Help available for those who want to switch

A survey from the consumer group Choice last year showed only 7.6 per cent of Australians switched bank accounts in the past two years. Almost 80 per cent had never given switching a thought. The reason? Most thought it was too hard.

Apathy is rife and, clinical psychologist Grant Brecht says, financial institutions rely on it. ”They know a good percentage of people stay, no matter what service they receive,” he says. ”People only break the inertia when things become so bad they can see that others are better off.”

Customer service and interest rates are the two biggest reasons given for switching by those who do go through the process. In 2008, the government introduced rules to help people switch accounts. Your existing financial institution must provide a list of direct-debit and credit arrangements made during the past 13 months.

Source: The Age