Prudential?s direct banking operation, Egg, which has already hit delay problems due to overwhelming demand, may be forced to change its advertising amid claims it is misleading consumers.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the British Bankers Association (BBA) are expected to insist that Egg stops calling itself an instant access account. The Prudential does not have a high street presence and the account does not offer a cashcard, so Egg account holders are unable to make immediate withdrawals.
Egg customers have to wait three working days for money to be transferred from their account to another or to receive a cheque before they can make withdrawals. A small print clause also enables Egg to apply a 60-day notice period without telling savers.
Egg has accepted that it may have to review its literature and even change its name in light of the BBA?s new definition of an instant access account, to be introduced in January.
Analysts maintain that other so-called instant access accounts with restrictive small print may have to make changes next year. They maintain that telephone and online banking have let financial institutions ?fuzz? the definition, which has confused consumers.
Egg has been inundated with consumer enquiries since it launched its high profile advertising campaign a fortnight ago. Despite drafting in an extra 250 staff to answer calls, it is still warning customers that it could take up to 28 days to open an account.
Egg has also been closely monitoring the structure of its Web site to ensure that it can cope with the enormous amount of page impressions it has been getting. .
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