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Switch guarantee popular with consumers

There has been a 22% increase on the number of bank account switches since the Current Account Switch Service was introduced in September 2013, according to figures from the Payments Council.

More than 1.2 million bank accounts were changed in the year to September 2014, compared to 985,000 the year before.

The Current Account Switch Service aims to increase competition in the banking sector by making it simpler for consumers to change their current accounts.

Figures also reveal:

  • 69% of the public are aware of the service
  • this compares to 60% in October 2013
  • 62% understand how the service works.

Gerard Lemos, executive chairman of the Payments Council, said:

"By making switching bank accounts easier for customers than ever before - with the added peace of mind delivered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee - we have created the perfect conditions for competition and choice to flourish amongst new and existing current account providers."

Commenting on the findings, Matt Sanders, money spokesperson at GoCompare.com, said:

"...awareness of the Current Account Switching Service is now at 69%, so more people than ever recognise that they can switch accounts in 7 days, therefore the intense competition in the current account sector is likely to remain - which can only be good news for banking customers."

Elsewhere, a survey conducted by YouGov revealed that the people most aware of the Current Account Switching Service were least likely to change their provider.

The survey of more than 30,000 people found that consumers aged 55 and over were the most aware of the scheme (40%) but were most likely not to use it (8%).

Jake Palenicek, director of financial services research at YouGov, said:

"It is clear that the promotional materials have been successful in driving awareness - especially among older consumers. However, given the limited appetite among them for switching, perhaps the campaign needs to be refocused around reaching younger people who are more likely to change providers."

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