FCA makes it easier for people to compare bank accounts


The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today published final rules which will require providers of personal current accounts and business current accounts to publish information that will help customers to compare the service they could receive from different providers.

The new information will help customers, comparison websites and the media to make meaningful comparisons of the services different current account providers offer. By encouraging competition it is expected that the new rules will mean providers will improve their service and performance.

Under the new rules, customers will be able to find:

  • how and when services and helplines are available
  • contact details for help, including for 24 hour helplines
  • how long it will take to open a current account
  • how long it will take to have a debit card replaced
  • how often the firm has had to report major operational and security incidents
  • the level of complaints made against the firm

The Consultation Paper also looked at introducing rules requiring publication of service metrics related to how long it takes to arrange to use powers of attorney. Following the feedback received, the FCA welcomes the industry’s agreement to coordinate the development of a voluntary industry agreement on vulnerability.

Christopher Woolard, FCA

Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition, commented:

We want to see current account providers competing hard for their customers’ business by offering better service, alongside competition on interest and charges. These rules will help people see how their bank compares to others so they can choose an account that suits their needs.
We are pleased that the industry is seeking to develop information about their treatment of vulnerable customers. It is important that these customers are given help and support when making a decision about a bank account and this is an important step forward.

Eric Leenders, Managing Director of Personal Finance at UK Finance added:

Like the FCA, we want to see effective competition so these steps are a welcome development. Making it easier for consumers and businesses to compare the quality of service offered by different current account providers is a great way to encourage customers to shop around.

James O’Sullivan, BSA Policy Adviser concluded:

We recognise that vulnerability arises for many reasons, with circumstances that can be specific to a single individual. We look forward to working with the FCA and UK Finance to co-ordinate the development of a voluntary industry agreement to provide relevant and helpful information to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.

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