Numerous bank account customers are failing to realise the significant differences between interest rates, charges and special offers available from different High Street banks.
Unfortunately, when consumers do see better bank account services on offer they are failing to switch accounts to take advantage of better deals. It’s believed that they are reluctant to, due to the problems associated with changing banks.
Have you ever tried to? Switching current accounts can be a real pain as it means notifying service providers of changes to direct debits, changes to standing orders, etc.
According to the Financial Services Consumer Panel bank account holders would be more likely to switch banks for better deals if portable bank account numbers were introduced.
It is believed that fully portable bank account numbers would make it far simpler for UK consumers to move accounts should they wish to. It effectively means that any direct debits or standing orders already setup on an old bank account would automatically be transferred to a new account, thanks to the portable account number, saving you time, money and effort.
Consumer Panel member, Mike Dailly, commented:
“It’s only a matter of time before ‘trouble-free switching’ of current accounts takes-off in the UK, and consumer savvy bank customers start shopping around,
“Greater competition between banks and ‘trouble-free switching’ will drive choice and value for money for consumers.”
Mr Dailly added that “fully portable account numbers would be a great leap in the direction of greater competition as seen in the mobile phone industry.”
The call for portable bank account numbers has come after the Independent Commission on Banking made a very similar recommendation.
In spite of this it should be noted that changing bank accounts is still not that difficult. If you were to change accounts most High Street banks will call your current provider for a list of direct debits and standing orders so that these can be painlessly switched across. Portable account numbers would simply make this process even easier.
If you’re looking for a current account to suit your needs why not take a look at some of the excellent services on offer by comparing bank accounts in our banking section.