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Change bank but keep your details

MP calls for customers to get account number for life – with bankers automating changes to save hassle

BANK customers could be allowed to change bank accounts without changing their account number or having to change any of the direct debits or other transactions that use it.

An amendment to the consumer law going through the National Assembly later this month could allow people to change bank accounts in the same way they change mobile phone suppliers – while maintaining all their details.

Côté d'Or Socialist MP Laurent Grandguillaume said customers would have an account number for life that is filed at the Banque de France and all changes of bank would be automatic.

There would be no need to tell an employer their new bank details; no need to tell their phone supplier; nor electricity or gas and no longer any need to send new RIBs (bank detail slips) to the various standing order holders for payments and debits. The “old” bank would have to ensure that all links were maintained.

Mr Grandguillaume said that it could save customers between €80 and €150 and it would get rid of a problem where 60% of bank customers say they would change bank but are held back by the complex procedures. In addition, 40% of customers say they have had problems in getting banks to transfer account details.

France has the lowest bank mobility in Europe at just 3% compared to a European average of 9%.

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