It is not yet easy to switch from one bank to another in the short term. At the request of the Ministry of Finance, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) investigated a method that could make this possible, but that does not appear to be the solution.

DNB and the ministry announced this on Thursday. DNB has examined whether it would be possible to take your bank account number from one bank to another by using so-called aliases.

"Because we have IBAN account numbers, you cannot take your account number with you, as you can with a telephone number," explains a DNB spokesperson. After all, the IBAN number contains the letters of the bank to which the number belongs. Services like Tikkie, for example, use aliases. "Money is exchanged via your telephone number, but this is linked to your bank account number."

The current switching service can be improved

In that case, it doesn't matter if your bank account number changes, as long as your phone number remains the same and you link your new bank account number to it. "An existing identifier is, as it were, pasted over your bank account number." DNB has now investigated whether this could be applied more broadly, so that consumers can keep their old account numbers unnoticed or, in fact, unseen.

"The investigation now shows that the costs of setting up something similar do not outweigh the benefits of increased competition between banks," said DNB. That comes out to 1.6 billion euros in costs versus 487 million euros in income. Legislation should also be amended and foreign banks become more difficult to become active in the Netherlands, which limits competition.

DNB believes that a study into introducing alias use in a European context would still be worthwhile. The current switching service that banks offer can also be improved.