More than half of Brits have never switched banks
While shopping around for products like insurance and loans is starting to become second nature, Brits are still failing to review their current account even when they're not happy with the service.
According to the results of the Moneywise Customer Opinion Survey - which quizzed more than 14,000 readers and asked them to rate their financial services providers - 67% of Brits have held their bank account for 10 years or more, while 59% have never switched.
The survey also revealed that big banks are managing to retain customers despite typically receiving lowers scores for both customer service and trustworthiness. Among the respondents of the survey who banked with the big four, 75% or more had held their account for at least 10 years.
Unlike products like car insurance - where rising costs have prompted 86% of us to shop around each year - a combination of inertia and scepticism is preventing current account holders from reviewing their deal.
When respondents were asked why they are with their bank, comments included: "you have to bank somewhere," "there's a lack of any reasonable competition" and it's "too difficult to change standing orders and salary arrangements."
While you won't get an annual bill or quote for your current account – being with the wrong bank can still cost you in terms of uncompetitive interest rates, hefty fees and poor customer service so it's worth checking out the competition if you aren't happy with your bank.
Johanna Gornitzki, editor of Moneywise says: "Switching current accounts is usually a straightforward process so consumers shouldn't let the perceived hassle factor put them off. Our survey shows that those who have switched banks are typically happier with their current account than those who haven't."
The Moneywise Customer Option Survey forms the basis of the Moneywise Customer Service Awards 2012.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.