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Number of customers switching current accounts improves


The Payments Council has announced that they have see a 7% increase in the number of customers switching their current account over the past 12 months.

They Payments Council announced that they had recorded 1.14 million switches in the year up to March 2015. The year before that there had been 1.06 million switches, so there has been an improvement. Rules intending to make the switching process were introduced in the UK in 2013. The rules ensure customers are able to switch their bank accounts within seven working days, with all outgoing and incoming payments automatically transferred. The Payments Council said that more than seven out of ten Britons are now aware of the service, compared with fewer than six out of ten when it launched.

Transfers hit their peak in November 2013, when 105,802 people switched - compared to 91,615 in February this year.

The measures were introduced to try and encourage competition in the market, which was strongly dominate by Britain’s four biggest banks, Lloyds banking group, Royal bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC, who all provide three quarters of UK consumers bank accounts.

Since the switch guarantee was introduced, Halifax has gained the most customers, with Barclays and Natwest losing out. Competition is now picking up even more with the major banks coming under pressure to offer perks and rewards.

Kevin Mountford, of, said:
"I think the big four banks have now realised they can no longer rest on their laurels. Ultimately we as consumers are going to get more choice and that can only be a good thing."

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