Figures released by the Payments Council today show that the new Current Account Switch Service is performing well, with 89,000 consumers switching their account in the first four weeks.
The new scheme, launched on 16 September, is designed to make it quicker and easier to switch current accounts with the new bank being in charge of the process. Customers can expect the switch to take place in 7 days or less and any payments will be redirected for 13 months, and the addition of the Current Account Switch Guarantee means that if anything goes wrong and fees are incurred the customer won't have to pay them.
And so far it seems to be working. 89,000 switches have been successfully completed since the launch (representing an 11% increase on the same four-week period last year) with the Payments Council confirming that both the central switching system and redirection service are operating well, and although it's only a "snapshot of switching activity" and too soon to tell if it'll be a long-term trend, the Council have called it an "encouraging start".
Adrian Kamellard, CEO of the Payments Council, comments:
"Since its launch 89,000 switches have been successfully made by customers using the new simple, reliable and hassle-free account switching service. 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.
"This service is all about customers and the focus continues to be on them. 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."
Some argue that the increase in switchers is marginal – 80,000 switches took place in the same four-week period last year and the numbers haven't changed substantially from the 12-month average – but suggest that people could be staying put due to banks working harder to keep their customers.
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