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New balance transfer system goes live

Britons will be able to make bank transfers in a matter of hours as of today, thanks to the introduction of a new system. Apacs' Faster Payment System will cut the time it takes customers to make one-off payments by phone or over the internet from the current duration of around three-days. The system is in place at Barclays, Citigroup, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Northern Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.Pula Houghton, campaigns policy manager at Which?, said: "One of the mysteries of the banking world, the payment transfer black hole, is at last disappearing. "Same day transfers should have been standard practice years ago, yet the banks have been earning £30 million a year from the status quo. We just hope they will be quicker to make this a reality for everyone now."Alliance & Leicester, HBOS, Northern Rock and Nationwide will only be receiving the faster payments initially rather than sending them out, but plan to introduce the system fully later in the year.

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