Despite rise in complaints, just 6% of people switched their current account in the last 12 months*
Commenting on figures from the Financial Ombudsman that show complaints about packaged current accounts increased by a third in 2015, Matt Sanders, current account spokesperson for Gocompare.com Money, said:
"In principle there's nothing wrong with added benefit or 'packaged' bank accounts, as long as they represent good value and customers actually benefit from the features they provide.
"However, in many cases people simply do not use the benefits they are paying for, or in some instances were sold accounts when they were ineligible for some or all of the benefits offered. This means many people have been paying for an account that's completely unsuitable for them.
"With any current account the key thing to consider is how you'll use it. It's important to factor in any associated fees, like overdraft charges, or benefits, such as cashback or insurance cover, and decide if the account has the right features for your needs. If the account comes bundled with insurance cover or other benefits, weigh up whether it would be cheaper to get these separately, if you already have them elsewhere, or if you'd actually use these features in the first place.
Matt added: "The difficulty has been that up until now, consumers haven't been able to accurately judge the actual value of a current account. That's why in 2015, Gocompare.com launched the UK's only midata current account comparison service with the Treasury. Midata enables people to use the information that banks or building societies hold about them to see exactly how much better off they could be by switching their current accounts.
"Customers simply download their midata file from their online banking and upload it to Gocompare.com's secure comparison service. The midata comparison tool then analyses 12 months' worth of their actual banking data and in seconds provides a pounds-and-pence value to help people determine which account is the most appropriate one for them."
"While complaints about current accounts are rising, our research has found that only 6% of people have switched their current account in the past 12 months* which means millions of people could be missing out on an account better suited to their needs. Midata takes the guess work out of shopping around and allows customers to see through the gimmicks and find an account that's right for them.
Visit Gocompare.com's guide for information about the midata current account comparison service.
Notes to editors:
* On 5 January 2016, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panellists, on behalf of Gocompare.com. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding