Same-day banking transfers on their way

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Bank payments and transfers will take place on the same day they are made as soon as the technology can be sorted out, the big banks will announce later this month.

Bank payments and transfers will take place on the same day they are made as soon as the technology can be sorted out, the big banks will announce later this month.

A committee of banks, businesses and consumers have been meeting under the umbrella of the Office of Fair Trading to sort out concerns about the slowness of bank payments in the UK. Currently, electronic transfers, which should be instantaneous, can take up to three working days to go from bank to bank.

The committee is due to report later this month, and will say that payments will become instantaneous as soon as is practicable.

Work will begin on re-engineering how the bank's systems dovetail with the central clearing system, known as Voca. It is expected that this will take a few months to complete.

"It is no longer a question of whether the banks will move but how and when," said a well-placed source.

Meanwhile, HSBC will announce today that it is supporting instant payment and will pay its customers interest on any delays in payment transfers. Lloyds TSB made a similar move last November.

However, the changes will have little real impact on customers. A calculation made by a rival bank of the Lloyds TSB change indicated it would be worth just 3p a month for the average customer.

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