Banking & Finance

The FCA has published its report on making current account switching easier which confirms that the new Current Account Switch Service (CASS) is working well for those customers choosing to switch. The FCA however reports a general lack of consumer awareness and confidence with CASS which is a necessity for the success of the service.

Summary of FCAs key findings:  

  1. CASS is working for customers – 99% of switches are completed within the seven day time period and 89% without errors being made. As at March 2015, 40 banks and building societies participate in CASS, accounting for over 99% of the current account market.
  2. Customer concerns about switching – customers appear less confident that they would be in control of the process or that it would be error-free. There is also concern from customers whether additional features on current accounts, for example overdrafts, would be provided by the new bank as the customer will have to meet the new bank’s lending criteria before deciding to make the switch.
  3. Current Account Number Portability (ANP) could make it more convenient to switch bank accounts and increase confidence in a smoother, error-free switching process. The FCA noted possible investment and innovation in payment systems to deliver ANP would be considered by the newly-formed Payment Service Regulator.
  4. Recommendations – (i) develop measures to raise awareness and confidence levels in CASS via targeted marketing campaigns and (ii) working with Bacs to develop a proposal to mitigate the risk of the end of the redirection service (in addition to the planned extension of the redirection service to 36 months scheduled for the end of March 2015).
  5. Speed of switch – reducing the switch time from seven to five days is unlikely to deliver significant benefits to consumers who are more concerned about switching on a particular date without errors rather than the speed of the switch.

Click here to read the FCA press release and report.

Kimberley Ryder-Forman