Julie Smith, Investment Administration Manager at Fair Investment Company welcomes new measures announced by the OFT to bring transparency to the cash ISA market through faster transfers and clearer statements.
"This is good news for the consumer. There is no good reason at all why it currently takes more than three weeks to action a cash ISA transfer; consumers are losing considerable amounts in interest waiting for transactions to complete. Fifteen days is still too long - it should really only take a matter of days - but this is still a vast improvement on the current system.
"The fact that the OFT is warning banks that they could face regulatory action if they fail to keep to the new timescales and that they must compensate consumers that end up worse off as a result of a delay, is a positive move and will hopefully push the banks into improving this area of service.
"I also welcome the news that banks will be forced to highlight interest rates on statements and inform their customers when bonuses end, because savers often lose out when they are unaware that advertised cash ISA rates include a temporary bonus. However, I am disappointed to see that banks have got until May 2012 to comply – again, there is no real reason why this should be, banks should be forced to bring this simple change in sooner.
"Hopefully, these changes will give consumers a fairer deal and drive stronger competition, but I think the OFT could have gone further. In a world where consumers' payments go through at the touch of a button, it is about time their savings could do the same."