It’s surprising how few people switch their current accounts despite being unhappy with their bank. What is it that’s holding us back? Is it just us being lazy, or is the process not as hassle free as it should be?
I’m unhappy with my bank. I know all the options for switching. I know I should switch bank accounts. Have I? Erm…
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to switch my current account provider. Some companies’ customer services are head and shoulders above the rest, and others offer much better deals on overdrafts.
So, I did a bit of research, looked at all of the options and worked out the best account for me. And yet… I’m still with the same bank.
Why haven’t I switched banks?
If I, someone who spends time working on these issues, haven’t switched bank accounts, what chance is there that anyone else will? And if few people ever switch, why would the banks ever try to improve their service – where’s the incentive?
I’ve had a bit of a think about this and there are a few reasons why I haven’t switched:
- There are generally more interesting ways to spend your spare time than being on the phone with the bank or queuing in a branch.
- There’s a part of me that worries about a direct debit going astray, such as my rent not going in, or my phone bill not getting paid. And what will that lead to? More time on hold to a call centre.
- And finally, you don’t always do what’s best for you, despite knowing you should. If I did, I would be going for a run every morning before work. And I’m no Seb Coe.
Of course, I know the answer to this problem – make some time and simply switch. And I’m (reasonably) confident that this will happen in the not-too-distant future.
Switching needs to be hassle free
I know my reasons for not changing my bank account aren’t exactly bulletproof. The notion of ‘disappearing direct debits’ may even be an urban myth. How hard can it really be to transfer a list of instructions!?
However, if we want to create a competitive retail banking industry where companies really fight for your business, how do we create an environment whereby switching is easy, common and hassle free?
Maybe I’m just a bit lazy and everyone else out there is constantly switching to the best deal, but I have a hunch I’m not so different from everyone else. Is anything holding you back from switching bank accounts?