Up to five million could use new bank account switching service

 
Tim Wallace
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THE SEVEN-DAY switching service launched today could be taken up by millions in its first year, according to a new poll.

The scheme is intended to boost competition in a sector that is traditionally dominated by a few small banks.

According to the study from business analytics firm SAS, two-fifths of customers have been put off switching accounts in the past because of the difficulties involved.

The new scheme is intended to allow current account holders to switch banks in seven working days, taking all their direct debits and other payments with them.

“Historically, consumer churn between retail banks has been between two and three per cent, however our research suggests this could increase significantly,” said Nick Payne from SAS. “What we are seeing is the commoditisation of current accounts now savvy consumers can scour the market for the package that best suits them.”

The report found 49 per cent would consider moving bank if their provider failed to rectify mistakes.

Other moves to increase competition in banking include forcing RBS and Lloyds to sell off hundreds of branches, a move that will see two new names come onto the high street.

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