14 million 'would switch their bank account'
Published 23 October 2012 by Lucy Bower
New rules mean that from September next year, it will take only seven days to switch your bank account. A new survey found that one in three customers would do that.
Millions of people could switch their bank account next year, when new rules to make the process faster will be brought in, reports The Telegraph.
At the moment it can take up to a month to switch your bank account, but as of September next year, banks will be required to complete the whole process within seven days.
The new rules come about following a recommendation by the Vickers report into banks.
The Vickers report made a number of recommendations designed to improve competition between banks. They include speeding up the time it takes to switch accounts, and allowing customers to have a 'portable' account number, which they'd take with them when they switch.
A survey by YouGov and the Henley Business School found that 29% of customers - almost one in three - say they would be likely to switch their account if the process was simpler. At the same time, the survey found that four out of ten customers (38%) have never switched their main account.
A spokesperson for thinkmoney commented: "There is more choice than you might think when it comes to accounts, and that can only be a good thing for consumers. The fact that switching bank accounts will become easier next year could prove highly significant, as the current process is clearly putting people off.
"People are busy and may not have the time to spend on a lengthy switching process, which probably explains much of the attitude towards switching accounts at the moment. As the process becomes simpler, we could see a lot more people turning towards the alternatives that are out there.
"These days, the choice isn't restricted to the 'big four' banks. There are alternatives, like the thinkmoney Managed Current Account. If you are considering switching, it's important to think about what you want from your bank account and how it could help you to manage your money.
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"Before you make your mind up, it's well worth taking the time to look around a few websites and see what different accounts are actually offering."