uk energy bills
UK consumers could be allowed to switch accounts a lot fasterReuters

New plans being considered by the Government could allow consumers in Britain to switch to a better deal in under a week.

A number of UK banks already offer the option to switch accounts within seven days, but for a number of other services - such as mortgages and energy providers - the wait can be considerably longer.

According to MPs, approximately 40% of consumers in Britain have revealed their frustration at how long it takes to switch to a better deal. Under the proposals in the Digital Economy Bill, a number of services, including broadband networks, mobile phones and energy providers, could see the switching process considerably shortened.

"I want to give consumers more power over switching providers for the services they rely on to make sure they are getting the best deals," said Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

"At the moment the time it takes to switch depends on which service you are switching.

"I want to hear what consumers and businesses think of making switching quicker and more consistent across all markets."

Alex Neill, director of policy at consumer campaign group Which? welcomed the news, adding the proposals would force banks and energy providers to deliver a quicker response to their customers.

"Quicker switching will give people more power to force banks, energy suppliers and telecoms providers to up their game or lose their custom," he said.

"Consumers will also benefit from changes to the telecoms market that mean they do not face charges to unlock their own mobile phones and receive automatic compensation when things go wrong.

"The Government should swiftly implement these plans and introduce a new ombudsman to deal with air and rail passengers' complaints."