Most of us will shop around whenever we decide to make a major purchase, but do we ever give a second thought as to whether our bank account is best value and meets our needs?

Depending on a person's individual requirements shopping around can save money or provide the services that are really wanted. There are a variety of reasons why consumers may move from one bank to another, such as persistently facing charges, inconvenient access, or their bank not being in touch with their needs. However, most people are put off from changing their bank accounts as the process can be time-consuming, particularly, if there are direct debits or other complications.

Nevertheless, York Trading Standards advise it can pay to shop around to find the right current account. Traditionally, consumers only had High Street banking outlets to consider when choosing an account. Now consumers can research other options, such as telephone banking, banking via the internet, mobile phone and TV banking services. These can offer consumers 24 hours a day access to their accounts. If your priority is to operate your account outside normal office hours an account which does not offer 24-hour access will not be the best one to have.

There may be other factors to take into account. Do you need a regular overdraft facility? Charges for these vary greatly as does the cost of going into the red unintentionally. So, shopping around can definitely save money in this area. Remember, some banks even charge for arranging an overdraft facility.

If you do think about changing your bank account York Trading Standards advise that you put together a list of what you want from your bank and give priority to those needs which are most important to you. With this list you can see how well your present bank does and compare other outlets. When you have all the facts you can decide whether to switch accounts or stay put. Some consumers will find switching to a better deal will save money.

Others will confirm their account is the one for them.

For advice on this or other consumer matters, contact City of York Trading Standards Consumer Advice on 01904 551562 or call at 9 St Leonard's Place. the fax number is 01904 551590 and the e mail address is