Over the last few years, since the UK found itself in the grip of a recession, many consumers have taken a long hard look at their lifestyle and outgoings.
Small treats and non-essential lifestyle items have been reduced or completely scrapped in many households and close inspection of bills has seen many banking customers cancel their premium current account service, saving an average of 12 per month.
However, concern has been raised in recent months over the suggestion by a senior figure within the Financial Services Authority that free current accounts should be abolished.
It has been suggested that charging a current account fee would reduce the incidence of bankers mis-selling products and eliminate embarrassing scandals such as the payment protection insurance fiasco.
Recent research has suggested that around one sixth of UK residents would not be able to afford compulsory current account fees.
Additionally, eighty per cent of respondents said they would not be willing to pay anything to operate a current account, which they have been able to do fee-free for their entire lives to date.
The study was able to demonstrate a clear picture of consumers’ opinion towards the proposed change, with 75% of those questioned stating that they were against compulsory current account fees and 32% stating they would look for an alternative to current accounts if regular fees were introduced.
Despite the proposals being in the very early stages and with uncertainty as to whether the change will go ahead, a little under half of the survey participants felt that they would still be able to access free banking in twelve months.
One argument for the introduction of compulsory current account fees is that it will increase transparency and offer consumers more choice as it will promote competition among banks.
However, just over half of those surveyed felt the move would simply be another exercise in profiteering and a staggering 95% said that the proposed change would do nothing to increase professionalism within the banking sector.
Making a Change
If mandatory current account fees are introduced it’s likely that each bank will have their own fee structure, so if you are worried about the cost of these fees or don’t feel that your bank offers a current account that represents value for money, it may be time to switch.
Using comparison sites such as Money Super Market to research what’s available will allow you to make side-by-side comparisons of what’s on offer and could enable you to find a cheaper current account with features that are better suited to your own circumstances.
Article submitted by Karl at Money SuperMarket