Clarke welcomes new banks accounts service

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Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
The Current Account Switch Service, launched by the Payments Council, is a new, free to use service designed to make switching current account from one bank or building society to another simple, reliable and hassle-free. It has initially launched with 33 bank and building society brands offering the new service and the accompanying Current Account Switch Guarantee, which will benefit consumers, small charities and small businesses, with more brands to follow in 2014. Not only will the new service reduce the time it takes to switch accounts from between an average of 18-30 days to just seven working days, but it will also help to increase transparency and choice for customers. Importantly, the service is backed by the Guarantee, which offers protection should anything go wrong with the switch, and will give customers the confidence to switch their bank account should they wish to do so. In the past two years, only 5 per cent of individuals in Northern Ireland have chosen to switch their current account. Despite people in the region showing willingness to switch their providers of insurance and utilities services, there has been an apparent reticence to date to switch current account provider, staying with their current bank for an average of 14 years, and 31% of those using the same bank as one or both of their parents. South Down Alliance spokesperson Councillor Patrick Clarke welcomed the launch and said the benefits it will bring to constituents in South Down and across Northern Ireland. “Consumers, small businesses and small charities alike can now have the confidence to make that switch, knowing that all their payments in and out will be taken care of, and that the Guarantee exists to protect them should anything go wrong. Clarke added, “I look forward to seeing increased competition in the current account market as banks and building societies work hard to attract and keep happy both new and existing customers.”
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