Metro Bank pins hopes on seven day switching

Tim Wallace
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THE NUMBER of bank customers switching supplier each year could double under the new seven-day switching service, raising Metro Bank’s hopes that it can become an established player in the market.

New banks have traditionally found it hard to gain a foothold in the sector as very few customers switch their current account from one bank to another.

The government believes this is a problem and inhibits competition in the highly concentrated industry.

From next Monday customers will be able to switch current accounts in seven days, taking their direct debits and other services with them.

Research from Metro Bank estimates this will increase the amount switching each year from 1.3m in 2012 to 2.5m by 2023.

That is equivalent to 10 per cent of the market changing banks each year.

“An efficient current account switching market is essential for a competitive banking sector. Increased competition forces banks to work harder to innovate, differentiate themselves and keep their customers happy,” said Metro Bank chief Craig Donaldson. “At the moment, far too many consumers put up with poor service from their bank simply because they believe switching to be too complicated.”