Have you switched banks yet - now may be the time

Posted by Ian Carpenter in Banking on 1 October 2013 - Ian is Operations Director at checkmyfile

The Payments Council promises to make it a ‘simpler world’ for customers to switch banks and it appears to be working, with more than 35,000 customers changing banks in the first two weeks since the campaign launch.

It is an encouraging start for a service which promises to move a customer’s current account to a new bank within 7 working days and with a guarantee of no financial loss if payments go missing.

There have been some inevitable problems as the banks get to grips with the new processes, but it is a great step forward for consumers looking for the best deal.

Every year we reveal how each bank fares when it comes to customer service and popularity. Our 2012 Banking and Credit Card Survey - the largest of its kind in the UK - revealed that many customers remained with their current bank irrespective of the customer service they received. The new scheme should help to focus banks’ attention on customer service. A poor experience in-branch and a customer could change to another bank in a matter of days – those who have historically neglected this side of their operations will need to up their game.

It is predicted that hundreds of thousands of customers will eventually change to a different current account provider – good news for those banks who deliver good value and customer service, not so great for those who consistently provide a service below customer expectations.

First Direct was rated the top bank for the fifth consecutive year in 2012, and along with Co-operative Bank was streets ahead of the competition. These two banks have invested in providing excellent customer service and will welcome the changes, while others will be paying catch up.

If you are looking to switch your banks, please let us know why by taking part in our 2013 survey - we use the customer service ratings in our credit card tables so all checkmyfile customers can make better informed decisions.

Ian Carpenter is Operations Director at checkmyfile, has a degree in Business Studies, and is a Graduate Member of the Institute of Credit Management. He can be contacted at ian.carpenter@checkmyfile.com

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