Banks and building societies in the UK now have to display material in their branches and websites that shows a national ‘league table’ of banks’ quality of service. This is part of a Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) drive to create competition in the banking sector by encouraging switching.
The question is, what affect will it have?
We know from change behaviour models, such as Fogg, that, for behavioural change to happen, a person must have sufficient motivation, sufficient ability, and an effective trigger. All three factors must be present at the same instant for the behaviour to occur.
Right now, people have the ‘ability’ to switch, provided by the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which the CMA introduced to make switching much easier and therefore help overcome apathy. The ‘trigger’ may well be provided by this new CMA ‘quality league table’, as people can easily see whether their account provider is better or worse than others. But that still leaves ‘motivation’.
Will consumers be motivated to switch simply by believing that they will get higher quality of service elsewhere? Or will they need something more concrete, to give them sufficient motivation to switch?
What motivates people to switch current accounts?
At present, 5%1 of current account holders state that they are considering switching current accounts in the next 12 months, rising to 20%1 amongst those who are actively dissatisfied with their existing provider.
Dissatisfaction with one’s existing account provider is clearly a strong negative motivator for switching. However, in the last 12 months, only 3.5%1 of current accounts actually did switch.
This imbalance is no doubt partially due to the perceived hassle of switching accounts, despite services such as CASS.
However, an additional barrier may be that people did not have a clear view of which bank could give them a better service