Which? response to Office of Fair Trading’s review on current accounts

In response to the OFT’s review into current accounts, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“This is the latest damning verdict on how badly people are still being let down by the banking industry. Everyone – consumers, the Government, leading bankers and now the OFT – seems to agree that big change is needed in banking, and that much greater competition on the high street is urgently needed to make the banks work for customers, not bankers.

“So it’s disappointing to see current account providers avoid immediate action by the competition authorities, but the banks are not off the hook. If the reforms underway do not quickly make a real difference to consumers, the whole of retail banking must be referred to the Competition Commission without any further delay.

“The need for further action by the competition authorities seems inevitable while the Government’s plans for reform fail to adequately address the unhealthy dominance of the biggest banks, barriers remain to new providers thriving in the market and the industry refuses to make switching banks easier by introducing portable account numbers. The measures proposed today by the OFT are a step forward but, by themselves, will not do what’s required to transform customer service and stop banks offering poor value products that are impossible to compare.”

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