Following the Independent Commission on Banking’s 2011 report, new rules have been put into place to promote competition between banks by making it easier for consumers to switch.

Up until now, it has taken as long as 30 days to transfer current accounts: now it will take only seven, giving rise to speculation as to how much this will increase the number of people switching.

Two million people moved their accounts last year: some surveys suggest as many as five million could now switch their accounts annually, while others are more pessimistic.

Craig Donaldson, the chief executive of Metro Bank, told the BBC that he believes people will begin to switch as perceptions of the banking industry change.

‘To change the face of British banking, we need to make seven-day switching work,’ he said, ‘but we also need to create more choice for people’.

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