FCA Pushes the Banking Sector to Improve Bank Current Account Services
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is consulting on proposals launched in relation to assisting bank customers in making adequate comparisons of the service levels available for business current accounts and personal current accounts.
The FCA has taken the stance that all the lenders should reveal details regarding various subject matters such as how much time is required to open a back account and having the features of it working, how much time it takes to replace a lost or stolen debit card; how and when customers can perform various transactions such as canceling a cheque or making payments and whether help services are available 24/7, and the number of major security incidents.
The purpose of the proposal is to provide bank customers with information that is easy for the customers to access and compare. The root of this proposal is connected with the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) 2016 market investigation report into retail banking.
The Executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, Christopher Woolard, said that Customers tell us that “all banks are the same” and therefore are discouraged with reference to looking for current accounts offering better features and performance. We know from our consumer research and the CMA’s 2016 report that small businesses and consumers are really interested in knowing about the services their building society or bank offers in comparison to other firms.
The FCA said that performance of banks should be measured quarterly and the results must be published within six weeks of the end of the quarter.
Dependent on the results of this consultation, the FCA will aim for the first publication of the information in August of 2018. This may coincide with the first publication of information regarding other service indicators that the CMA is requiring some of the biggest names in the banking sector providing current account services to publish.The FCA has also proposed to require firms in the UK to provide information per brand, provided that the brand either has 15,000 business current accounts or 70,000 personal current accounts. The FCA has also proposed that firms should publish the required information on their website. All the firms that are part of the Open Banking initiative will also be required to make all the information available to the bank customers via an application programming interface (API).