Metro Bank today predicts that 2.5 million people will lose, misplace or have their debit or credit cards stolen over the festive period, five times more compared to same time last year. If they do lose their card, in addition to the stress of not being able to access their hard-earned money, consumers could have to wait up to an average of 11 days for a replacement card to be posted to them from other high street banks.
|BANK/ BUILDING SOCIETY||AVERAGE NO. WORKING DAYS TO WAIT FOR NEW CARD||AVERAGE NO. DAYS TO WAIT FOR NEW CARD DURING THE FESTIVE PERIOD|
Source: Secondary research (conducted on 15 November 2017) based on contacting all banks and building societies referenced in table, for expected card wait times between 22 December 2017 and 3 January 2018 factoring in bank holidays and reporting a lost card on the 22 December 2017.
Three in ten (29%) Brits have lost, misplaced or had a bank card stolen within the last five years, losing an average of two cards per year. This has increased by 7% compared to 2016, revealing a significant rise in the number of people being without access to plastic over the festive break. Of those that have lost their card, 850,000 did so between Christmas and New Year, over 670,000 were at a Christmas party, and more than 1.2 million did so when out Christmas shopping.
As the festive party season heats up, Metro Bank’s research revealed that 18-34 years olds continue to be the worst hit, losing an average of two cards a year. Men were also much more likely to lose a card on a night out versus women (24% vs 13%). Just over half of those who lost their card (53%) got it back, however almost a third (32%) were unable to use it as they had already frustratingly cancelled it. Adding to misery, a massive 7.4 million people have had a banking issue over the festive period, most commonly not being able to access cash or deposit their Christmas money into their account as their branch was shut.
Craig Donaldson, CEO at Metro Bank commented: “Losing a card at any time of the year is frustrating, but losing one at Christmas can be downright painful, especially when you add in the number of bank branches that are closed and a reduced postal service over the bank holidays. What’s more, doing the right thing and cancelling a misplaced card is often the last straw when you only go and find it again. With 40% of Brits using their cards more over the Christmas period, waiting an average of 11 days to receive a replacement just isn’t on.
“We do things differently at Metro Bank. Customers can choose to temporarily block and unblock their cards using our app, so they’re not unnecessarily cancelling their card only to find it again. Plus, if they have lost it, then unlike other banks, we print new and replacement MasterCard debit and credit cards instantly in store and we’re even open on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.”
During the festive period all Metro Bank stores will be open 11am to 5pm on Christmas Eve, closed Christmas Day and open once again 11am-5pm on Boxing Day. Over New Year, stores will be open on 11am-5pm on New Year’s Eve, closed on New Year’s Day and open as usual 8am-8pm on 2 January. In addition, the bank’s 24-hour UK-based contact centres are open 365 days a year.