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U.S. watches new U.K. rules to ease bank switching

  • Starting today, tens of millions of U.K. consumers will be able to seamlessly switch banks within seven working days, down from 19-30 days until now.
  • Banks have spent £750M ($1.2B) in preparing for the introduction of the new rules, in which they have to ease the process for customers to leave them. The project is being closely watched in the U.S., where banks have no obligations to assist customers if they want to switch banks, and could serve as a template for similar programs in America and elsewhere.
  • The U.K. banks affected include HSBC (HBC), RBS (RBS), Lloyds (LYG) and Barclays (BCS), which hold 75% of of the market of 76M checking accounts.
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