Government announces plans to make switching energy and broadband suppliers as well as banks easier for consumers

22nd October 2015


Consumers should be allowed to change energy, broadband and bank account provider quickly, without charge and have the data on how they consume these services freely available, under new plans announced on Thursday by Business Minister Nick Boles.

The proposals form part of the new ‘Switching Principles’ scheme, which sets out what consumers should expect from providers when they change supplier.

Consumers across the country are being invited to share their views on how switching could be improved, as well as sharing their own experiences as part of a government drive to make changing providers quicker and easier.

Research shows that currently more than three-quarters of UK consumers have never switched their mobile phone provider and more than two-thirds have never changed their broadband supplier.

Business Minister Nick Boles said: “By setting out clear principles for switching suppliers, this government will make it simpler and easier for consumers to shop around for the best deals. All too often families miss out on hundreds of pounds of potential savings because they think it will be too complicated or take too long to switch.

“Consumers have a key role to play in driving firms to be more competitive so we also want to hear from them and industry on how businesses can be more responsive to customers.”

Under the ‘Switching Principles, Boles is proposing:

Using the stories and experiences of consumers across the country, the government will work with regulators and industry to agree specific actions which are needed to implement the principles fully and make the switching process as straightforward as possible for consumers.

The government’s “Power to Switch” campaign recently revealed there is £2.2bn worth of savings available to 11m households in the UK if they simply switch their energy supplier.

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