negative about their bank
According to our new research, more than half (52%) the customers of high-street banks felt negatively towards their provider. For the high-street bank customers, the main reasons for feeling negative about their bank were savings rates (29%) and customer service over the phone (14%), in-branch (14%) and digitally (11%).
|Most common customer complaints for high-street banks||Percentage|
|The savings rates||29%|
|Customer service (phone)||14%|
|Customer service (in branch)||14%|
|Customer service (digital)||11%|
|The security of your money||8%|
The UK’s favourite student banks
Becoming a student means handling money independently for the first time for a lot of people. And even if you enter your degree feeling comfortable, living independently, often without the time to earn outside of your course, can see you quickly seeking financial support. For this reason, it’s worth thinking about which bank can offer you the most suitable student account.
Popular features offered by student banks
To learn more about how younger generations are banking, explore the latest student banking statistics here
- Current Account Switch Service
- Save the Student
- Finder commissioned Onepoll to carry out a nationally representative survey of adults aged 18+.
- A total of 2,000 people were questioned throughout Great Britain, with representative quotas for gender, age and region.
For all media enquiries, please contact
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