DEMAND by bank customers for simpler and easier transfer of their current account from one bank to another, a feature introduced by the Slovak Banking Association in early November 2009, is so far just lukewarm. Štefan Frimmer, spokesperson for Slovakia’s biggest bank, Slovenská Sporiteľňa, said in late April that interest in the feature was negligible as measured by the number of accounts cancelled and reopened with another bank. Frimmer added that experience from abroad confirmed that clients do not switch banks en masse. Other Slovak banking houses also reported only a limited migration of customers, the SITA newswire wrote.
The new regulations, developed by the Slovak Banking Association, are binding upon its members, and make it easier for a customer to transfer his or her current account from one bank to another. As of November 1, 2009 a customer only needs to complete a single application for the transfer of the existing account to a new account at another bank. Member banks are obliged to secure the transfer of all the customer’s payments from the old account to the new one and cancel the old account. The step stems from principles agreed upon within the European Banking Industry Committee.
VÚB Banka reported that more than 1,200 customers made use of the option between November 2009 and mid-April.
UniCredit Bank Slovakia said that only some dozen customers used this opportunity to close an account but that its number of new customers was twice as high. According to Zuzana Ďuďáková, spokesperson of UniCredit Bank, it is important that customers have this opportunity because it makes the decision-making process as well as the administrative steps easier.
17. May 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff