Your current account is one of the most important aspects of your finances. It is where your income is deposited, your bills are paid, and your savings are kept. Many people are not satisfied with their current bank accounts and would prefer to move elsewhere to get more from their bank.
Whether you want better interest rates, a larger overdraft facility or better customer service, switching to a new bank could help you achieve these and get more from your banking. Switching current accounts can help you to stay in control of your finances and even save you some money.
Many people perceive switching current accounts as a lot of hassle and stress as it means moving all the direct debits, standing orders, and wages from one account to another. In reality, switching current accounts can be a really easy and hassle-free process that requires little intervention from yourself. Read on to find out how to successfully switch current accounts and some top tips from our experts.
Why switch current accounts?
There are plenty of reasons for wanting to switch to a new current account, and before you choose your new account and begin the switch, you should be sure of the reasons behind wanting to switch. When you have a clear picture in your mind of the reasons for your switch, it will make choosing the right new bank account much easier. Some of the most popular reasons for switching current accounts include:
- Improved interest rates on the balance of your account
- Cheaper or free overdraft facilities
- Lower monthly bank account charges and fees
- Rewards or cashback on your spending on the account
- A cash incentive or reward for switching
- Improved bank account features such as online banking or a banking app
- Better customer service and customer satisfaction.
When choosing your new current account, remember to consider every aspect of the new bank and the account itself. It can be easy to get pulled in by special offers and free giveaways, but you need to ensure the account you are choosing is going to meet all your requirements.
How to successfully switch current accounts?
Once you know your reasons for switching, you can begin the process of changing banks and accounts. The process is straightforward, and there are switching services available to help you make the change easily.
You can choose to either shut your old account and switch everything to a new one using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), or you can leave your old account open and switch just some of your payments to a new one using the Partial Switch Service. No matter which option you choose, there are a few easy steps you will need to follow:
1. Choose a new current account
Before you can begin the switch, you need to choose a new current account to switch to. Keep your reasons for switching at the forefront of your mind when choosing your new current account and bank.
2. Open your new account
Once you’ve made a decision on which current account is right for you, you will need to open your new account by applying online, in branch or over the phone. The process will vary depending on the bank, but usually, you will need to complete an application form to open the new account, and they will require paperwork to prove your identity. Your new bank will also ask you to complete a Current Account Switch Agreement and possibly a Current Account Closure Instruction if you want to close down your old current account.
3. Choose a date for the switch
Next, you will need to choose a date for the switch to take place. This date must be seven working days or more from completing the Current Account Switch Agreement and must also be on a working day. You will be able to continue using the old current account up until the day of the switch unless you have chosen to keep your old account open, in which case you can continue to use it after this date.
4. Leave the banks to do the rest
Your new bank will take care of everything else on your behalf, and there is nothing else you will need to do. Your new bank will:
- Confirm your chosen switch date with you.
- Undergo the switching process for you.
- Inform your employer of your new account details so they can change where your wages are sent to.
- Switch all your direct debits and standing orders to your new current account.
- Let you know when the switching process is complete.
When you are choosing your switch date, it is usually best to try to avoid a date where direct debits and standing orders are scheduled to be coming out of your account. If all your bills usually come out at the same sort of time of the month, choose a switch date either before or after this to avoid any errors.