The FCA has published Consultation Paper 17/24: Information about current account services (CP17/24). CP17/24 sets out proposals that seek to promote effective competition by enabling customers to make effective comparisons between providers of personal current accounts (PCAs) and business current accounts (BCAs) based on service and by incentivising providers to improve service and performance.

The FCA is concerned that information available to customers about the service provided by firms is rarely provided in a consistent manner that allows comparison between firms. The FCA wants to make it easier for customers to access and assess information about providers’ services, enabling them to make informed comparisons and choose the provider that best suits their needs. It also wants to incentivise BCA and PCA providers to improve their service and performance. To achieve this, the FCA proposed to require BCA and PCA providers to publish service information in the following categories:

  • account opening information. Clear information about the account opening process and information about how long it takes to open an account and gain access to specified services, including overdraft funds;
  • speed of card replacement. Time taken to replace a lost, stolen or stopped debit card and to organise third party access to a PCA under a power of attorney;
  • service availability. Identifying how and when various services can be accessed and whether 24-hour help is available for certain matters; and
  • major incidents. Information about the number of major operational and security incidents that firms have reported to the FCA.

Among other things, the FCA is also proposing:

  • to require firms with more than 70,000 relevant PCAs or 15,000 BCAs to publish the service information;
  • to make firms provide the information available via an Application Programming Interface;
  • that service metric to be measured quarterly and published within six weeks of the end of each quarter. Depending on the outcome to CP17/24 the FCA will aim for the first publication of the metrics to coincide with firms’ first publication of the core indicators required by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in August 2018; and
  • not to require service information in a number of areas, including subjective service quality measures, measures related to fraud and information specific to BCAs.

The deadline for comments on CP17/24 is 25 September 2017. The FCA plans to publish a policy statement later in 2017. The FCA explains that it is aiming to have rules in time to require the first publication of additional service metrics in August 2018, to coincide with the first publication of core CMA service quality indicators.

View FCA consults on information about current account services, 25 July 2017