USwitch Current Account Awards 2013 Top 5 Providers

The uSwitch
Current Account Awards 2013 have named the top current account providers, based
on a survey of over 10,000 current account holders. The survey, which was
conducted by YouGov, asked current account customers to rate their providers on
seven different categories. Providers were rated on their overall satisfaction,
benefits and incentives, most trusted by customers, best value for money, best
branch customer service, best telephone customer service and best email
customer service. If you are looking to switch your current account to a new
provider, the following 5 providers have been voted as the best choice for
current accounts.


1. First Direct


First Direct came
top of the uSwitch survey, with an overall score of 78%. First Direct operates
as a telephone and Internet-based bank, although it is a division of HSBC Bank,
which has branches throughout the UK. The First Direct current account offers
£125 when you switch from another account, as long as you transfer at least two
Direct Debits or Standing Orders to the new account and have a minimum income
of £1,000 per month. If you are a customer of other First Direct products, or
have an income of at least £1,000 per month, your current account will be free
of charge. However, if your income falls below an average of £1,000 a month,
the First Direct current account will cost £10 per month.


2. Smile


Smile came second
place in the uSwitch survey to find the best current account providers, with an
overall score of 78%. Smile is an Internet-based bank, although it is part of
the Co-operative banking group, which has branches around the UK. The Smile
current account comes with no monthly fee and a free overdraft up to £500. As a
Smile customer, you will also benefit from special offers and discounts on
other Smile products, such as credit cards and savings accounts. If you want to
close your old current account at the same time as opening a Smile account, you
can use the Smile switching service, which will transfer all Direct Debits and
Standing Orders to your Smile current account.


3. The
Co-operative Bank


The Co-operative
Bank took third place in the uSwitch awards, with an overall score of 70%.
There is no monthly fee for the Co-operative current account, and you can
choose how and when you want to do your banking. The Co-operative Bank provides
an online banking service and mobile banking facility, while UK-based call
centres are available 24 hours a day for those preferring to use telephone
banking. There are also Co-operative Bank branches throughout the country, if
you prefer to do your banking in person. In addition, you can withdraw money
and deposit cash or cheques at your local Post Office.


4. Nationwide


Nationwide earned
fourth place in the current accounts survey, with an overall score of 63%. The
Nationwide FlexAccount comes with no monthly fee and a range of rewards,
including special deals on loans and credit cards. You can also receive free
travel insurance, providing you are aged between 16 and 75. In order to qualify
for free travel insurance, you must deposit at least £750 into your account
every month and be a permanent resident of the UK. As a Nationwide customer,
you can also choose whether to do your banking online, over the telephone, at a
local Nationwide branch or through your mobile phone.


5. Halifax


Halifax came
fifth in the uSwitch Current Account Awards 2013, with an overall score of 45%.
The Halifax current account comes with no monthly fee and a choice of banking
options, including online, telephone, mobile and in-branch banking. If you
choose to switch to Halifax from your current bank, you could also receive £100
to transfer your current account to Halifax. In order to qualify for the £100,
you must use the Halifax switching facility to transfer all Direct Debits and
Standing Orders to your new account.


Before switching
to a new current account provider, always compare the offers available to see
which is best suited to your circumstances. In addition, remember to check the
small print carefully to make sure there are no unexpected fees, charges or
terms and conditions that you are unhappy with.



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