Multi-million pound marketing activity by banks lifts switching levels 11%

The millions spent on marketing by banks looking to tempt customers to switch current accounts in the past month has led to an 11 per cent increase in account transfers. 

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The Payments Council launched a campaign to promote the service in September

The Payments Council, the body behind the system that promises to speed up the current account switching process, says 89,000 switches have been completed since the service launched on 16 September up from 80,000 in the same period a year earlier.

M&S Bank, Halifax, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland, First Direct and Nationwide have all launched marketing initiatives to entice people to switch or encourage them to stay over the past month. 

The Payments Council also launched a multi-million pound campaign to promote the service, which it launched in partnership with 17 banking groups that manage the accounts of the vast majority of Britain’s 46 million current account holders.

Adrian Kamellard, CEO of the Payments Council says of the account switching numbers: “We never expected that every customer who is tempted to switch would rush out to do so at launch, but this is an encouraging start.

“This service is all about customers and the focus continues to be on them. Across the entire industry huge amounts of work continues to be put in to ensure that customers get the commitments made in the guarantee. It is by getting this right that we can deliver on the objectives of increasing competition and providing greater choice for customers.”

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.

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