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High fives for UK’s flagship account switching service

17.9.2018

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There’s a double high five for the Current Account Switch Service this month as it celebrates its fifth anniversary alongside a new high for current account switching volumes. Since the service launched in September 2013, more than five million people, small businesses, and charities have moved to an alternative current account provider.

Heralding a step-change in account switching reliability, ease, and speed, the service has grown to include 47 participating banks and building societies, that’s over 99 per cent of the UK’s current account market.

Now part of leading retail payments authority, the New Payment System Operator (NPSO), the Current Account Switch Service has proven an effective catalyst for greater competition in the market with around 80 per cent of consumers aware of the service. Satisfaction rates stand at 94 per cent, underlining the service’s position as a staple part of the banking landscape. 

And that’s not all. The service has also redirected tens of millions of payments mistakenly applied to old bank accounts, and extended that safety net for as long as the facility is needed, making sure that all stray payments are redirected to the correct account.

As one of the biggest barriers to switching – particularly for businesses - was the fear of payments going missing, this is one key hurdle that’s been overcome.

In addition to the operational successes of the service, it continues to prove an example of best practice for other UK industry sectors, where steps to simplify switching could herald improved outcomes for consumers and businesses, such as the energy and water markets.

Anne Pieckielon, director of product and strategy at NPSO subsidiary, Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), is responsible for the Current Account Switch Service. She said: “Our team has responsibility for the strategic direction of the Current Account Switch Service and we have worked hard to put the needs of consumers and businesses front and centre; everything we do is aimed at delivering better outcomes for all those who would benefit from switching.

“To gain a deeper understanding of what factors shape and impact decisions to switch current account provider, we have collaborated in major research projects, working hard to build an holistic picture of the levers and trigger points involved in the switching journey. The result is a service that works for individuals, small businesses, small charities and trusts.”

Paul Horlock, chief executive of NPSO, said: “Reliable, stress-free switching empowers people to get the best from their financial services and, for five years, the Current Account Switch Service has ensured that consumers, small businesses and charities have had the confidence to switch. This has helped deliver not only better outcomes for all, but a more competitive market, as it has never been easier for bank customers to vote with their feet. 

“As part of the NPSO, the Current Account Switch Service is perfectly placed to continue this vital work and help further drive collaboration, innovation and thought leadership across the sector, and beyond, in the months and years ahead.” 

The fifth anniversary is being supported with new multi-media marketing campaigns encompassing TV, digital, out of home and social media activity.

For further information contact our press office.