How Do I Switch Bank Accounts?

Not only could switching your bank account give you access to products and services that better suit your needs, you could actually save money and even benefit from a cash reward. Nowadays, the process of switching is easier than ever, and could take as little as seven days.

Why Should I Switch?

You might find that a different bank has an account that is better tailored to your banking habits.

For example, if you regularly use an overdraft facility, you may find a bank offering a current account with a free overdraft facility, lower fees for being overdrawn or a lower interest rate on overdraft balances.

If you’re someone who usually carries a positive balance in their current account, you may find an account that pays out a higher interest rate on your balance.

Some banks offer a cash reward for moving your current account to them. Others operate cashback schemes, or provide specific functionality like a mobile-banking app. If customer service is important to you, you may prefer a bank that makes it easy to speak to a real person on the phone.

Shop around and use comparison sites to find the best bank account for you.

How Do I Switch?

Once you have found an account you’d like to switch two, you first need to apply for it. This can usually be done online, in-branch or over the phone.

As part of the application process, you will complete the following:

  • An application form
  • A Current Account Switch Agreement
  • A Current Account Closure Instruction

These forms will provide the bank with all the details they need, including details of your existing account. They will then run a credit check and may request extra documents to confirm your identity.

Make sure the details you provide are accurate and match those on your existing bank account, to prevent any delays.

You have two options in terms of the switching process:

  1. Close your old account and move all payments to the new one using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS). Your old account will automatically be closed if you choose this option.
  2. Leave your old account open or only move across some of the payments on it using the Partial Switch Service.

Which Option Should I Choose?

If you choose a full switch via CASS, you will choose a switching date, which must be in seven or more working days and should not be on a day when you have direct debits or standing orders due to come out of your existing account.

The banks then take care of the entire process, will be in touch to confirm your switch date and will let you know when everything is complete.

They will also contact your employer to let them know the new account details for your wages to be sent to, and will ensure all direct debits and standing orders move to your new account. If you incur any charges or fees as a result of the switch, you are guaranteed to get these back.

If you choose the Partial Switch Service, your old account is left open and you can choose to only move across some of your payments. With this option, there is no guarantee it will be completed within seven days, and you don’t get the same assurance that payments will be moved across. You are also not guaranteed to be refunded for any interest or charges incurred as a result of the switch.

In either case, the switching service is free. However you may still have to pay fees associated with opening your new account – check with your new bank to make sure you understand any fees you’ll be charged.

What About Joint Accounts?

Joint accounts can be switched in the same way via CASS, but everyone named on the existing account has to agree to the switch.