Make that switch

A lot of folks choose their bank at the age of 13 and stick with it through thick and thin. But those who have ever changed their bank account probably have experienced how stressful the whole affair can be. Well not any more. The Payments Council is now looking into giving customers a guaranteed seven-day, hassle free switch.

As well as cutting down the time it takes to switch, the Payments Council wants to shift the responsibility for transferring payments into accounts from consumers and small business owners to the banks themselves. Gary Hocking, chief executive of the council, said: 'We are looking to give customers total peace of mind that they can switch their bank account with ease.'

The big four – HSBC, RBS, Lloyds TSB and Barclays – are the most common banks that customers switch to, though the often time consuming process regularly puts us off doing it, with figures suggesting that just 8 percent of bank customers have made the switch in the last five years.

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