The voice of consumers in banking reform isn’t always as loud as it could be – maybe because the invite to join in isn’t clear or the discussions get a bit techy? We’re notching up the volume so you can tell us here.
Following the success of the Big Banking debate in February last year, we’ll be hosting a joint event with the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) ‘Which? – Your Voice for Better Banking’.
It’ll take place on the evening of Thursday 24 May at a London location.
The event will be an opportunity to have your say on some of the key issues raised in the ICB’s interim report – which include ring fencing retail banks, improving transparency and helping consumers switch accounts.
How does this affect you?
If you’re wondering how issues like this affect your day-to-day banking it’s worth noting that they really do.
Have you been fed up with your current account’s interest rate and overdraft fees, but haven’t bothered switching accounts because of the hassle of changing all those pesky direct debits?
Well, a recommendation in the report calls for portable bank account numbers. A potential benefit of this is the ability to take your bank account number with you, reducing the hassle for customers.
Big banks squeezing out the little ones
And competition is all about making sure the big players don’t have it all their own way. If you used to like getting veg from your local grocer but have found they’ve been pushed out by big brand supermarkets then it’s the equivalent for the banks. The financial crisis has resulted in reduced competition – the big banks have got bigger and the small ones have been forced out.
With the five big banks dominating the market it’s hard for others to thrive and so the range of incentives and benefits can be limited as there can be less difference between the bunch.
Would you feel your money was safer if banks separated their retail business (dealing with you and me) from their investment businesses (big businesses, stocks and shares)? At least this way, we wouldn’t feel banks were gambling so much with our hard-earned cash?
Whatever your view, we’d like you to tell us what you think. We appreciate we can’t squeeze everyone into one space – but we’ve certainly room to squeeze in as many opinions as possible by collecting them here and sharing them with the ICB.