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Universal Bank Account Numbers

February 24, 2012

Changing bankers can be a real pain informing all those to whom you make direct debit or standing order payments, and all those who pay you salary or pensions etc. The new bank will try to help but things can still go wrong.

My proposal is that every current account has a unique reference number which is recognised by the clearing system and remains unchanged if you change banks, so you don’t have to inform your employer or utilities etc.

This would help to promote competition which the Vickers commission and the government agrees is necessary.

There is an analogy here with the gas and electricity industries in which in order to facilitate change of suppliers the concepts of a universal Meter Point Reference Number for gas, and Electricity Supply Number/MPAN for electricity were introduced.

But there is another benefit which should not be advertised in the wrong places; that is to facilitate the setting up of Transaction Accounts in association with the introduction of full reserve banking as promoted by Positive Money.

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