If you aren’t happy with your current account or you have found a better deal elsewhere, switching is easy, and the entire process can take just seven working days. You can switch joint accounts as well, you just need each party to agree.
The Current Account Switch Service (CASS) makes the process of switching from one account to another quick and straightforward. All you need to do is open a new account.
The rest is organised between the banks. All direct debits or outstanding regular payments should be automatically switched to the new account and your previous account will be closed for you.
Here we explain how it works from moving your cash over and transferring regular payments, to what happens if things go wrong and how to switch if your existing account is overdrawn.
» MORE: How to open a new bank account
How can I switch my current account?
If you’ve spotted a new current account and want to switch to it, all you need to do is apply to open it. Once approved, you’ll be moved over within seven working days if you choose to use the CASS.
You can also make the switch yourself if you’d prefer – such as if you want to keep your old account open or the new bank isn’t part of the scheme.
What does the CASS do?
The Current Account Switch Service was introduced in 2013, and it has been used to switch more than six million accounts. It was created to take the stress and hassle out of switching current accounts and to encourage more people to do it, but also allow freedom of movement within banking and create better competition for consumers.
Along with your money, your existing payments will be transferred as well, such as standing orders and direct debits, and your old account will be automatically closed. Any payments that regularly go into your account, such as your salary, will also be moved to the new account.
You don’t need to do anything, the banks and building societies arrange for this to happen, and there are more than 40 signed up to the scheme, making nearly all current accounts in the UK eligible.
What happens if something goes wrong?
The Current Account Switch Guarantee means that for at least three years any credits or payments, including cheques, on your old account will be routed to your new account. If something goes wrong, a payment is late or doesn’t get paid for example, your new bank should rectify the problem and refund you if you are charged any late payment fees.
You may have to move some payments manually
Although the majority of payments linked to your old account will automatically be moved to the new one, some might not.
Payments you have set up for online shopping and subscriptions, for example, aren’t automatically transferred. To transfer these, you will need to contact the companies and give them your new card details.
You may also need to manually move payments that don’t happen every month. These are often payments which happen annually.
Do I need to close my old account?
If you use the CASS, your old account will be closed automatically. You can keep it open, but to do this you’ll just have to open the new account manually and move over all the payments yourself.
Can I still switch if I am in my overdraft?
If you are in your overdraft but want to switch to a new bank, you’ll have to speak to the new bank to see what it allows. You may be able to transfer your overdraft to the new account or your new bank may offer to lend you the money to repay your overdraft. In some cases it may insist that you repay your overdraft before you open the new account.
Each bank and building society will have its own rules around this so it really depends on the provider.
Can I choose my own switch date?
Yes, you can choose your current account switch date, so long as it isn’t over the weekend or on a bank holiday. It may be best to choose a period of the month where multiple bills aren’t being paid to avoid the risk of complications.
Will my savings account be switched with my current account?
You may have several financial products with one provider, such as your current account and a savings account. When you move the current account, your savings account won’t automatically be moved as well. It will remain with your old provider until you decide to switch the money to a new account.
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