Bank switching sees little rise in first month

THE PAYMENTS Council reveals figures for the first four weeks under a new current account switching scheme today, with only a small boost registered in comparison to the same few weeks last year.

The new switching scheme, which began in mid-September, allows people to move their current account to another bank within seven days. However, in the four weeks since the policy became operational, the number of people switching banks has risen by only 11 per cent in comparison to the same period last year.

In the same weeks in 2012, 80,000 people transferred their accounts, in comparison to 89,000 so far under the new system.

The number falls well short of the figures suggested by business analytics firm SAS last month, which found that two in five consumers has been put off switching accounts because of the arduous process.

Based on the responses, SAS claimed that as many as five million people might take up the scheme in its first year alone.

Adrian Kamellard of the Payments Council commented: “We never expected that every customer who is tempted to switch would rush out to do so at launch, but this is an encouraging start. “

He added: “Across the entire industry huge amounts of work continues to be put in to ensure that customers get the commitments made in the guarantee. It is by getting this right that we can deliver on the objectives of increasing competition and providing greater choice for customers.”

The polling conducted by SAS and released last month suggested that more than half of customers believed that their banking institutions are failing to improve their customer services.