1st October 2015
In the two years since the introduction of new, faster bank account switching, new research suggests that many Britons find local bank branches irrelevant.
A survey from Gocompare.com found that only 37% of current account holders know where their bank branch is and less than half, at 47%, have visited it in the past 12 months.
When asked when they last spoke to anyone in their local branch about their finances the survey found that:
The main reasons given for speaking to someone at their local bank branch included discussing savings and investments, sorting out a problem with their account and opening a new account. Other reasons mentioned were to discuss a new mortgage, to talk over a financial difficulty and to make a complaint.
The analysis also found that very few current account holders have any relationship with their bank manager. On average, people said they had not spoken to their branch manager for five years, while well over half, at 56%, said they had never spoken to them.
When respondents were asked to name the single most important aspect about a bank current account, the top answers were:
Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s banking expert, said: “This piece of research suggests that many bank current account customers don’t have a particularly fruitful relationship with their local branch. Indeed, according to the figures, a third of conversations with bank staff concern resolving problems with their account or making a complaint. But if you’re unhappy with your bank – it’s never been easier to switch.
“Switching bank accounts became quicker and simpler following the introduction of new faster switching rules in September 2013. The new rules give banks a seven day time limit to switch a customer’s account and must seamlessly transfer direct debits and standing orders.
“This, coupled with the midata current account comparison tool, which uses customers’ real financial records to help them make more meaningful and better-informed decisions about accounts on offer, means that it’s never been easier to find a current account best suited to your needs.