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CMA banking remedies: use of midata is the only way to calculate the real value of a current account

22 October 2015

Gocompare.com comments on the CMA’s remedies to increase competition in the retail banking industry

Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s banking spokesperson, said: “Switching bank accounts is easier than ever before thanks to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) and its seven-day switch guarantee. However, motivating people to shop around in the first place is where the issue lies, and the CMA’s list of remedies includes steps that, on the face of it, could go some way to rectifying this.

“One of the main drivers of switching at the moment is the proliferation of switching incentives, which has seen many banks offering people £100 or more to move their day-to-day banking services to them. These are understandably attractive, but they don’t provide a clear picture of the pros and cons of the current account. Getting £100 for switching is all well and good, but if you’re going to rack up foreign usage fees, overdraft charges or miss out on in-credit interest earnings then that incentive could quickly be cancelled out.

“Midata – which provides customers with access to 12 months’ worth of their banking data – is the only way to truly calculate the value of a current account, as it enables people to see the benefits, or drawbacks, of every personal current account on the market in pounds and pence. Its increasing use should also result in more competition and better products being developed, because with midata unsuitable accounts can’t hide behind attractive marketing messages.

“Only customers of certain big banks and building societies* can access their midata files at the moment, and we’d like to see more banks and building societies emancipating their customers’ data so that they can carry out more meaningful current account comparisons.

“Gocompare.com is the only price comparison website that lets consumers use their midata information to compare current accounts rather than rely on ‘best buy’ tables.”

Gocompare.com explains why midata is making current account comparison better

Use Gocompare.com's midata current account comparison tool

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Notes to editors:

* RBS, including: Natwest and Ulster Bank. Lloyds, including: Halifax and Bank of Scotland. Nationwide. Santander. HSBC, including: First Direct and M&S Bank. Barclays. Tesco Bank.