BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Is switching banks getting easier?
cash
Most people can save more by switching their mortgage

For once banks and consumer groups are singing from the same hymn sheet: they agree that it has become easier to switch bank accounts recently.

The Consumers' Association, long a critic of banks dragging their heels on transfers, has said that it is now "quite easy" to switch, and argues that it is all a matter of perception.

It predicts that the number of people switching will treble next year, the equivalent of 3.5% of the Big Four bank's current account customers.

Meanwhile Intelligent Finance, which used to compile blacklists of banks that were reluctant to co-operate, now longer bothers to compile figures.

Modest im

So are things looking up?

Certainly, years of bad publicity seem to have worked for consumers.

The DeAnne Julius Report, published in November 2001, has already led to some improvements.

If Lloyds TSB, for example, messes up a transfer - taking longer than three days to move direct debits and standing orders to your new bank - it will give you 50.

Slow take-up

But too few people are taking advantage of it.

The Consumers' Association estimates that UK consumers are losing out by 500m a year by being too reluctant to change banks.

For someone with an average salary of 1,500 a month, it estimates that 20 a year could be saved by moving to an account with 3% interest.

More importantly, people can save thousands if they transfer their mortgage to a cheaper deal.

Unfortunately, most still don't.

Money saving tips


Need help?
See also:

14 May 02 | Business
14 Mar 02 | Business
Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes