The first Current Account Switch Service annual report is published today (Thursday).
The report, released by Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs), the organisation which owns and manages the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), meets one of the commitments set out in response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) final report into retail banking.
While the CMA asked CASS to publish an annual report by March 2018, Bacs has delivered 12 months early to outline the many successes achieved over the last three-and-a-half years, since the UK’s flagship service was launched.
During this time over 3.5 million current accounts have been switched, while the number of banks and building societies participating in the service has grown to 47, with the first mobile-only bank (Starling Bank) joining the scheme earlier this week.
Today’s publication also highlights the achievements made by Bacs in meeting the wider range of undertakings set out by the CMA last year. This includes strengthening the customer guarantee (including indefinite payment redirection where needed), appointing an independent chair of the CASS Executive Committee, increasing awareness levels among all groups and working with industry partners to further simplify switching for overdraft users.
As well as delivering in these areas, Bacs’ customer-focused research programme found that consumers are now getting better value for money from their current accounts and benefiting from more competition in the marketplace, since the launch of CASS. The research found that a potential saving of £116 could be achieved from switching account, compared to less than half that just 10 years ago.
Jo Kenrick, CASS Executive Committee Chair, said: “Today marks another milestone for the Service as we publish the first CASS annual report, setting out the many successes we’ve already achieved, as well as outlining the challenges that face us over the next 12 months.
“Since taking up my position late last year, I’ve been hugely impressed with the continued hard work and focus of the team to truly help facilitate a competitive current account market which works for all. We remain committed to working with all of our stakeholders, including the CMA and other regulators, to build on the strong foundations we’ve laid over the last three-and-a-half years and will be publishing a forward strategy for CASS later in the spring.
“On a personal note I’d also like to express thanks to my predecessor, Andy McComb, whose knowledge, expertise and commitment has helped make CASS the success it is today.”
Simon Kirby MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “I am pleased to see that the Current Account Switch Service is continuing to go from strength to strength. It is a great service, simple, reliable and quick, and has already helped British bank customers switch over 3.5 million times. I urge more people to try out the service and see if they find a current account that is better suited to their needs.”