January 2015
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Switching Bank Accounts

Written by Jon Emge.

Up until recently switching bank accounts was a headache and a hassle.  In fact it was something not many of us even thought of doing, we just stayed with the same bank for years and years, dealing with poor customer service, high lending interest rates, and the closing of our local bank branches.  Many bank’s fees are so high for an unauthorized overdraft, you are better off looking at a loan from someone like eCashWindow.

The thought of having to notify our employer with new banking details, change all our direct debits and standing orders, and the time it took to switch banks, was enough to put us off and we would just stay with the bank we presently have.

However, there have been recent changes in how one can switch bank accounts, and these changes are there to make the process easier and seamless.  The new process is to take just seven (7) days, and you can choose a date for the accounts to be switched over,

Last September the “New Current Account Switch Service” began and since then over 600,000 people have used the service and switched bank accounts.  That is quite a few people switching bank accounts in the past 12 months, but why are they switching?

TNS, a research group, did a study as to why people are switching banks, and basically broke it down into two (2) categories.  Those categories were “Reason for leaving your bank?”, and “Reason for choosing a new bank?”

The research group found that people were leaving their current bank due to customer service, branch hours, and the bank’s reputation, in that order.  Many banks have had their reputations tarnished over the years due to poor performance and the “banker’s bonuses”.

In looking at why people were choosing a new bank, the study found that the reason was reputation, interest rates offered and customer service, in that order.  So while customer service may be a number one (1) reason for leaving a bank, it doesn’t need to be the number one reason to choose another bank.

The research study found that Santander seem to have found a way attract new account holders, as they had 22% of people joining, and only 10% of people leaving.  Their new 123 Account may be in part one reason as it offers 1% cash back when you use the account to pay bills.

On the opposite side of the research study were Royal Bank of Scotland and First Direct, who were at the bottom of the list.

The bottom line here is that we no longer have to deal with the issues and headaches of a bank with poor customer service, and the stress of switching bank accounts.  It can now all be done very easily and effortlessly, allowing us more freedom of choice.

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