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Norwich & Peterborough customers left in the switching slow lane

31 January 2017

Gocompare.com comments on news that thousands of current account holders are looking for a new bank, and it is unlikely to be an easy switch

The Yorkshire Building Society announced last week that it plans to close 20 of its own branches and 28 Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) branches, with the N&P brand disappearing altogether by April 2018.

N&P customers have been told to find a new home for their current accounts by August 31st, but with N&P not part of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS), it could be a difficult process.

Matt Sanders, head of money at Gocompare.com Money, commented: “This is a very poor deal for N&P current account holders.  While the vast majority of UK current accounts are covered by the CASS process, there are still a number of smaller providers that don’t have the resources to commit to participation.  As a result, N&P customers may have to manually switch their own accounts and won’t automatically qualify for most of the incentives on offer from the big banks for new customers who switch via CASS.

“While you can still switch without the CASS process, it can be arduous to manually identify all the regular payments that need to be transferred and then also contact payees, such as gas and electric providers, to set up new DD’s.   Most customers will find they will have to trawl back through at least three months of statements to be sure they’ve identified all their transactions, otherwise they could be exposed to missed payment charges.

“Sadly, N&P customers also won’t be able to use the midata current account comparison tool either, which is the only way to see exactly how each account will work for you, based on your actual banking transactions and balances.

“Without using a comparison tool such as midata, it’s virtually impossible to determine which account is best for you. A consumer might be able to narrow it down to a shortlist, but working out which is the cheapest or most rewarding is a minefield of tiered interest rates, switching incentives, various percentages of cashbacks and variable monthly fees.

“Hopefully, other banks will be keen to help these N&P customers, who have been put in this position through no fault of their own, and make the process as easy as possible.”

Gocompare.com is still the only comparison website that lets customers use their midata information to carry out meaningful current account comparisons.  For more information about the midata current account comparison service, see Gocompare.com dedicated guide.

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