High street banks will be forced to publish more information on their current account services to help customers to compare providers more easily under new rules outlined by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The new rules will force all providers of personal or business current accounts to publish standardised data on their products. From August next year, providers will be required to publish data on how many operational and security incidents they have had, and which services and helplines they offer when.
From February 2019, current account providers will also be expected to publish data on how long it takes to open an account or to replace a debit card.
The FCA said requiring lenders to provide this information will allow customers to make informed decisions quickly and easily. They also suggested that it will provide more incentive for current account providers to improve their performance.
“We want to see current account providers competing hard for their customers’ business by offering better service, alongside competition on interest and charges," said Christopher Woolard, the FCA’s executive director of strategy and competition.
“These rules will help people see how their bank compares to others so they can choose an account that suits their needs,” he added.
The regulations will complement new rules by the Competition and Markets Authority requiring the largest banks to undertake customers satisfaction surveys and publish the results. The rules are also expected to take effect in August 2018.
The FCA also consulted on forcing banks to publish information on how long it takes to arrange to use powers of attorney, but instead of making this a requirement, it said it was satisfied with banks’ agreement to coordinate a voluntary arrangement on vulnerability.
James O’Sullivan, a policy adviser at The Building Society Association, said: “We recognise that vulnerability arises for many reasons, with circumstances that can be specific to a single individual”.
He added: “We look forward to working with the FCA and UK Finance to co-ordinate the development of a voluntary industry agreement to provide relevant and helpful information to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances”.
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