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Banks need to fight for custom as new switching service launched

16 Medi 2013

Banks need to put customers’ needs first and look at ways they can save people money, as an easier switching service, launched today, means consumers get set to vote with their feet in terms of quality and service.

Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“For too long customers have felt trapped into bank accounts because the switching process was unnecessarily complicated.  This meant customers were saddled with bank accounts that were delivering poor services and charging high, and often unexpected, fees hidden in the small print.  

“People were nervous they wouldn’t receive wages or payments like rent and mortgage would go astray when switching.  The new process should stop this happening.  

“Citizens Advice helped with over 4,000 complaints about banks and building societies in the last 12 months, with 24% of complaints about selling practices and a further 15% about misleading claims.

“A simpler and safer way to switch should spark more competition in the market, which has been desperately missing for so long.  Banks will have to up their game to keep their customers and encourage people to switch to them. Now is the time for banks to put their customers first by looking to see how they can save them money.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice consumer service handled over 4,000 complaints about banks and building societies between April 2012 and March 2013.
  2. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  3. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  4. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at www.adviceguide.org.uk
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  6. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.1 million clients on 6.6 million problems from April 2012 to March 2013. For full 2012/2013 service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 22,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.