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Broadband, current accounts and mortgages are hardest products to switch

05 April 2017

The annual Switching Report from Gocompare.com reveals that broadband, current accounts and mortgages are the products that customers find the most difficult to switch.

Over 1,150 consumers who have shopped around for financial services and utility products in the last 12 months were asked about their experience.  Changing home (88%) and car insurance (86%) and, gas and electricity supplier (79%) were voted as the easiest switches. 

For the third consecutive year, mortgages were considered the most difficult product to switch with only 45% of people saying that the process had been straightforward

Rank in 2017 ProductPercentage Switched 2017  Percentage Switched 2016 Percentage Switched 2015 Percentage Switched 2014
 1 Home insurance 88% 84% 90% 90%
 2 Car insurance 86% 82% 88% 84%
 3 Energy provider 79% 76% 75% 75%
 4 ISA or savings account 76% 78% 78% 79%
 5 Credit card 76% 76% 82% 83%
 6 Mobile phone provider 72% 68% 70% 72%
 7 Land line-telephone 71% 68% 78% 80%
 8  Bank account (current account) 67% 73% 75% 77%
 9  Broadband provider 65% 69% 72% 68%
 10 Mortgage 45% 61% 59% 70%

Commenting on the research Matt Sanders from Gocompare.com said, “Some products are clearly easier to switch than others.  But it is also true to say that some providers and sectors have embraced switching more than others.  The banking and telecommunications industries clearly still have work to do to recognise consumers’ right to switch and find a better deal.

“New tougher mortgage lending rules introduced in 2014, which changed the way lenders assess the affordability of mortgage loans probably, in part, account for mortgages being considered the hardest product to switch.  Affordability criteria now takes account of a would-be borrower’s overall financial health as well as their earnings – adding to the complexity of the re-mortgaging process and the amount of information required.

“Efforts have been made in recent years to make switching bank accounts easier.  The Current Account Switching Service is a free, largely automated service which enables you to change your provider in seven working days.  In the event of things going awry, participating banks guarantee to refund any charges or lost interest.”      

“Switching enables you to take advantage of lower premiums, more favourable interest rates and lower charges, giving you the potential to save hundreds of pounds on a range of products and services.  However, the right to easily shop around and take your custom elsewhere, is not one that is universally recognised by all providers.  As a result, it can take a bit of effort to switch sometimes but, any hassle is usually greatly outweighed by the financial benefits.”

To make finding the right current account for customers easier, Gocompare.com is the only comparison site to provide a midata current account comparison service. Midata enables people to use the data 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 bank account and upload it to Gocompare.com’s secure comparison service. The midata comparison tool then analyses 12 months’ worth of their actual banking data, including all transactions made, interest earned, fees incurred and more. The tool provides a pounds-and-pence value to help people determine which account is really the most appropriate one for them, tailored to their individual needs.

For more information about the midata current account comparison service, see our dedicated guide.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*On 6 January 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2001 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  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.  1,151 had switched in the last 12 months.