You’ve probably read in the paper how easy it is to switch banks. Thanks to the Government’s new Current Account Switch Service, consumers are able to easily switch their accounts between banks in over 7 days, and receive a guarantee that they will be protected from any financial loss in the event of any problems involved in the switch. In theory this should be welcome news, as it provides us with more choice, and the option to make it easier to leave banks which are difficult to deal with.
However, the Government would do well to try and make everything as easy for bank customers. Recently, it was announced that there will be a selloff of Lloyds and RBS branches as a result of the Government’s sale of shares, in accordance with EU rules on state aid – I am not entering the discussion if this is good or bad, we are now where we are. But what about clients who want to stay with the old bank – has anybody asked them what they like. Well tough luck is the official answer. If you want to stay you have to re-apply like a new client –and go through the hoops like identity proof reapply for overdrafts etc. I think it is a bit rich for any bureaucrat to ignore the customer and tell him “I decide what is best for you”.
This is just another example of creating extra regulation for customers. It’s bad enough for individuals to have to jump through extra hoops, but when you are trying to focus on running your business it makes it much, much harder. It’s a question of one step forward and one step back.