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Consumers Wary about Switching Current Accounts

11 October 2010

An astonishing 75 per cent of consumers have never considered switching their current account new research highlights, but many could be losing out attractive deals.

According to Consumer Focus only 17 percent of Brits had thought about switching their account to another bank, but had not done so.  Many admitted this was either because they have a fear of the costs when things go wrong; it is extra hassle, or they have a general fear of a negative effect on their credit rating.

The research also showed that people are more likely to switch energy supplier and telecoms provider 31 and 26 percent respectively compared to seven percent who have switched current accounts in the last two years.

“Until more people are prepared to vote with their feet, there will not be enough pressure on banks to improve their performance,” commented Sarah Brooks, Consumer Focus’ financial services head.

“Banks must be fair and upfront about their charges so consumers can make informed choices about which bank offers the best deal.”

Nearly a third of those who had thought about switching but had not done so are not happy with their current account.  Those who do switch however were found to experience difficulties as 44 percent had reported problems with the switching process.

In response to the report, the British Bankers’ Association said research by the OFT revealed that satisfaction levels with the switching process is currently at 85 percent, and there was a dramatic fall in the number of customers experiencing difficulties.

“Where customers do want to switch banks it’s easy to do so and the new bank will take care of all the paperwork,” a BBA spokesperson added.

“But we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that most customers are happy with their current banking arrangement.”

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