Abbey: 10 million Brits unhappy with current account
Abbey has found that more than 10 million Britons are unhappy with, or ambivalent about, their current accounts.
14:12 08 November 2004
More than 10 million Britons (26 per cent of current account holders) are unhappy with, or ambivalent about, their current accounts, a new survey reveals.
Research by Abbey bank discovered that, despite consumers' complaints about their banking arrangements, the switching market has seen no significant increase in the last five years with half of people still stay loyal to the same bank for life.
The Abbey banking report shows that, despite fierce competition in the current account market, around a third (31 per cent) of people have banked with the same institution for more than 20 years and almost half (46 per cent) have stayed loyal to the same account for life.
The biggest reason for dissatisfaction is unfair treatment, with more than half (57 per cent) of those who are unhappy citing this as their biggest aggravation.
Abbey found that more than a third of current account holders (35 per cent) believed that next to moving house, switching current accounts must be one of the most stressful things you can do and 90 per cent said switching would cause too much hassle and inconvenience. However, the survey found that 90 per cent of those opting to switch current account found the process easy.
Abbey's banking report also suggests that three out of every four (75 per cent) Britons now have an overdraft facility available to use, compared with only one in three (34 per cent) in 1996, but over half of respondents (54 per cent) feel that their bank's charges are excessive and nine out of ten (89 per cent) think their bank should be more lenient and not charge for one-off mistakes that push them into unauthorised overdraft.
"Whilst people don't necessarily get excited about their finances, what aggravates them about their everyday banking is pretty clear. We're alarmed to see that so many people are unhappy and surprised that they don't do anything about it," Angus Porter, Abbey's Customer Director, commented.
"We want to encourage unhappy consumers to stop accepting their lot and to move to an alternative account. Despite dissatisfaction there is still inertia and we want to break through that."