Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:
“The CMA inquiry has to bring about better banking, but these proposals don’t go far enough. The CMA’s own evidence is that consumers are disengaged from the banking market, so better information and nudges to switch will not be enough.
“The regulator now has six months to find more radical ways to promote switching, improve information for consumers and punish those banks who fail to treat customers fairly.”
1. Which? wants the inquiry to set out creative solutions to spur banks into genuinely competing and improving the way they treat all customers in three key areas:
Fairness: The CMA should look at forcing banks to more proactively help customers who regularly use an unauthorised overdraft, as well as increasing compensation levels for customers who experience poor service.
Transparency: The CMA should explore how to make more use of information about the behaviour of banks to regularly name and shame the worst providers.
Control: The CMA should consider how banks can put people in control of their overdrafts, for example by notifying customers about hitting their current account limits before they go into the red.
2. Previous Which? research found only one in ten (12%) people are able to identify the best account for an unauthorised overdraft user and just four in ten (39%) are able to spot which is best for staying in credit.
[Methodology: Populus, on behalf of Which?, surveyed 2,063 GB adults online between 8th and 10th May 2015. Of these, 1,367 passed our data checks and proceeded to undertake the questionnaire. Data were weighted to be representative of the GB population.]