Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis urges customers to ditch Santander 123 bank account

Seriously does this guy just wake up one morning and think, ‘I know I will attempt to destroy a bank today’?

Edited for @tommy5dollar


Santander have €1.340 trillion in assets… not convinced Martin Lewis is going to be able to destroy them.


I mean, it’s kind of his job.

Besides which, it’s difficult to have sympathy for a bank like Santander in this context. I opened my 123 account for the interest, and haven’t found anything else to like about banking with them - certainly not their customer service. So why stay?


I’ve stopped really using the CA - but I have two savings with them. As soon as Pots is integrated, which is what I use them for, I will close those as well.

Actual savings go into my ISA

This is why I hate MSE. His point may be correct, but I really do not like the over sensationalist way it is presented.


I love him, but I also have enough common sense to take his advise with a pinch of salt


It’s just good advice though and you can’t argue with it. He’s helping many (not all) consumers to save money where possible and if as a result it means Clydesdale bank withdraw their £250 offer because of high demand or, Monzo stop free unlimited withdrawals then so be it. It exposes an unsustainable offer which would likely have changed at some point anyway. The only thing I don’t like is when the MSE crowd cry when the company has to change.

It’s fair that MSE highlights a good deal, and it’s equally fair for the company who offered the deal to change it or withdraw it inline with T&C’s.

Edited to clarify it doesn’t help everyone


I think your post is just as sensationalist at Martin’s :grin: .

The Mirror article is inaccurate.

Santander never offered 3% interest on balances over £20k. It was a tiered interest rate on balances up to £20k. It now offers a straight 1.5% on balances up to £20k

The account also offers cash back on household bills, which for many people would cover the monthly fee.

British journalism at its best.


I can see his point though, and it will depend on what type of user you are.

I have any cashback DDs with Santander and get about £6 back a month, and most others with Monzo,

Santander is the only bank I know of where you have to click “Log out” TWICE to actually be logged out. They deserve to be destroyed for that alone…

Apart from that: I think his advise is solid in this case. If I had for years advised people to do a certain thing, and then suddenly that certain thing is (from a purely mathematical perspective) no longer the best option, I’d also change my advice…

their app is horrific. i hate it

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I think this is exactly why Money Saving Expert is (rightly) very popular. Martin crunches the sums and lays the facts out extremely clearly to demonstrate at what point a particular account ceases to be good value for money.

I find the article neither sensationalist, nor unnecessary. For years the Santander 123 Account has been a ‘Best Buy’ everywhere, and MSE has continually written numerous articles encouraging customers to use it. Yes, there are affiliation links from MSE to Santander but the editorial of the site is clear that the articles would’ve highlighted Santander even without affiliation (wherever an affiliation link is provided, there is a non-paid link on the same page.) Surely it is fair to begin to point out when an account begins to lose its appeal, so people can make their own mind up to stay or switch.

If Santander wish to keep their customers, I’d suggest they try to remain competitive, not worry about the (entirely correct) maths on MSE.


What I don’t like is the click bait title. Just name the bank in the title and if it’s not one I use I can ignore it. :man_shrugging:t2:

I should also mention my comments are more aimed at the Mirror as they have effectively taken some information off the MSE site and sensationalised it. Credit to Mr Lewis / MSE for pulling it and documenting the facts around these things.

Also though I am still confused what involvement Mr Lewis has with MSE. I am sure he sold it and then after a period stepped away from it??


On MSE or on this thread?

Well @anon72173902 used the same title as the Mirror so would say both. :slightly_smiling_face:

I took This Bank as being Monzo which is the only reason I opened the story.

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I’ve just rechecked my MSE email newsletter, and you can’t blame MSE for the click bait title, which is purely the Mirror’s doing.

The MSE article is called, “Time to ditch Santander 123? Now it’s YES for most”

Yes I agree and amended to post to reflect that fact. :+1:t2: I was also going to go check MSE but that part you have already confirmed :slightly_smiling_face:

Same here.

And I had read the Santander blog previously!


Yorkshire Bank do the same. Just experienced it while checking my B account via internet banking instead of app.