Belfast Telegraph

Guarantee seessurge in switching of current accounts

By Vicky Shaw

CURRENT account providers are seeing a surge in consumers looking to switch deals after the launch of a new guarantee to take the hassle out of changing banks just over a week ago.

Comparison website MoneySupermarket has reported a 45% increase in the number of visitors to its site looking to snap up a new current account following the changes.

This means that people can now ditch their old provider and switch to a new one in just seven working days.

The new customer pledge, which was launched on September 16 this year covers almost all of the current account market, aims to ramp up competition and should ultimately mean providers offering better products and customer service for the UK's 49m current account holders.

There have been a signs of account providers ramping up competition in order to tempt in new customers in recent weeks.

As well as cutting the length of time it takes to switch accounts from up to 30 working days previously, the pledge means all outgoing and incoming payments automatically move over into the new account.

The new provider is then held responsible if anything goes wrong.

Any new payments accidentally made to the old one will automatically be captured by a central service and redirected for 13 months.

Previous levels of switching have been low.

This is seen as a barrier to competition between bank.

They use the relationship they have with current account customers to sell them other products.

The Payments Council, which is overseeing the switching rules, has not put a target on the number of people expected to switch and the success of the scheme will be measured on how much it raises levels of consumer awareness.

Belfast Telegraph

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