Which? calls for full competition inquiry into retail banking after 'woeful' switching rates

(From the left) Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and a Lloyds bank. Credit: PA

Consumer campaigner Which? has told ITV News that there needs to be an immediate and full competition investigation into the way banks run personal current accounts, citing "woefully low switching figures" and thousands of customer complaints.

There have been concerns about the state of retail banking in the UK for a number of years.

The government introduced a seven day switch-guarantee, designed to empower consumers and shake-up the market last September.

Six months on and the consumer campaign group Which? says it's clear the initiative hasn't worked - it calculates only 4.2% of people will switch their current accounts this year a level it described as "unhealthy."

The banks argue that another explanation for low switching rates is that we are generally happy with the service we are getting.

Which? says the major six banking groups have "stranglehold" on the market and - like the energy companies - need to feel the force of a full competition investigation.

Read: 600,000 switch bank providers under new system