The process of switching current accounts will soon take no longer than seven working days after the Payments Council endorsed plans to make account switching easier.
From September 2013, a service guarantee is to be introduced so that consumers and small businesses will be able to switch all aspects of their current account from one financial institution to another in seven working days.
The council has also committed to creating a redirection service for customers' payments into and out of their account, including direct credits, debits, standing orders and regular card payments.
Investment amounting to £650-£850 million has been earmarked to deliver the new enhanced service.
Gary Hocking, acting chief executive of the Payments Council, said its goal is to make switching accounts a trouble-free experience.
"From September 2013 switching a current account will be faster, easier and backed by a guarantee," he added.
"Customers will be able to move their account, lock stock and barrel in seven working days.
"On top of this they will have the added safety net that should a business they regularly deal with fail to update their records, both debits and credits will be automatically redirected to their new account."
A period of consultation with consumer and small business stakeholders, as well as market research, will now begin in order to ensure the new service is shaped by their requirements.
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