New rules designed to make it easier for consumers to switch current account providers are now just a month away.
The Payments Council has announced that its Current Account Switch Service will come into force on Friday 16 September. The new rules include a number of improvements to the current switching process, including:
- Customers will be able to set a date that suits them to have their account switched over.
- Switching will be faster, taking just seven days instead of the 18 to 30 working days it currently takes.
- A Current Account Switch Guarantee will help any customers who experience problems with the process.
- A new central redirection service will ensure any payments sent to, or attempted to be taken from, the old account after the switch date will be redirected automatically to the new account 13 months.
- The new bank manages the switching process so customers have a single point of contact for any questions and the new bank is responsible for resolving any issues.
- If a customer wants to leave a bank, their new bank can arrange everything, so there is no need to talk to the old.
Kevin Mountford, head of banking at MoneySuperMarket, said: "An easier current account switching process for consumers will go towards lowering some of the barriers which currently prevent people from switching their accounts. However, apathy still remains the biggest barrier to switching with many people sticking with low or no interest paying accounts or even worse, ones that aren't suitable for their needs."
Andrew Hagger of moneycomms.co.uk added: "Some banks charge interest for overdrawn balances whereas others charge daily/monthly fees – this is just one of the areas that makes account comparisons a nigh on impossible task for the man on the street.
"You need to look at what would benefit you most –a low cost overdraft, credit interest, cash back or cheap/free debit card abroad or in many instances perhaps all you really want is just a consistently good level of customer service."