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Switching banks to be made easier for businesses

Switching bank accounts is to be made easier for small businesses, the Payments Council has said.

The industry body said that the time it takes to switch an account will be cut from about 18 days to a guaranteed maximum of seven working days. The change will be made as part of reforms which will take place over the next two years.

In addition to cutting the time it takes to switch accounts, the onus for transferring incoming and outgoing account payments will be placed on the bank rather than the customer.

“We are looking to give customers total peace of mind that they can switch their bank account with ease,” said Gary Hocking, acting chief executive at the Payments Council. “We want a comprehensive switching system… so that all outgoing and incoming payments are automatically switched too.”

Research conducted by Financial Director in June 2011 on relationships between finance directors and their banks revealed that 14% of businesses were either likely or very likely to switch their main relationship bank within the next year.

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