Now, you may remember that I have said one or two mildly critical things about the Current Account Switching Service (CASS) now and then. In fact, when it was launched, I said that it wouldn’t make a difference to the number of people switching accounts.
“This will make not the slightest difference,” said David Birch, global ambassador at IT consultancy Consult Hyperion. “35,000 people switching every week for the next 12 months won’t change anything. True competitiveness means new competitors. Even if we reduce the process from 12 days to seven, who cares? We still haven’t taken out any cost. There are far better ways the money could have been spent.
As it turns out, I was wrong. The number of people switching accounts has gone down. The service cost £750m to launch and it’s probably cost in total around a billion quid by now.
The UK Payments Council-backed current account switch service (CASS) has gone live, promising to enable customers to move between banks in seven days or less.
By the way, I never understood what this has to do with the UK Payments Council or why it was in there (generally excellent plan).