A recent consumer watchdog survey found only 7% of account holders had changed providers in the past two years and three-quarters had never even considered switching.
For years, millions of customers have put up with poor service, high charges and low returns because they fear moving will be time consuming and disruptive, with payments getting lost and neither old nor new provider taking responsibility.
But this looks set to change with the promise of a fast, efficient system predicted to trigger a tidal wave of switching.
According to price comparison website MoneySupermarket.com, two-fifths of account holders are now more inclined to change providers and one-quarter say they will definitely act if there is a better deal available.
Kevin Mountford, the site's head of banking, said: "The new rules will make it far easier to switch accounts, with the full switch taking place within seven working days of the account being approved.
"All regular payments to and from your old account will be automatically moved to the new account, and this will happen for a period of 13 months, enough time to make sure even annual payments such as subscriptions aren't forgotten."
The UK's account providers will all undertake to complete transfers within a week, compared to a current average of 18 to 30 days, with any fees or charges incurred because of errors during the process refunded by the new provider.
Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council, which developed the guarantee, said: "We look forward to a new era of account switching, which will lead to greater choice for customers and wider competition in the marketplace."
But, while banks and building societies hope to benefit from the new mobility of current account customers, they won't all provide equally good value.
Market research company Consumer Intelligence has predicted a huge wave of advertising and new products, but it warns that many will have little to offer the three-quarters of account holders who rarely go overdrawn.
Its banking specialist David Black says the two best accounts for those who tend to remain in credit are Santander 123 and Halifax Reward.
He explained: "The Santander 123 Current Account is the most financially beneficial for those who have a large bank balance and income and who are also responsible for paying household bills.
"The bigger your household bills and your current account credit balance, up to £20,000, then the more profitable this account will be."
He went on: "The Halifax Reward Current Account becomes the clear leader for lower incomes and those people who aren't responsible for paying their household bills."
The Santander account, which has a £2 monthly fee, pays 1% interest on balances between £1000 and £2999, rising to 3% on £3,000 to £20,000, plus between 1% and 3% cashback on household bills paid by direct debit.
This could earn someone with bills of £1000-a-month and a credit balance of £5000 around £300-a-year after fees, while someone paying out £350 a month with a credit balance of £2500, might make just under £100.
The Halifax account offers an initial £100 switching bonus and a £5 tax-free monthly reward provided at least £750 is paid in and a minimum of two direct debits go out each month.
This means new Reward customers stand to make up to £160 in the first year and £60 thereafter.
Those who sign up for its Cashback Extras scheme being launched later this month will also be rewarded for spending at retailers including Morrisons, Argos and Homebase. The bank claims this could be worth a further £100-plus to the typical customer.
Halifax doesn't currently have any branches in Scotland, and its Reward account is not open to existing Bank of Scotland account holders. But customers with other banks can apply online, and it plans to open in Aberdeen by the end of the year, with branches to follow in Glasgow and Edinburgh in 2014.
Other accounts David Black considers worth looking at are Nationwide FlexDirect, which pays 5% interest on balances up to £2500, and First Direct 1st, which promises a £125 bonus if £1000 is credited in the initial three months.
He also likes the Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland Vantage accounts, which both pay between 1.5% and 3% interest. All four of these accounts have a minimum monthly funding requirement of £1000.
However, he cautioned: "Overall, switching gifts and incentives can be tempting and there is sure to be a raft of new offers and advertising over the coming weeks.
"But if you are going to switch and then stick with one provider for a number of years, which most switchers probably will, then it makes sense to look at the long-term value of the account."