FCA publishes final rules to make bank accounts easier to compare

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its final rules for what personal and business current account providers must publish.

FCA publishes final rules to make bank accounts easier to compare

The regulator said the new information will help customers, comparison websites, and the media, to make meaningful comparisons of the services different current account providers offer.

It added that by encouraging competition it is expected the new rules will mean providers will improve their service and performance.

Under the new rules, customers will be able to find:

  • How and when services and helplines are available;
  • Contact details for help, including for 24 hour helplines;
  • How long it will take to open a current account;
  • How long it will take to have a debit card replaced;
  • How often the firm has had to report major operational and security incidents;
  • The level of complaints made against the firm.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: “We want to see current account providers competing hard for their customers’ business by offering better service, alongside competition on interest and charges. These rules will help people see how their bank compares to others so they can choose an account that suits their needs.

“We are pleased that the industry is seeking to develop information about their treatment of vulnerable customers. It is important that these customers are given help and support when making a decision about a bank account and this is an important step forward.”

Eric Leenders, managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, said: “Like the FCA, we want to see effective competition so these steps are a welcome development. Making it easier for consumers and businesses to compare the quality of service offered by different current account providers is a great way to encourage customers to shop around.”

Current account providers must publish the information on when and how services and helplines are available, and numbers of operational and security incidents, from August 15 2018.

The information required on the level of complaints made against firms has been included in these rules to complement a requirement by the Competition and Markets Authority – for the largest banks to publish customer survey results comparing levels of customer satisfaction. This information must also be published from 15 August 2018.

The remaining information must then be published from February 2019.