Britons Cash in by Switching Current Accounts

By: Adam Singleton

The website MoneyExpert.com has reported that in the past year more than 3.6 million people in the UK have switched current account providers which breaks down to around 300,000 switchers per month! These figures indicate that people are willing to switch banks if they are unhappy with their current bank accounts. Current account providers have taken notice and are now offering more features and incentives to new customers to entice them to make the switch.

In the past, people have simply chosen the bank that was closest to where they lived or worked. With population and city area increases in the past few decades, bank selection trends have changed as people became more mobile and moved further from city centres and their places of work.

Now however, people are no longer restricted to the bank in their village or on their closest high street. They have more choices as banks expand to cover larger areas and it's common to find many different banks on the same city block. Also new on the scene are a number of online only banks operating without physical branches, negating the need for a terrestrial local branch.

The number of choices out there can certainly be overwhelming, especially in this age of online banking, but like in most decisions, the only thing consumers should be concerned with is finding the best choice for their situation.

When looking for a new current account, first examine your monthly statements. Does your current account have an overdraft facility, and if so how much does it cost to use it? How do you prefer to manage your account, and could you benefit from any extras available from the provider?

Some of these questions have easy answers. For example, if you take out a lot of overdrafts then you want an account that does not have a high EAR on the overdraft. If you pay in more than ?1000 per month top your account, you might be eligible for some fringe benefits so this should be considered. If you like to manage your account over the phone, make sure that the provider you choose has this service available and so on.

The bottom line is, if you are unhappy with your current account there is nothing to stop you from looking around for other choices. Banks have wised up to the needs of their customers and are offering some great add-ons to accounts such as breakdown cover and even travel insurance. It certainly pays to browse around and choose the best one for you.

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