The Economic and Social Research Institute's Behavioural Research Unit has been contracted to carry out an experimental research project that will focus on the behavioural aspects of switching banks.

This is part of the Government's third and final phase of the Switch Your Bank campaign.

After two earlier advertising campaigns which promoted awareness on the benefits of switching, the latest phase builds on this work by seeking to identify and develop tools which will better enable consumers to complete their switches.

The campaign will continue to be supported by a dedicated website,

The website provides a single source where consumers can access useful facts about switching.

These include a straightforward step by step guide, links to Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) comparison tools and helpful information to support their decision-making.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said the start of this new phase is timely considering that this has been a particularly difficult year for retail banking.

"Introducing an element of behavioural economics to this phase of the campaign may show that making more targeted and personalised recommendations to consumers would be of benefit," the Minister said.

"As always, I would encourage all consumers to shop around for financial products and services and to compare the benefits of the different current accounts available," he added.

The head of the ESRI's Behavioural Research Unit, Professor Pete Lunn, said the ESRI was aiming to design ways to boost consumers' decision-making, with a focus on those decisions that have the greatest financial consequences for households.

"We will use behavioural economics to create tools to assist people in choosing good financial products. The tools will be tested in controlled experiments that quantify the benefits," Professor Lunn said.

"In this way, we aim to identify the most successful ways to help consumers to negotiate the complexities of financial products," he added.