The Payments Council in partnership with 17 banking groups that manage the accounts of the vast majority of Britain’s 46 million current account holders has launched the free current account switching service today (16 September) with the aim of making the process of switching quicker, it is claimed account holders will be able to switch in 7 days and the experience will be “simpler, more reliable and hassle free”.
Customers will determine the date their account will switch and will be protected by a guarantee and standards mark developed with banks.
The Engine and Partner Andrews Aldridge created television, outdoor, print, radio and online activity introduces the service and explains the benefits. Ads use animated characters that represent the changes the service presents, for example, a flying squad of speedy birds.
The launch of the service was prompted by a 2011 recommendation from the Independent Commission on banking that said more needed to be done to bolster switching levels. People only changed their current account once every 26 years on average, it claimed.
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, says: “Raising awareness of the Current Account Switch Service is a key objective for the industry and it was crucial that the advertising campaign demonstrated the key benefits of the new service over the old.
“The new service removes the barriers to switching that used to exist and the ‘Simpler World’ depicted in the advertising campaign aims to show just that.”
Elsewhere, a poll by activist group Move Your Money and YouGov found 80 per cent of consumers would avoid badly behaving banks when switching. Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander – all among lowest performers with the poorest scores for honesty and customer service.