/ Money

Why haven’t you switched banks?

People playing chess with money

Most of us will make the effort to get our money back if we’re overcharged at the supermarket, but why won’t we switch banks when they don’t give us value for money? It’s your move.

The girl in front of me was steaming mad. This was the second time she’d shopped here and been double charged for an item of groceries.

I was pretty irritated too, having been overcharged for a lump of cheese that was supposed to be on special offer. Clearly the tills weren’t up to the job.

I don’t know how much my fellow complainant had been overcharged, but my gripe came to less than a fiver. The customer services desk queue was pretty long, or at least it felt that way.

Sure, I got my money back (all £4.64 of it) and walked away triumphant, if still a little annoyed that I’d spent ten minutes longer at the supermarket than necessary. But I felt it was important.

Why don’t we switch banks?

And this is the strange thing. I spend ages at weekends, bored because it’s raining or whatever. Yet, will I get on the internet and change my bank account to a provider that will actually reward me with interest for my loyalty (and getting to play with my monthly salary)? No… not until now.

I reckon it would take me about ten minutes sat at my computer, with mug of tea in hand, to switch my bank account from my current provider (which pays next to nothing on credit balances) to a Which? Best Buy. These days switching is easier than you might think, and it’s a chance to hit those, invariably big, banks where it hurts.

Let’s face it, none of us like what’s been going on in the City over the past few years, so moving your cash to a decent provider can only prove beneficial for us all.

Sophie Gilbert says:
10 September 2010

I agree that the principle of switching bank will hit some of them where it deservedly hurts, but if opening a new bank account and closing an old one is easy, I have found through experience that switching all the standing orders and direct debits from the old bank account to the new one isn’t. Basically, in spite of advertisements, you have to do it all yourself.

I’m not sure if this is related, but another thing is that I would like to switch to the Co-operative Bank if for no other reason than that it has reasonable ethical policies. However, there seems to be only one branch in Scotland, where I live, and it’s in Glasgow, where I don’t live. I will swith to the Co-op Bank if and when it opens a branch in central Edinburgh, which is at least easily accessible to me.

bryan says:
16 June 2011

im thinking of changing bank accounts but have an overdraft with my current bank, what happens if i just open a new bank account and switch my salary to the new one, and also all direct debits aswell? obviously i know i would have to pay back the overdraft i have with my current bank but im unsure of what the process is. HELP :O