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Banks put heads together to ease switching

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Francesca Krakue 4 minute read

Lenders and other stakeholders have come together at an inaugural roundtable to discuss new initiatives aimed at improving customer experiences of changing banks.

Last Thursday’s inaugural Australian Bankers’ Association Switching Roundtable brought together banks, consumer groups, regulators and card schemes to better understand customer views about switching banks.

ABA chief economist and executive director – industry Policy, Tony Pearson, said the roundtable helped banks understand the concerns people have with switching, and work out how to address them.

“The aim of the roundtable [was] to help us identify new initiatives which would improve the ease and convenience of switching banks or banking products,” he said.

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The roundtable followed the release of a survey of 1,000 Australians conducted by Galaxy Research, which found that one in six customers has switched their main bank in the past three years. Of these, 68 per cent said it was easy and 21 per cent found it difficult.

The most common reasons for difficulty were “too much hassle” to change automatic payments and direct debits; the complicated process, and the time and effort involved.

Other key research findings included:

• Sixty-two per cent of Australians have banking products and services at more than one financial institution
• About 10 per cent of people who have not switched their bank say this is because they feel it is too difficult
• More than half of those who have not switched their bank (58 per cent) say it is because they are comfortable with their current bank
• Australians feel it would be easier to switch everyday banking accounts or credit cards, than mortgages or personal loans

The roundtable was one of the initiatives of the ‘Better Banking’ program, launched by the industry in January, to improve the products and services offered to customers.

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[Related: Banks commit to further industry reforms]

Banks put heads together to ease switching
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