UK preps current account comparison service
24 June 2014 | 7066 views | 1
Brits will soon be able to download all of their current account data and feed it into online tools that help them pick the best banking provider.
The government has been working with comparison tool providers and banks on the initiative in a bid to boost competition by making it easier for people to see which current account might be best for them.
With Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Nationwide, RBS and Santander now committing to the project, by the end of the year customers will be able to download a year's worth of their current account data in single file that can be read by online tools.
While the information will be stripped of any details that link it to the individual directly, to make it safer to use, it will include what shops money has been spent with, as well as how much has been spent.
This, says the government, will help people see if, for example, opening an account at their regular supermarket could be a good deal if it comes with reward or loyalty points.
Andrea Leadsom MP, economic secretary to the treasury, says: "This initiative has the potential to make a real difference to customers and competition. By helping customers get a much better understanding - for the first time - of how they are spending their money, and which is the best product for them."
The project is part of the government's midata programme, launched in late 2011, which aims to give Brits portable, electronic access to the information held on them by public and private bodies to help them better understand their own consumption behaviours and patterns.