Switching current accounts to be made easier

Woman at ATM

Switching banks will be a breeze come the autumn after the chancellor today announced the time it takes to change account will be cut down to just seven days.

The move will end the weeks of hassle customers expect to endure when they try to switch their current accounts from a bank to one of its rivals.

From September, banks will have to transfer a customer's account along with any payments - and it should take only seven working days.

This should act as a shot in the arm to banks that might rely on the inconvenience of switching to hold on to its customers.

Craig Donaldson, chief executive of Metro Bank, welcomed the move. He says: "The seven-day switch is an important move that will do great good by increasing public confidence in the switching process.

"This process will kick other banks into gear, and make switching even easier for our customers."

The plans might also spark a run of offers from the banks to encourage new customers to switch.

Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, says: "Ultimately, an improved account-switching service will only deliver more competition in the market place if customers actually use it."