Abbey dispels account swap myths

Many people think it is harder to change current account provider than is actually the case, says Abbey National.

These perceived difficulties may be deterring consumers from making their current accounts part of an all-in-one mortgage.

Abbey interviewed nearly 1,000 adults in the UK and found that seven out of ten think that they would have to change all their direct debits and standing orders themselves if they moved their current account.

In reality the old bank passes the details to the new bank.

Nearly half think there will be lots of forms to fill in if they move their bank account, but this is rarely the case. For instance, Abbey National does all the paperwork on the customer&#39s behalf and the switch only requires a signature.

More than a third of respondents think that they will not get other products such as a mortgage, credit card or personal loan as easily if they move their current account because they will not have the goodwill they built up with their old bank. But the availability of other products should be unaffected by switching a current account

A quarter worry that their credit history might be impaired if they move their current account. In reality, a customer&#39s credit history will be totally unaffected by switching their current account.

Abbey National is so confident that people can switch to its current account without a hitch that it is offering customers £50 if it does not meet the promises set out by its Switcher Service to move all elements of a customer&#39s account to the bank within five weeks.

John Berry, deputy managing director of retail banking at Abbey National, says: “It is surprising that people have so many false perceptions about switching their current account. Switching your current account has never been easier and yet myths about it being difficult persist.

“Current account customers of the big four banks have been putting up with poor service and paltry interest rates for too long. It&#39s time that the myths were dispelled once and for all so that more people have the confidence to switch their current account to a better deal.”