View recent press releases, speeches, and news items published by month.
69/10 29 June 2010
The OFT today announced greater transparency over interest rates and a significant reduction in the time it should take to transfer between cash ISA providers, following agreements with the industry.
The changes come as part of the OFT's response to a super-complaint from Consumer Focus about the cash ISA market. Consumer Focus asked the OFT to look at concerns including the time it takes to transfer a cash ISA, the transparency of interest rates and introductory bonus rates.
After a 90-day investigation, the OFT has secured agreement from the industry to:
To ensure that the new transfer timelines are adhered to and to prevent consumers losing out from delays, the OFT today recommended that:
The OFT found that introductory bonus rates were not causing substantial harm to consumers since the existence of such rates is clear to consumers and they are informed when the introductory bonus rates end. The greater transparency and quicker transfers announced today will help consumers to know their interest rate so that they can compare offers, and switch to better deals more easily and quickly if they wish to do so.
Clive Maxwell, the OFT's Senior Director for Services, said:
'This is an important market for the 17.5 million consumers with £143 billion of savings in cash ISAs, and also for the wider economy since those savings support lending to many households and businesses. Our work over the past 90 days has revealed that, whilst there is often strong competition between providers in this market to win new savings, the transfer of cash ISAs is taking too long and there is not enough transparency over interest rates. The voluntary changes announced today will give consumers a fairer deal and drive stronger competition. We are grateful to Consumer Focus for bringing these issues to our attention.'
Back to: Press releases
08457 22 44 99