Switching Current Accounts Made Easy
Following a recent parliamentary report on banking standards, a seven day current account switching service is to be introduced in the UK from September.
According to statistics from research company Consumer Intelligence, two-thirds of banking customers have held their personal current account for five years or more, and one in five of those account holders is open to moving it.
However, switching current accounts is notoriously difficult currently the process can take between 18 and 30 days. After two years of consideration, the Payments Council has announced that a new switching service will commence from September 16th this year making it easier for customers to switch banks.
The new seven day switch service will guarantee that current accounts are transferred to a new provider within one week, which will include moving money over and changing any direct debits and standing orders.
According to the Office Of Fair Trading; Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Royal Bank Of Scotland and HSBC retain control of the current account market with a 75% share. It is hoped that this move might stimulate competition and encourage consumers to consider other providers.
In anticipation of the new scheme launching, two banks are already offering shoppers an incentive of up to £125 to switch from their existing account providers.
Andrew Goulborn, Commercial Director of Tiger.co.uk, commented: “The new switching service means that shoppers should be able to change current accounts as often as they might switch their mortgage, car insurance or energy supplier. It will also encourage more current account brands to enter the market, providing more choice and a better range of deals to shoppers. Making sure you get the best account to suit your individual circumstances is vital. There will be many different incentives available, such as higher interest rates on balances or lower fees for currency transactions, so comparing the features and benefits is important. Better known for finding cheap car insurance quotes for motorists, Tiger.co.uk offers comparison services for many financial products including current accounts and savings accounts. Using a service like ours will help shoppers to evaluate features like overdraft rates and benefits such as incentives and extras, side-by side.”