Over one in three of us have multiple bank accounts, yet half of of us say that we only use one of these day to day. With 49 million people using current accounts in the UK, this means that around eight million accounts are sitting unused. With each of these accounts holding an average of £141, this equates to £1.2 billion across the UK.
Taking no interest
Nonetheless, it seems that most people are unaware their money could be working harder elsewhere. Over half of respondents (56%) to a comparethemarket survey did not know if their bank had cut interest rates in the past year, and 58 per cent didn’t know the interest rates on their current account. When asked why they had more than one current account, nearly a third opened another account to take advantage of rewards, however one in five people admitted they had opened an account a long time ago and simply had not been bothered to close it.
Security issues with zombies
Even though the majority of people (81%) use online banking, almost one in ten (12%) of those who have more than one current account admit they check their unused accounts as little as twice a year, which could lead to serious security implications such as a cyber-attack on their credit or debit card.
“It's concerning to see how many people have over £100 sitting in these unused zombie accounts. While it's a good idea to have a rainy-day fund set aside in case of emergencies, the fact that so many people don’t regularly check their additional accounts is a risky move" says Jody Coughlan at comparethemarket.com.
“Unused accounts are easy targets for hackers who might be able to steal hundreds of pounds without it being detected. Similarly, recurring direct debits from forgotten accounts can cause customers to unknowingly go into their overdraft and incur hefty fines." adds Jody.
While we are in a low-interest rate environment, there are still some competitive current account offers available on the market, so it's worth regularly reviewing your accounts to see if you could get a better deal or interest rate elsewhere.