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Switching banks

69% of people believe they have the best bank account for their needs and UK customers are less likely to switch bank than people in any other European country according to research by Bacs.

Bacs, the company behind Direct Debit, believes we don’t switch because we think it’s too problematic. Its research shows that almost half of us haven’t switched because we believe “it would be too much hassle”, with more than a quarter thinking that changing regular payments and Direct Debits would be “too complicated”.
So Bacs and its member banks have produced a simple step-by-step ‘Account Switching’ guide which also answers people’s most frequently asked questions. The guide is free and can be found at

With internet, supermarket and telephone banking all growing and contributing to an increasingly competitive marketplace, there are financial advantages for consumers who are prepared to switch banks. The service costs nothing and is made as simple and painless as possible for the account holder - all the customer needs to do is decide which Direct Debits and Standing Orders to move over to the new account and leave the rest to the new bank.

If you’ve tried switching let us know if you found it simple and painless –
Bacs was set up in 1968 as a not-for-profit, membership-based industry body. It’s owned by 15 of the leading banks and building societies in the UK and Europe. Since then more than 73 billion transactions have been debited or credited to British bank accounts via Bacs. And in 2008 more than 5.6 billion UK payments were made this way with a total value of £3.85 trillion.

Direct Debit:
A Direct Debit is an instruction from a customer to their bank or building society authorising an organisation to collect varying amounts from their account. This can be used to ensure regular, safe and efficient payments of anything from household bills to charitable donations. Over three billion Direct Debit payments are processed by Bacs a year and 75 per cent of adults now have at least one Direct Debit commitment.

Direct Credit:
Bacs Direct Credit is mainly used for paying wages and salaries - in fact over 90 per cent of the UK workforce is paid via Bacs Direct Credit. In total, Bacs Direct Credit is used for paying four million wages every week and nearly 25 million salaries a month. In 2008, more than 2.25 billion payments were processed using Bacs Direct Credit, a new record for the payment method.

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