Switch banks from today and you could save £600
As of today, it’s faster and easier to switch banks – and you could save a wedge. The Payments Council current account switch guarantee has come into effect, in an attempt to encourage more competition in the banking sector.
It used to take 30 days and a lot of pleading phone calls from your jilted bank, but now the UK’s 46 million customers are being actively encouraged to switch, following a report from the Independent Commission in 2011. And we could find ourselves a lot better off.
‘It's not uncommon to save £500 or £600 by switching your bank.’ Says Mark Fiander from the Money Advice Centre. ‘Now whether that's because you're not paying fees or charges, or equally if you're not getting interest that's sitting in your current account, it can really add up.’
So are we all going to go out and shop around? Last year 2 million people switched accounts, but chances are we probably won’t bother. In fact, projected figures from the Centre of Economics and Business Research show that only about 5% of us will bother to change banks – in the next TEN YEARS.
But if the seven day switching process actually works, and with Virgin Money and Tesco set to launch new current accounts next year, could switching your bank become like shopping for the best energy deal? Or will we just stick with the same old rubbish bank, moan about it, and put up with it forever like a crap boyfriend who leaves suspiciously crusty socks on the radiator?