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HomeStudent Banking Survey 2021 – Results

Student Banking Survey 2021 – Results

From students’ opinions on banking, to how much( if ever) they use cash and how they genuinely feel about BNPL business, our Student Banking Survey 2021 has some mesmerizing findings.

ATM with text 'student banking 2021'

The results from our seventh annual Student Banking Survey are here, exposing all about how students’ views and approaches to managing their money have changed over the past year.

With over 1,600 respondents, the survey supplies an insight into how young people are handling their personal finances, peculiarly when it comes to which banks and financial services they trust with their money.

Read on to find out what we found…

What’s in the present working paper?

Key encounters How do students prefer a bank Do students consider switching banks ? What is the most popular bank among students ? Student satisfaction with their banks Use of cash among students Student borrowing practices Students’ viewpoints on buy now, salary later( BNPL) works How numerous students use Lifetime ISAs( LISAs )?

To find out more about students’ coin attires, witness the findings and conclusions from our recent National Student Money Survey for in-depth revelations.

Key conclusions from the Student Banking Survey 2021

We’ll go into more detail about the results shortly, but first, here’s an overview of the key findings from this year’s Student Banking Survey 😛 TAGEND

Just over one in ten students are thinking about switching banks. For the first time since we began work our bank sketches, a challenger bank has appeared in the schedule of the most popular banks among students. The fraction of students who never use cash has double-faced since last year, up from 6% to 12%. Almost a quarter of students who use an overdraft have reached their limit at some item. One in five students have used buy now, spend last-minute works, but some respondents expressed strong very concerned about them.

How do students choice a bank?

Infographic about how students choose their bank

For two in five students in the survey, their choice of student bank was based on which one they were already banking with. But, for almost a third of respondents, freebies were a big incentive- which happens to be one reason why it’s often advisable not to simply stick with your current bank.

When it comes to banking, staying loyal to a single bank rarely pays off, so we’d ever recommend glancing elsewhere to find the best deals.

Depending on a student’s lifestyle, the freebies been provided by some banks may be more useful to them than others.

For example, if a student hastens by develop, even if precisely a few times a year, a 16-25 railcard could help them save money. In such cases, Santander could be a good option for them as their student accounting come here for a free four-year railcard.

Or, if a student likes to go out for dinner as a give, they may want to consider opening an account with NatWest or RBS who offer a tastecard with their student accounts.

We look into the most popular banks among students below.

Where do students do bank account research?

Type of researchHow many abused the method used

Online research8 0%

Parents3 9%

Friends2 6%

Bank1 8%

University or SU9%



As many as four in five respondents experimented the best student bank account online, while merely under two in five asked their parents for advice.

We strongly believe that effective coin advice should be taught to young person before they leave institution but, worryingly, simply a very small proportion of students in the survey( 3 %) come banking recommendations from their school.

Do students consider switching banks?

As we has already mentioned, to get the best deal on their bank account, we definitely recommend students look into alternative options to access things like freebies.

However, despite the potential benefits, only 12% of students are thinking about switching bank account. This is down from 13% in 2020 and 17% in 2019, recommending a slight drop-off year-on-year.

Infographic about students switching bank accounts

It’s very easy to swap banks, so we’d clearly suggested that students remain open to the possibility of converting accounts. Our step-by-step guide to switching bank accounts justifies the process in detail.

What is the most popular bank among students?

Infographic about popular banks among students

When it comes to students’ main bank, the one that’s most commonly used among those in the survey is Santander( by a pretty big margin ). Just over a part of respondents contain an account with them.

In fact, primarily because of their generous freebie incentives and sizeable 0% -interest overdraft, we’ve arranged Santander at the top of our roster of the best bank accounts for students.

And, for the first time since we began running the Student Banking Surveys, a challenger bank has appeared in the top 10 index of banks.

With 2% of students saying they sketched with Monzo, this may be a somewhat small-minded amount compared to some of the traditional banks, but it’s an interesting development- we may well continue to see a shift towards more students employing app-based bank account in the coming years.

Student comfort tallies

When we queried students to rate their banks, they were on the whole very positive- on average, students in the results of the investigation sacrificed their bank a rating of 4.31 out of 5.

Infographic about bank ratings

As we’ve focused on banks that offering student-specific reports in our infographic, Monzo hasn’t been included. However, it’s worth noting that it was rated very highly among users, going an average score of 4.57 out of 5( higher than all of the traditional banks’ ratings that are listed above ).

How often do students use cash?

Here’s a deterioration to seeing how often students say they’re use cash in 2021, compared to 2020 😛 TAGEND

How often students use cashStudent responses in 2020 Student responses in 2021 Change from 2020 to 2021

More than once a day3% 4 %+ 1%

Once a day3% 2% -1%

A few seasons a week1 7% -7%

Once a week1 1% 7% -4%

A few times a month3 6% 22% -1 4%

Once a month or less2 5% 43% +18%

Never6 %+ 6%

In previous bank overlooks, we have noticed a general trend towards fewer students exercising currency, but significant differences this year was especially marked.

The proportion of students in the results of the investigation who say they never use currency has redoubled in the past year, up from 6% in 2020 to 12% this year.

Infographic about students never using cash

We expect the coronavirus pandemic to have contributed to the noticeable drop in students’ use of cash. It is more hygienic to pay by contactless programmes than to handle cash, so shoppers have been actively encouraged to use less money this year.

On top of this, the rise of the contactless spending restraint from PS30 to PS45 in April 2020 has compiled cashless buys easier than ever.

It’s recently been suggested by Anne Boden, Founder and CEO of Starling Bank, that we could become a cashless society in only over a decade from now. Our banking cross-examines indicate that students are moving in this general direction.

Student borrowing attires

When looking into student borrowing attires in our Student Banking Surveys, we centres principally on overdrafts- a kind of borrowing that is generally offered with student bank accounts in the UK.

This year, we have also introduced a section in the survey on buy now, repay last-minute pay works due to the recent growth in companies such as Klarna, Clearpay and Afterpay.

How overdrawn are students?

Size of overdraftStudents overdrawn by this amount

Not overdrawn7 9%

PS99 or less6%

PS100- PS4994%

PS500- PS9994%

PS1, 000- PS1, 9994%

PS2, 000 and over1%

Among all students in the survey, exclusively one in five said they were in their overdraft- this is the same as in 2020.

Most student bank account proposal overdrafts without lent interest or rewards– these, when expended carefully, should carry very little risk.

For a lot of students with interest- and fee-free overdrafts, they can be used safely as an emergency source of cash if they run out of money before their next loan instalment.

However, when we started to break down the stats among students with overdrafts, there were some fairly concerning findings…

Students in their overdraft

Infographic about student overdrafts

Worryingly, among students in the results of the investigation who help an overdraft, nearly a quarter have affected their restriction at some point.

On top of this, 45% of those with an overdraft said they don’t know when they need to repay it. It’s alarming that so many seem unaware of the full T& Cs of their overdraft, and this figure has increased from 41% who had said the same in our 2020 banking survey.

To ensure students stay on top of their borrowing, it’s essential that they’re well informed about the best ways to use their overdrafts, along with how and when they need to pay them back.

Our full navigate to using and pay for a student overdraft moves the key things to know.

How numerous students use buy now, bribe later assistances?

Over the last few years, buy now, wage later( BNPL) services have assured a pretty big rise in media attention- particularly regarding the recent news that the interest-free BNPL credit business will start to be regulated by the FCA.

A minority of students in the survey said they use BNPL locates, with 5% have them often and 14% have them sometimes.

Infographic about students using BNPL services

The statements about BNPL in our survey were very mixed- some uttered having positive know-hows with them, while others described them as “risky” or even “dangerous”.

Here are some comments about BNPL places from students in the banking survey 😛 TAGEND

Good in theory but people can spiraling very fast if not in control and don’t understand it perfectly. I don’t trust them. They are handy. I abused this payment programme when moving dwelling and Christmas occasions when I must be given to utter more fees. Good path to devote, ensues in young people getting in bad status financially. Useful but perilous if not understood. Irresponsible and risky. I like them because you don’t have to wait for rebates. It’s a slippery slope into debt. I think it can be dangerous and encourage hazardous spend attires. May prey on prone individuals. Good but easy to overspend without realising.

We have concerns about BNPL services and would advise students to do scrupulous research into the risks before using them to procreate acquisitions. Find out more in our steer, ‘Klarna reviewed: Is ‘buy now, liquidate later’ safe ?‘.

How countless students have Lifetime ISAs( LISAs )?

Lifetime ISAs( LISAs ) are identical to Help to Buy ISAs, which stopped being available to new patrons in 2019.

People with LISAs can receive a charitable annual bonus from the government of 25%, up to PS1, 000, on top of what they save each year, stirring them effective ways to save for the future.

They are intended for lifetime investments, and can only be used if you’re buying your first home, if you’re over persons under the age of 60, or if you are terminally ill with less than 12 months to live.

With such a large annual bonus, it’s surprising how few students are using them.

In our banking examine, 35% of students said they didn’t know what a LISA is and only 15% said they have one.

For more information about these savings plans and to see which LISA accounts are best for students, attend our full guide to Lifetime ISAs. About the Student Banking Survey 2021

Source: Student Banking Survey 2021/ The examine polled 1,630 prospective, current and recent students in the UK between 17 th- 25 th March 2021. Want to know more about the survey, or need lawsuit studies, observations or excerpts? We’re happy to help- just drop us a line.

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