The Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale have lost a total of almost 18,000 customers as people make use of an easier system to switch their current accounts to other institutions in their droves, according to new figures.

 

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Part-taxpayer owned RBS had the biggest drop in current account customers yielding a net loss of 9,634, while Clydesdale Bank also suffered with a net loss of 8,191, in the third quarter of 2014.

The figures, covering from the period from July to the end of September last year, showed how people are fully taking advantage of easier methods of switching between major banks which ensures there should be no disruption to their bill and salary payments.

The biggest beneficiary was Spanish giant Santander, which gained 43,312 new account holders over the period, according to data compiled by Current Account Switch Service which aims to make the process smoother.

The service also revealed some 1.14 million customers switched banks, up from 1.06 million switches in the previous 12 months.

More than seven out of ten (71 per cent) people in the UK said they were aware of the switching service - which is up from 58 per cent in September 2013, when it launched.

Customer confidence in the new service has also increased by six per cent 62 per cent over the same time period. Since launch, there have been more than 1.75 million switches.

The figures showed that over the course of 2014, Edinburgh-based RBS suffered a net loss of over 28,000 current account customers, while Clydesdale suffered marginally less losing a net total of 22,900 current account customers.

RBS customers suffered some technical problems in 2013, with debit and credit cards declined in shops on one of the busiest shopping days in December of that year due to a systems problem.

A RBS spokesman defended the losses and said it was striving to improve its products and services. He said: "We are continually looking at ways to improve service for our customers.

"We believe in offering our customers a simple, fair and transparent current account range free from short term teaser rates.

"We know we still have work to do, but, we've shortened the time it takes to open a current account with us, we've simplified our product range and we're investing £1 billion up to 2017 to improve banking services, such as our mobile apps".

Meanwhile, Bank of Scotland performed best out of the major Scottish banks only suffering net loss of 956 current account customers in 2014.

A spokesman said it encourages more people to look at what their bank offers and to seek out those with the best products and service.

A Clydesdale spokesman suggested the figures were already outdated.

He said they have since offered £150 to people switching to the bank and is already benefting from a new market campaigning.

The Co-operative Bank suffered an exodus of customers following a series of mishaps. The ethical bank found a £1.5 billion black hole in its own financial accounts and suffered a drugs scandal involving a former chairman. Overall, the bank shed 8,994 customers from July to September 2014.

Lloyds lost 10,000 and the newly relaunched TSB suffered a net loss of 4,150 customers.

A spokesman for Santander said its success was partly down to its offers. "We're delighted that we remain the most switched to bank since the launch of CASS in September 2013.