Qualified advisers answering your
Financial Questions
call 0800 092 1245

More than 600,000 switch bank


More than 600,000 people have switched to a different current account provider in the last 6 months, following the introduction of a new scheme aimed at making switching banks easier.

The scheme enforces new rules that guarantee current account holders to be able to switch providers within seven days, as opposed to previously where it could take up to 30 days.

Furthermore, when a customer switches current accounts, the new bank or building society now has to arrange for the transfer of all existing incoming and outgoing payments to be switched to the new account.

In total, there were 609,300 people who switched current accounts in the six months to the end of March, a 14% year-on-year increase.

Removing the ‘Fear-factor’ and encouraging competition

According to the ‘Payments Council’ the scheme has taken the “fear-factor” away from switching accounts.

Gary Hocking, Managing Director of the Payments Council said: "By making the Current Account Switch Service quick, hassle-free and removing the fear factor, we've taken away the barriers customers told us they had when it came to switching."

He also claimed that the scheme has even started to encourage competition among current account providers by stating: "There's also been a noticeable surge of advertising activity from current account providers, big and small, suggesting that the new service is helping foster competition and choice for customers."

Customers still not switching

Richard Lloyd, Executive Director of consumer group Which? questioned the schemes success. He said: "Despite an increase in public awareness and confidence, switching levels are still low, suggesting that the new seven-day service is not the game-changer that can significantly increase competition in banking."

His comments are in relation to the difference between the number of current account holders and the number of those who switched. Whilst there were over 600,000 switches between current account providers in the last six months, there are around 46 million current account holders in the UK, meaning that only 1.3% actually switched.

Switchers urged to be careful

Comparison site Moneysupermarket pointed out that some current accounts offer three times higher interest rates than some instant access savings accounts. However, they also warned against the risk of high overdraft charges on some of these accounts.

Kevin Mountford, head of banking at the comparison site said: "Current accounts should also not be ignored when it comes to shopping around for the best rate, especially as providers are also offering cash incentives to those who switch."

"However, people should be aware of high overdraft charges on some of these accounts. Those who regularly dip into their overdraft will find a better deal elsewhere."

Need advice?

If you need to ask a financial question then please contact our financial advisers online or over the phone to get help with your query.

Share this..

Related stories

Financial Guides

Financial Calculators

Our useful calculators can help you get your finances in order:

Latest News


Helpful new tax year facts that could affect you and your money

Blog | Seven helpful new 2016/2017 tax year facts that could affect you and your money. Our recent online blog shares a brief outline on how to stay up to date.

Read more

Useful Links

Popular Searches

Please Enter More Details

Enter More Details