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 in Belfast East, 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.
Chris Lyttle MLA said:”I warmly welcome the launch of the Current Account Switch Service and the benefits it will bring to constituents in Belfast East. 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. 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.”
For further information on the Current Account Switch Service visit www.simplerworld.co.uk.