Spring is in the air and, traditionally, it’s the time for romance.
On 30th April every year, the festival of Beltane takes place. It’s the time when it was once popular for young people to take part in the ritual of ‘hand-fasting’ – an ancient form of marriage. Even today, May is one of the most popular months for couples to get married.
But while the average marriage lasts around 11 years and six months, our love affairs with our banks last longer. Most of us will stay with the same bank for around 17 years.
The main reason for this loyalty, surveys reveal, is that it seems too much hassle to switch. And so more than half of us remain with the same bank, never straying despite the fact that our relationship may not be all that healthy. It may be that we do not benefit from incentives or better account services that we could enjoy if we switched.
Nowadays, it is easier than ever to switch bank accounts. Nearly all banks and building societies offer a free seven-day Current Account Switch Service and many offer incentives for you to switch. These can be cash offers and also things such as holiday vouchers or gadgets which the banks offer in the hope of luring you as new customers.
But while it’s tempting to think the grass may be greener on the other side, it can also be beneficial to stay with your existing bank. Some incentives, for example, are available to existing customers who meet certain conditions.
And, just as it’s always worth trying some relationship counselling if you and your partner are becoming a little unhappy, it’s always worth contacting your bank and giving them the opportunity to romance you back into the relationship if you’re thinking of going your separate ways. Many banks are more than happy to woo you back with the latest offers and to help you make the most of your existing bank account services — some of which you might not even realise you are entitled to. You can then decide whether you are better off switching to an account which is better for you, or staying with your current service.
For free impartial advice about switching bank accounts and making the most of the one you’ve got, take a look at the guides from the Money Advice Service. We’re also here to offer independent advice so, as always, do get in touch with us if we can be of help.