Bank customers are revolting – at last

There was a 25 per cent increase in traffic among surfers looking to move their money last week. It’s not difficult, and some banks will even pay you to do so
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Research by the Co-Op found that 31 per cent of people would switch their football team allegiance if their former love got knocked out of a major tournament, while only 29 per cent would consider switching their current account this year.

But that’s all changing because people say they’ve had enough. There is real anger towards Barclays and its Libor-fixing scandal, and towards NatWest after its computer glitch locked millions out of their accounts, and Britons are finally acting with their feet.

Moneysupermarket, the comparison site, saw a 25 per cent increase in traffic among surfers looking to move their money last week. It’s not difficult, and some banks will even pay you to do so.

So where is best?


It depends what you’re looking for. Interest rates will rarely be worthy of much thought but borrowers should always investigate overdraft allowances and rates - these will usually depend on the account-holder’s credit rating. Some providers, including the Halifax and First Direct, are currently offering incentives of up to £100 for customers to move current accounts to them. Nationwide offers free European travel insurance.

What is, however, always worth thinking about - particularly given the fact that malaise will likely kick in again meaning you’ll be holding the account for a couple of decades - is customer service. Opt for a provider with UK call centres who answer the phone in seconds and you could save days off your life - and stress levels.

Which? rates banks according to customers’ reviews of their experiences of their service. Its top-rated is First Direct, followed by internet bank Smile, The One Account, The Co-Op Bank, and Nationwide Building Society.

Its worst-offenders for customer service include Santander, Halifax, Barclays and right at the bottom NatWest.

It’s easy to switch


Just contact your chosen new provider. You’ll usually need to provide two forms of ID and fill out an application form. Some banks and building societies may require a list of any direct debits or standing orders that you need transferring, but many will do this on your behalf. You will need to send your new account details to anyone who pays sums into your current account, such as your employer.

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