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Seven-day bank switching service to launch next month

 

Bank customers will be able to switch current accounts within seven days from next month, the Payments Council has confirmed.

 

Some 33 banks and building societies have signed up to a new switching service that will reduce the time it takes for customers to transfer accounts between providers. It can currently take up to 30 days to transfer an account.

 

The new system, which has been in the pipeline for the past two years, will come into effect from 16 September.

 

It is hoped the service will increase competition and alleviate the burden of switching banks for the UK’s 46 million current account holders.

 

Some banks have already started to promote deals to encourage individuals to change accounts, in anticipation of the new scheme.

 

Commenting, Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, said: ‘As final preparations are made for launch we look forward to a new era of account switching which will lead to greater choice for customers and wider competition in the marketplace’.

 

Around two million people switched providers last year, approximately 2.5% of the total number of account holders.