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Are we more loyal to our banks than our spouses?

Updated 03 December 2020

2min read

Nick Green
Financial Journalist

Is it true that we’re more likely to dump our partners than we are to change our bank accounts?


Although most of us would nod at the adage “a change is as good as a rest”, it’s unlikely that we truly believe it, at least when it comes to our bank accounts. After all, many people dislike change so much that they’ll do almost anything to avoid it, even if it costs them money. Mad, but absolutely true.

Recent research from Santander found that almost 60 per cent of Brits have been with their current account provider longer than a decade with the average bank relationship lasting 16 years, while the average romantic relationship in the UK lasts for just 14 years.

So are we more willing to choose a new partner than we are to choose a new bank account?

The research found one out of six people has stayed with their bank for more than 30 years, with nearly one third saying they have stayed put simply out of habit.

The findings add to research from Mintel which found that nearly 90 per cent of the current account market is dominated by the big five banking groups – Lloyds TSB, Barclays, HSBC, Santander, and RBS.

But why stay loyal to a bank? It doesn’t make any financial sense, especially when switching often leads to better deals and interest rates. And it should start to be a lot easier to jump ship from September 2013, when new rules with come into force making sure banks adhere to a strict seven-day time limit to switch a customer’s current account to a rival bank or building society.

Hetal Parmar, head of banking at Santander, said: “The research serves as a stark reminder that it’s important to ensure our money is working as hard as possible. There still seems to be a strong sense of apathy when it comes to switching current accounts, even when there are better value deals available.”

Are you making sure your dosh is working as hard as it can for you? Or are you stuck in a financial rut? It may not just be your bank account that’s suffering from neglect, what about your savings and investments? Speak with a financial adviser to make sure you’re making the most of your money.

About the author
Nick Green is a financial journalist writing for Unbiased.co.uk, the site that has helped over 10 million people find financial, business and legal advice. Nick has been writing professionally on money and business topics for over 15 years, and has previously written for leading accountancy firms PKF and BDO.