Changes to current accounts to help millions, says BBA

Changes to current accounts in terms of how they operate will be a boon to millions of holders of personal and business bank accounts, according to the British Bankers’ Association.

The BBA has recently announced that there are three ways to improve the overall experience of British current account holders by helping them manage their finances more easily, these being the provision of more help to consumers experiencing financial hardship, allowing customers greater control over their own financial matters, and improving transparency to enable customers to more clearly see the charges that await them.  The Association’s largest financial service provider members have already made promises to begin instituting changes to this effect, including making it easier to avoid charges by providing certainty over when cash needs to be paid in and offering account holders a discretionary grace period, so that if the account goes over by a modest amount, charges won’t apply.

Other new changes in the work include providing their customers with advance warning of incurred charges, including when they will be paid, and in the event of an account balance approaches its agreed limit, to send an alert, such as a text message, to notify the customer.   Customers will soon be able to altogether reject overdraft facilities if they so choose, and all of these new changes are slated to be made available in the early months of 2013 – save the alerts provision, which is scheduled for just after the New Year.

However, there are further major reforms on the way as well. A new ‘7-day switch’ guarantee is in the works, which will make it both safe and easy for small businesses and individuals to switch providers in the event that they are displeased with the service or cost they have been receiving.

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