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Savers welcome ring-fencing of banks

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07/02/2012
Savers are in favour of splitting up banks into separate retail and investment arms, and want more transparency regarding where their cash is invested.

According to a report published by the Institute of Consumer Service (ICS), 44% of UK consumers resent their bank ‘gambling’ with their money by investing it in capital markets.

More than four years after the run on Northern Rock, 21% still worry that their bank could go under.

81% want to know where banks plan to invest their money, and 69% say transparency would impact on their choice of bank.

Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, said:

 “Historically high street bank customers in the UK have been reluctant to move their bank accounts but this is changing.

“As consumers become more informed and discerning about where their money is invested, those banks that genuinely create a banking experience that is easy, jargon free and transparent are more likely to attract and retain their customers.”

UK banks responded to the report by threatening the end of free banking.

However, this does not sit happily with consumers, 73% of whom believe they shouldn’t have to pay for a standard current account.
An even higher proportion, 76%, believe there should be no charge for cashpoint withdrawals. As a result, 90% claim that they would consider switching provider for the sake of free banking.

Jo Causon, said:

 “Impending banking changes create a real challenge for banks. At a time when trust is at an all time low, banks need to seek competitive advantage by enhancing – rather than cutting back – their overall service offering and balancing their commitments to shareholders.”

 

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