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Friday, August 16, 2013

Banks Play The Old Switcheroo

Banks and building societies are begrudgingly upping one very modest aspect of their customer "service"; namely that of guaranteeing to switch customers' bank accounts and direct debits (if requested) within seven working days as from September 16.

The Telegraph reports that 33 banks and building societies have signed up to the agreement, which will cut the length of time it takes to move accounts from up to 30 working days to seven working days.

Customers will be refunded interest and charges if anything goes wrong.

Whilst banks are offering cash incentives to people to switch their accounts (usually £100-£125) there is of course a sting in the tail; customers have to shut down their old current account if they choose to avail themselves of this guarantee (customers are entitled to opt out of it and manually change their accounts and payments).

As to whether this new guarantee improves the level of customer service wrt bank charges, products, rates etc remains to be seen; given that the banks operate in their own interests, rather than in the interests of their customers, any dramatic improvements in customer service are unlikely to see for quite some time if at all.

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