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Two new independent directors for Current Account Switch Service

31.8.2017

Two new independent directors have been appointed by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) to the Current Account Switch Service Executive Committee, fulfilling a key undertaking set out by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The appointment of Chris Pond and Faith Reynolds further strengthens governance of the switching service and ensures wider representation in the decision-making process from the likes of consumer groups and small businesses, meeting the requirement set out in the CMA's investigation into the personal current account market last year.

Former MP and Work and Pensions Minister Chris Pond is currently vice chair of the Financial Inclusion Commission and serves as a member of the Treasury FinTech Delivery Panel, as well as being a trustee of GambleAware and of the Family and Childcare Trust. He also chairs the Lending Standards Board and The Money Charity.

Previously Director of Financial Capability and Head of Consumer Affairs at the Financial Services Authority, and Chief Executive of two national charities (Gingerbread and the Low Pay Unit), Chris has written extensively on economics and social policy and has been awarded honorary visiting professorships at two universities.

An independent consumer finance expert, Faith Reynolds is a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel where she chairs the EU Working Group and is the lead for technology and innovation. A member of the Payments Strategy Forum, Faith acts as the Customer Representative on the Open Banking Implementation Entity Steering Committee and recently authored the report, 'Open Banking: A Consumer Perspective'.

Having also recently joined the RegTech Council, Faith previously spent time at the Institute for Government undertaking research on Big Society, earning her the Clore Social Leadership Fellowship.  She established Toynbee Hall's financial inclusion services in the heart of London's East End and was a member of HM Treasury's Financial Inclusion Taskforce.

The announcement follows the appointment of Jo Kenrick as the first Independent Chair of the CASS Executive Committee, in December 2016. Welcoming the two new directors, Jo said: "We are pleased that, in Chris and Faith, we have been able to attract two hugely knowledgeable and respected figures, who bring with them an impressive depth and breadth of skills which will be invaluable in further driving forward the Current Account Switch Service.

"I'm also particularly delighted that Chris and Faith represent, and will give a strong voice to, a range of important interests, which can only help us in meeting the needs of all those who can benefit from switching account. I look forward to working with both in the coming weeks and months as we continue this important work."

Colin Garland, Director, Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis at the CMA, said: "If you want the best deal on your banking, shopping around for a current account is one way to make sure you get it.  Our extensive investigation into the retail banking sector highlighted the importance of making it as easy as possible for people to switch  accounts.

"The quick, easy and free Current Account Switch Service is designed to make the switching process easier, so it is important that it works for those who use it and not just those who run it.

"The appointments of Jo Kenrick, Chris Pond and Faith Reynolds provide the independence CASS needs to work in the interests of banking customers.

The free-to-use Current Account Switch Service has already facilitated over four million switches since launch and further information on the service can be found here: www.currentaccountswitch.co.uk  

For further information contact our press office.

 

 

 

Notes to Editors:

About Bacs:

Bacs has been maintaining the integrity of payment related services since 1968, with responsibility for the schemes behind the clearing and settlement of UK automated payment methods, Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, as well as the provision of managed services for third parties, such as the Cash ISA Transfer Service, and the development, management and subsequent ownership of the Current Account Switch Service.

More than 120 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs since its inception; in 2016, nearly 6.25 billion UK payments were made this way, while a new record was set on 30 June 2017 with the number of transactions processed by Bacs in a single day reaching a high of 111.7million.

A not-for-profit entity which has maintained carbon neutral status since 2012, Bacs is a membership company limited by Guarantee.

For further information please visit www.bacs.co.uk

About the Current Account Switch Service:

Key features of the Current Account Switch Service include:

  • The service is free to use.
  • The switch will be completed in seven working days – a substantial improvement on the previous process that could take between 18 and 30 working days.
  • The customer can choose and agree the switch date with their new current account provider.
  • All payments going out (e.g. Direct Debits) and those coming in (e.g. salary) will be moved from the old account to the new account.
  • Payments accidentally made to or requested from the old account will be automatically redirected to the new account for as long as the facility is required.
  • The Current Account Switch Guarantee means that the customer will receive a refund of interest and charges on their old and new current accounts if anything goes wrong with the switch.

As of 1 April 2015, the eligibility criteria for businesses, charities and trusts was extended.  SMEs with a turnover of up to £6.5 million, small charities with an annual income of less than £6.5 million, and small trusts with a net asset value of less than £6.5 million can switch their current account provider using the Current Account Switch Service.

The service was previously available for small businesses with a turnover of 2 million euros (or sterling equivalent); and this extension increases the reach of the service to 99% of the UK's SME market.

Bacs is responsible for all aspects of the service including working on the recommendations in the Financial Conduct Authority's 'Making Current Account Switching Easier' report, and the findings from the CMA's market investigation into retail banking.