More than a million rush to change bank accounts through easier switching service

In the first 11 months of the new speedier service more than 1.1 million people moved banks

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A year on from the launch of a super-streamlined current account switching service, the number of people switching has climbed by a fifth.

In the first 11 months of the new speedier service – which guarantees a switch in seven working days - more than 1.1 million people moved banks.

The figures are issued today by the Payments Council which has been trumpeting the success of the move.

The Council pointed out that it has reduced the time it takes to move from one bank or building society to another from an average of 18 to 30 days to just seven.

“The service was designed to make life easier for customers by removing barriers to switching, with the aim of boosting competition in the banking sector,” said Gerard Lemos, Executive Chairman of the Payments Council. “It’s made great ground by empowering customers with the ability to switch their bank account easily and quickly.”

Thirty-four new and existing current account providers covering almost all of the market offer the service to their customers.

But today’s figures are just the beginning of a new attitude to bank accounts which should see many more switching in the future as they seek better value deals, reckons David Mann, head of money at uSwitch.

“There is a seismic shift coming in people’s attitudes towards their bank accounts,” he said. “We are already seeing the early stages of it as we no longer see our bank as our lifetime companion. If there is a better deal elsewhere, we go for it. 

“This is great news for competition, as it means banks are going to have to work even harder to keep existing customers and attract new ones.”

Information on the account-switching service and links to participating banks and building societies are available at