11th April 2014
More than 600,000 customers have walked away from their current account provider for a better deal elsewhere over the past six months writes Philip Scott.
Since the inception of the new Current Account Switch Service, to the end of March, there were 609,300 switches, marking a 14% increase on the number of changes made during the same time period a year earlier, when there were 532,500 changes.
The introduction of the service means that banks and building societies now guarantee to move client accounts and direct debits within seven working days, a huge reduction from the traditional 30-day time period.
With the switching service, which is overseen by the Payments Council, all outgoing and incoming payments will be moved over to a customer’s new current account and that accidental payments will automatically be redirected to the new account.
According to the Payments Council, its popularity is growing with more than two-thirds of people, at 67%, are now aware of the Current Account Switch Service, up from 59% at the end of 2013.
It says customer confidence in the service is similarly high, increasing from 58% to 65% over the same time period.
Gary Hocking, managing director of the Payments Council, says: “By making the Current Account Switch Service quick, hassle-free and removing the fear factor we have taken away the barriers customers told us they had when it came to switching. Six months in and the latest figures suggest people clearly seem to be getting the message that things have changed for the better.
“There’s also been a noticeable surge of advertising activity from current account providers big and small, suggesting that the new service is helping foster competition and choice for customers. As time goes on and the track record of the new service builds, we look forward to these encouraging results continuing.”
Information for customers on the new service and links to participating banks and building societies is available at www.simplerworld.co.uk