The Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, has welcomed the simpler account switching service which launched on 16th September by the Payments Council. It is free and is designed to make the process of changing banks easier, reliable and hassle-free.
It comes at a time when Lloyds TSB has split into two banks, with the high street branches across the Island becoming ‘Lloyds Bank’ (pictured). The Island’s Newport branch is currently undergoing a major refurbishment and will reopen on 16th October.
33 bank and building societies are currently offering the new service which is backed by a guarantee to offer protection against things going wrong. More organisations will join the service in 2014. The average time it will take to switch banks will be cut from around 18-30 days to seven working days.
In the South East region, only 5% of people have chosen to switch their current accounts in the last two years. People stay with their current bank for an average of 19 years, and 24% of people use the same bank as one or both of their parents.
Mr Turner said:
“Individuals, small businesses and charities can shop around for the best deal they can find from banks and building societies and now they can have the confidence to switch accounts. All their standing orders, direct debits and other transactions will be taken care of, and there is a guarantee in place to protect them if anything goes wrong. If there are problems and they suffer charges or costs because of them they will be compensated. I believe that the opportunities this brings for more effective competition will encourage financial organisations to work harder to keep their existing customers happy and to attract other customers who may be looking for alternative banking services.”