Current account providers to publish security breaches

Current account providers may have to publish the number of major security incidents encountered each quarter.

Current account providers to publish security breaches

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed, in a consultation, to help customers make effective comparisons of the service levels available for personal current accounts and business current accounts.

It proposes to require firms who offer personal current accounts and business current accounts to publish service information about:

  • How long it takes to open an account and have features of the account working, including overdraft facilities;
  • How long it takes to replace a lost, stolen or stopped debit card;
  • How long it takes to give someone access to a personal current account under a power of attorney;
  • How and when customers can carry out various transactions, including making payments or cancelling a cheque, and whether 24-hour help is available;
  • The number and type of major operational or security incidents.

The FCA proposes the information to be measured quarterly and published on providers’ websites within six weeks of the end of each quarter.

The information will also be available for the use of comparison services. The regulator expects this to drive increased competition between firms to offer improvements in service quality.

This consultation is part of a broader programme of work looking at retail banking, by the FCA, as requested by the Competition and Markets Authority in 2016.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “Customers tell us they think “all banks are the same” and so they are discouraged from looking for current accounts offering better performance.

“These proposals represent a step forward, making it easier for consumers to judge whether their bank is offering good service and for firms to see if they are competing effectively against other providers.”

Responses to the consultation can be admitted to the FCA until September 25 this year. The regulator will then review these comments and publish a policy statement setting out the proposed approach to final rules later this year.