Lloyds TSB is to set up a central account transfer unit to aid customers switching accounts to and from the bank. The current account market and customer inertia is part of a competition commission investigation into Lloyds' £18 billion proposed takeover bid for UK high street rival Abbey National.
From July, if a Lloyds TSB customer wishes to switch to a competitor, the newly established unit will send a list of direct debits and standing orders to the customer’s new bank within three working days. The banks says it will pay customers £50 if it fails to meet the deadline.
Lloyds says the commitment exceeds the industry standard of 10 working days agreed by clearing system members as part of a scheme aimed at speeding up the switching process.
UK banks have been severely criticised for slowing down account transfers, leading to customer inertia and claims that the practice discourages competition. Takeover target Abbey National recently released figures which fingered Lloyds TSB as one of the worst offendors.