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New switching rules curry favour

New switching rules curry favour

Category: Banking

Updated: 24/01/2012
First Published: 24/01/2012

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The vast majority of banking customers are positive about new changes that will soon be introduced to make it easier to switch bank accounts.

Research by the Payments Council found overwhelming support for the proposed new current account switching service which is due to launch in September 2013.

Consumers asked about the new system said the new switching service would be a major improvement on the process in place at the moment, and that it would go a long way to address existing concerns about switching current accounts, such as the inconvenience involved and the risk of something going wrong.

The new switching service promises to:

  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to switch an account from around 18 days to seven working days
  • provide an account switching guarantee that customers can rely on and
  • automatically switch incoming payments to the new account.

"We are delighted to see that the significant improvements we are making to the account switching process have met with widespread approval," said
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council.

"As a result of these changes it will be quicker and simpler to switch account from September 2013. In addition, this is likely to lead to a more competitive and transparent market place for current accounts - which is great news for customers."

But despite the changes, banks face a real battle to persuade people to switch their accounts.

Recent research by Halifax found that the average person in the UK has had their main bank account for more than 20 years.

One in ten adults still use the account that they opened between the ages of one and 15 years old as their main account today, while over a quarter of people have held their main current account for more than 26 years.

The reluctance has led to more providers offering incentives for people that bring their day-to-day banking to them.

According to the research by, a growing number of incentives are being offered by providers in an attempt to persuade people to switch their current account.

The introduction of 'switcher incentives' appears to have intensified since the beginning of the year, with high street providers including Halifax, HSBC and Santander all making a play for new customers.

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