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UK: Financial watchdog examines bank switching

 |  September 30, 2014

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is eyeing new ways to facilitate bank switching as it looks to increase competition, say reports.

The FCA is reviewing whether banking customers should be allowed to switch banks and keep their account numbers as they do in the wireless phone industry. The watchdog announced Tuesday that it has launched a review of the possible plans.

The tactic, known as portability, would reportedly facilitate bank-switching as authorities look for new ways to pump competition between banks. The FCA said it would also review how last year’s decision to allow customers to switch banks within seven days has fared.

Portability would “remove the need to change direct debits and standing order instructions, which is a key area where perceived or actual problems with switching, such as missed mortgage payments, can arise,” the FCA said in its announcement of the review.

The UK’s banking industry is lead by just five banks: HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, RBS and Santander UK, say reports.

Full content: Reuters

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