Could you be get­ting a bet­ter deal?

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - MONEYLIVING -

Find­ings from the com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog have re­vealed why we should be con­cerned about the deal we’re get­ting from our cur­rent ac­count provider.

The Com­pe­ti­tion and Mar­kets Author­ity, which is part-way through an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the bank­ing sec­tor, has found that cur­rent ac­count cus­tomers could be be­tween £70 and £260 a year bet­ter off by mov­ing to a deal that really suits their needs.

The watch­dog found that by switch­ing to the cheap­est per­sonal cur­rent ac­count prod­uct, cus­tomers would save £70 a year on av­er­age.

Peo­ple who of­ten use an over­draft could be even bet­ter off by mov­ing to an­other deal, the author­ity found.

Over­draft users could save, on av­er­age, £140 a year, while those who use their over­draft heav­ily would be about £260 a year bet­ter off.

While over­draft users tend to have the most to gain from switch­ing, they’re also of­ten the most re­luc­tant cur­rent ac­count switch­ers.

This might be be­cause they’re wor­ried about set­tling their debt with their ex­ist­ing provider or that an­other bank would not al­low them to have an over­draft of the same size.

Even if you have a cur­rent ac­count that doesn’t charge a monthly fee, it’s wrong to as­sume that means it’s ‘free’.

In re­al­ity, you could be los­ing out be­cause you’re pay­ing more than you need to in over­draft charges, or you’re not making in­ter­est on a bal­ance that you could be get­ting if you shifted your money else­where.

Cur­rent ac­counts are big busi­ness for banks, which use the re­la­tion­ship they have with their cus­tomers to cross-sell them other prod­ucts.

Per­sonal cur­rent ac­counts gen­er­ated rev­enues of about £8.7 bil­lion in 2014, the author­ity found.

The watch­dog is ex­pected to pro­duce a full re­port on the mar­ket next spring.

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