UK bank Alliance & Leicester is offering £100 to every every customer that switches online to its Premier current account.
A&L says despite the many current accounts now available, its research shows that switching inertia is still rife in the UK with 58% of people admitting they have never switched current accounts. Furthermore 17% of current account holders have held their account with the same provider for over 30 years.
Says Andy Muddimer, current account manager, A&L: "We would urge all those who haven't switched to have a good look at the account they currently have and see whether they are getting good value - they probably aren't. Researching the market to check how competitive your bank is should be routine for everyone, especially given how people need to make their money stretch further and work harder for them these days."
Muddimer says people think switching will be time consuming for them, fraught with difficulties and more hassle than it is worth. But he says A&L's Premier switching service which makes the process seamless by transferring existing income, direct debits and standing orders from a customer's current bank and matching any overdraft limits.
Last year the European Commission (EC) launched a consultation on ways of making it easier for customers to switch accounts between banks, both at a national level and within the European Union.
The consultation followed the publication of a report that identified the obstacles that customers face when switching bank accounts, which included lack of consistent information and non-transparency of prices, "bundling and tying" practices by banks, large amounts of administration and high closing charges.