When you switch accounts with the Current Account Switch Service, all your outgoing payments, such as direct debits and standing orders, are transferred automatically within seven working days. So too are your incoming payments, including salary and any rental or pension income.
Why switch your current account?
Switching current accounts lets you take advantage of the most competitive interest rates and rewards available, once the benefits of your existing current account expire.
Current accounts tend to offer competitive interest rates and benefits as a short-term incentive for you to sign up. However, once the introductory period is over your interest rate is likely to drop significantly, and the perks and benefits will of the current account will expire
Depending on the provider, switching perks can include:
Are you eligible for the current account switch service?
While the current account switch service doesn’t have a strict set of requirements, here are a couple of things you can do to make acceptance more likely:
- Minimise the number of direct debits on your existing account
- Regularly deposit money into your account
How does the current account switch service work?
Bank switching essentially works with your existing bank provider liaising with your new bank. Your existing provider will transfer all necessary information to your new bank so they can open your account with minimal hassle on your end.
The switch service guarantees the swap to be completed within 7 working days and will transfer your incoming and outgoing payments to your new account.
How do I switch accounts?
The new account will have all of your previous transactions transferred including any future payments you have set up on your previous account.
To get started, speak to the new bank provider you want to switch to and specify you’d like to use the current account switch service.
You’ll need to fill and sign a ‘current account switch agreement’ and a ‘current account closure instruction’ provided by your bank. Once the bank has all the necessary information, they’ll get the process started for you. It’ll take 7 working days for the switch to be completed and your bank will let you know once you’re ready to go.
What if my existing account provider doesn’t offer the switching service?
If your existing bank provider doesn’t offer the switch service, this effectively means you won’t be able to take advantage of the facility. However 99% of the UK's major current account providers are involved in the programme.
How to find the right account
To find the right account, it’s best to make sure your new current account can meet your specific banking needs. You may want to consider:
- What incentives you’re looking for including cash rewards, discounts etc
- Whether you’ll need access to an overdraft
- Whether you prefer to opt for an account offering higher interest rates over other incentives
- How you prefer to get in touch with your bank i.e. in person via a branch or internet/mobile banking in which case digital banks may be most suitable
Different type of switches
There are 2 types of switches you can make; a partial or a full switch.
A full switch involves the transfer of your existing payment arrangements from your previous account to your new one. The service is only applicable to individuals and small business, including charities, and guarantees the switch is completed within 7 working days. Any existing transactions will be redirected to your new account.
The partial switch allows you to select specific information to be transferred from your old account to your new one, but you won’t have to close your existing account. This means you won’t need to transfer all your payment arrangements, and you’ll still have full access to your old account.
A full transfer of your transactions is still available to you, but you’ll have the freedom to pick and choose which ones you want to transfer. Note that a partial switch does not guarantee a 7 working day switch guarantee as the selective process can take a little longer.
Data sourced from Bacs Payment Schemes Limited, accurate as of March 2019.
What do I do if I have a problem with my switch?
If you run into problems while making the switch, it’s best to contact your new provider directly. If the issue is the bank’s fault, any interest that is owed to you will be refunded. While complications are extremely rare, do keep an eye out for any unusual charges on both your accounts during the switch so you can raise it with your bank.
What you should consider before switching current accounts
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re considering opting for the current account switch service:
- Switching accounts can have an impact on your credit score. In cases where your application has been rejected by a new bank provider or you’ve tried opening a number of new accounts, your credit ranking may drop
- Make sure you aren’t carrying over any unnecessary direct debits as this can negatively impact your credit score – have a look at your latest statements and see if there’re any you can cancel before making the switch
- Your previous transactions won’t show up once you switch accounts so it’s a good idea to back up any statements beforehand
- You can specify a date to switch your account as long as you do so a week in advance
- Payments sent to your old account will be redirected to your new account indefinitely
Compare current accounts
Compare current accounts with the MoneySuperMarket comparison tool so you can filter through a range of accounts and providers to find the one most suitable for you.
Find a tailored list of suitable options that will fit your banking needs in one place. You’ll be able to compare benefits and rewards as well as anything else that will help you make your decision. Once you know what you want, you can click through to the provider where you can start the process of switching your current account.
You will usually have to fill in an application form, undergo a credit check and provide proof of identity and address, such as a passport and a utility (gas/electricity/water) bill.