Banks used to be able to rely on a customer's loyalty as the process of switching accounts was so laborious. Now things are much simpler, and the current account switching service means you can shop around for a better deal, and have your services and debits moved across to a new provider within seven days.
Once you've found a new, provider you simply make your application as normal and mention that you want to switch from your current provider. They will then ask for you for your existing bank details and handle the necessary administration for you.
How It Works
The switching service is largely automated and very straightforward. We'll walk you through the process step-by-step to give you an overview of how it works...
Step 1: You open a new account with your chosen provider. If applying online there will be an option to use their switching service. If applying in branch, simply mention it to the teller, who will factor it into the application for you
Step 2: Once your account application has been completed, you will be asked to complete a 'current account switch agreement' form, and a 'current account switch service – account closure' form, to get the process underway
Step 3: You will be asked to select and agree upon a date for the switch to take place. Choose a date that's convenient for you; it will need to be at least seven days after the new account has been opened due to the processing time involved
Step 4: Your bank will then provide confirmation in writing as to the switch date. Until this date you will need to continue to use your current account with your existing provider
Step 5: On the day of the switch, your new provider will be accountable for the following:
- Directing the transfer of existing funds from your old account to new
- Transferring any existing direct debits and other payments (unless you've specified for them not to do so)
- Liaising with your old provider in order to close your old account down. You should receive confirmation in writing once this has been done
Redirection of payments after the switch
For a year or so after the switch has taken place, your new bank are responsible for redirecting any payments which are accidentally made to your old account. This will give you peace of mind if you've forgotten to inform any clients etc. of your account change. Your new bank should also contact any senders, to give them your new account details to prevent future problems.
What Can Go Wrong?
As mentioned the process is mostly automated, and as such you shouldn't experience any difficulties. If you do however, your new bank are accountable (under the 'Current Account Switch Guarantee') to reimburse you for any additional interest or charges incurred, due to problems with the migration process.