Call for banks to introduce portable account numbers
Loads of us change our energy suppliers because we think it might get us a better deal. But eventually they all put their prices up the same and we’re all pretty much screwed. Likewise, switching mobile phone suppliers is easier than its ever been and there’s a genuine effort from the companies to retain customers.
But fewer of us are keen to switch banks, even if we do think we can get a better deal elsewhere. And the Financial Services Consumer Panel think they know why. They reckon it’s because we don’t have portable account numbers that we can take with us when we switch from one bank to another, in the same way that we do when we switch mobile providers.
The stats show that 36 and 26 per cent of consumers have switched energy and phone supplier respectively in the past two years, but only 7 per cent have moved current account, according to the Independent Commission on Banking, who never lie about this sort of stuff. They say that portable account numbers would make it easier for bank-switching and would force the lazy, complacent banking industry to up its game and be more competitive.
The FSCP’s Mike Dailly said: "One of the underlying causes of bad bank behaviour and complaints is a lack of competition and transparent charging structure in the UK banking industry. 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."
It’s a great idea and we expect the banks to pay attention to the Financial Services Consumer Panel sometime before the year 3051.