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More choice for UK account switchers as Habib Bank Zurich plc joins the Current Account Switch Service


Moving between banking providers has never been easier – nor have customers had more choice, as the Current Account Switch Service adds its 49th participant.

The pioneering service designed to make the switch between banking providers simple and stress-free for consumers, small businesses, charities, and trusts is now offered by Habib Bank Zurich plc (HBZ).

This growing list of participants demonstrates the key role played by the service in supporting the Competition and Market Authority’s (CMA) measures to increase competition in the current account market.

Barriers to moving current accounts have included concerns around payments going astray but, with the service, switchers have the peace of mind of the Switch Guarantee to protect them should something go wrong during the process.

Since launch, more than five million current accounts have been switched – last year more than 99 per cent of switches were completed within seven working days and consumer satisfaction averaged 93 per cent.

HBZ (trading as Habib Bank AG Zurich) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Habib Bank AG Zurich, Switzerland, a family-owned bank with a tradition of commerce and banking dating back to 1841.

The bank has been working with individuals, families and small and medium sized businesses in managing their finances for over 40 years in the UK, driven by a focus on ‘service with security’.

Its banking services are available through its branch network across London, Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester.

Matthew Hunt, COO of Pay.UK, owner and operator of the Current Account Switch Service, said:

“The Current Account Switch Service has an important role in driving competition in the market, making switching between providers a simple and easy process, and giving customers the peace of mind that they will be protected should there be a problem.

“It’s great to welcome HBZ as our 49th participant, meaning there’s now even greater choice when it comes to picking a current account provider.”

Satyajeet Roy, Chief Executive Officer at Habib Bank Zurich plc, said: “We are pleased to be able to offer the Current Account Switch Service, this will enhance our continued commitment to offering a relationship focused service to customers, which is the cornerstone of our business strategy.”

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More information on the Current Account Switch Service, including a full list of participating banks and building societies, can be found at www.currentaccountswitch.co.uk​.

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Henry Conner / Calum MacDougall

[email protected]  020 3128 8733

About the Current Account Switch Service

Key features of the Current Account Switch Service include:

  • The service is free to use
  • The switch will be completed in seven working days – a substantial improvement on the previous process that could take between 18 and 30 working days
  • The customer can choose and agree the switch date with their new current account provider
  • All payments going out (e.g. Direct Debits) and those coming in (e.g. salary) will be moved from the old account to the new account
  • Payments accidentally made to or requested from the old account will be automatically redirected to the new account for as long as the facility is required
  • The Current Account Switch Guarantee means that the customer will receive a refund of interest and charges on their old and new current accounts if anything goes wrong with the switch.

As of 1 April 2015, the eligibility criteria for businesses, charities and trusts was extended. SMEs with a turnover of up to £6.5 million, small charities with an annual income of less than £6.5 million, and small trusts with a net asset value of less than £6.5 million can switch their current account provider using the Current Account Switch Service.

The service was previously available for small businesses with a turnover of 2 million euros (or sterling equivalent); and this extension increases the reach of the service to 99% of the UK’s SME market.

About Pay.UK

Pay.UK maintains and develops the UK retail payment systems and standards that are core to the economy being able to function on a day-to-day basis.

From Bacs to Faster Payments and cheques – we act as the single operator for all UK retail payments.  We put the needs of consumers and businesses at the heart of everything we do, working in the public interest to ensure that the systems the country relies on for its banking transactions are safe, open, innovative and resilient.

Our payment systems underpin the services that enable funds to be transferred between people and institutions. In 2018, the UK’s retail payment systems processed 8.8 billion transactions worth £7 trillion through Bacs Direct Credit, Direct Debit, Faster Payments, and cheques.

Every day, individuals and businesses use the services we provide to get their salaries, pay their bills and make online and mobile banking payments. Our vision for the future is to enable a vibrant economy, with Pay.UK delivering the best-in-class payment infrastructure and standards for the benefit of consumers and businesses nationwide.

Find out more on our website: wearepay.uk or get more detail on the systems we manage: bacs.co.uk, chequeandcredit.co.uk, fasterpayments.org.uk, paym.co.uk

  • Published on 2nd August 2019

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