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Current account switches on the up

Current account switches on the up

Category: Money

Updated: 03/02/2010
First Published: 03/02/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Banking customers are increasingly prepared to vote with their feet when it comes to current accounts, new research has revealed.

Data from the Co-operative Bank shows that there was a 22 per cent rise in the number of people switching their current accounts in 2009.

Customer service was cited as the main driver for looking for a new provider, with 29 per cent of respondents saying it was the main reason they made a change.

The figures also reflected a desire for a more interactive current account experience, as almost a quarter of people said online banking facilities were the main reason for their decision to switch.

Switching activity over the last year appears to be linked with events in the wider economy, with unease with remuneration policies and overdraft charging structures triggering searches for new providers.

Fourteen per cent of consumers switching current accounts said a desire for a transparent charging structure was key to their decision. Furthermore, one in ten said their search was born out of wanting a more ethical provider.

The upturn in current account switching is encouraging, but figures show that the average consumer is still more likely to switch energy providers, move house or change their mobile phone provider.

However, switching is now more common than changing career, getting divorced or emigrating.

John Hughes, Business Leader, Retail Products for The Co-operative Financial Services commented: "Historically, many people chose their banking provider when they were younger and stayed with that provider throughout their life.

"However, now more than ever, consumers should review their banking products as their personal circumstances change to ensure that their account suits their financial needs and service requirements.

"In the past, moving a current account often seemed daunting, but actually most banks now do all the work, including transferring all direct debits and existing balances, which makes the process much easier for customers."

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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