Switching Business Bank Accounts

  • Considering switching your business bank account? Look at some options here
  • Compare accounts from apps, online-only and high street banks
  • You could switch to a better deal - review your banking needs regularly

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What our Nerds say about business bank accounts for switchers

Switching your business bank account can help you find one that is more suitable for your business’s needs. Another bank could offer a better deal for your business.

For example, switching bank accounts could save your business money. You may find a new account that does not charge you for making transactions, or one that offers free access to the accounting software you currently pay for.

You may want to move to a provider with branches nearby. Or if you prefer banking online or via an app, you could consider switching to a digital-only bank.

Kristina Fox Writer at NerdWallet

Learn about business bank accounts for switchers

Written by Kristina Fox

Last updated on 02 November 2022.

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Switch your business bank account

Switching business bank accounts has never been easier thanks to support from the UK government and banking industry. Back in 2013, the government launched the Current Account Switch Service to encourage customers to shop around. The service aims to make switching your current account easy and stress-free and includes bank accounts for small businesses.

The switching service boosts healthy competition in UK banking. For customers, this means lower prices, fairer terms and better service. For many business owners, the benefits of switching can outweigh staying with a provider you’ve been with for years.

What is the Current Account Switch Service?

The Current Account Switch Service was established in 2013 to make it easier for consumers to switch their current accounts and to open up the banking market.

Switching – including accounts for small businesses – should be simple. Banks and building societies signed up to the scheme can complete the switch in seven working days. This includes moving your direct debits, standing orders and any remaining balance to your new account.

What is the Current Account Switch Guarantee?

The Current Account Switch Guarantee is the set of promises made by account providers signed up to the Current Account Switch Service. The guarantee includes promises to:

  • complete the switch in seven working days
  • offer the service for free
  • redirect your incoming payments, such as your salary or one-off payments made to your old account
  • move your outgoing payments, such as standing orders and direct debits
  • transfer your existing balance into your new account

The Guarantee also ensures that if you are mischarged interest or fees because something goes wrong with the switch, this amount will be refunded to you.

Pros and cons of switching your business banking

Should you switch? Some common reasons people switch their business banking include:

  • To match what your business needs

If your business has changed, the way you bank might benefit from changing too. For example, if you no longer need a branch service, or to pay in cash or cheques regularly, then a digital-only account might now be an option for you.

  • To get a better deal

You could save money or pick up an attractive incentive to switch.

  • To integrate your account with your accountancy software

You might want to switch if you or your accountant is using a software system, such as QuickBooks, Sage or Xero, but your existing account isn’t compatible.

  • To use services not offered by your current provider

Providers are offering more features to make your finance admin quicker and easier. You might want to switch to get features, such as invoicing, receipt logging or sub-accounts you can use to put money aside for tax or wages. Or perhaps you’d like access to customer service via an app or by email.

And here are some common reasons why people decide not to switch:

  • You have to learn how to use a new system

A new account with a new provider means learning new processes and a new online banking system.

  • You need to tell customers to use your new details

You’ll need to update your invoice template and give your new details to everyone who makes transfers to you. If you use the Current Account Switch Service, your existing provider will redirect payments from your old account to your new one indefinitely and contact anyone who makes a transfer into your old account to give them your new account details. But in terms of your relationship with your customers, it’s best if you let them know the new details.

  • You have to update your web payments

Web browsers, mobile systems and shopping sites offer to save your details when you’re buying online. If you’ve stored your details to make online purchasing easier, you’ll need to set them up again if you switch accounts.

  • You have to update your recurring card payments

A recurring payment on your debit or credit card is called a ‘continuous payment authority’ (CPA). This type of payment isn’t switched by the Current Account Switch Service. CPAs are common for services such as mobile or broadband, and for membership subscriptions and insurance. You’ll need to inform the services you’re paying by CPA that your details have changed. If you don’t do anything, it’s likely that your payment will fail, and you might lose access to services or subscriptions. Your service provider may try to take the payment again or contact you to ask for alternative payment details, but it’s best to proactively update these beforehand so you don’t risk disruption.

How to switch business bank accounts


  1. Weigh up the pros and cons of switching

    Read through the pros and cons we’ve listed above to help decide whether to switch your account.

  2. Compare business accounts to find the best deal

    Get stuck into some research. You can start by using our comparison table below to find deals for business accounts.

    If you want to take advantage of the Current Account Switch Service, check which providers are signed up.

  3. Apply and switch

    When you’re ready to switch, the first step is to apply for an account with the new provider.

    If your new provider is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service, it’s likely it will ask you if you want to use the service when you apply. Expect it to take seven working days for the new bank to arrange the switch. Then, on the date you pick, your new account will be ready to use with your existing scheduled payments (direct debits and standing orders) transferred to the new account. Repeated incoming payments such as your salary will also be moved over.

    If your provider isn’t part of the Current Account Switch Service, you’ll need to cancel your existing scheduled payments and set them up on your new account.

    Regardless of whether or not you use the Current Account Switching Scheme, you'll need to:

    • download any statements you need from your old account – your bank will also send your statements from the past five years
    • update your invoice template with your new details
    • tell customers to use your new details
    • update any companies you’re paying by CPA
    • update your saved payment details next time you buy online
  4. Check your old account

    If you’ve switched using the Current Account Switch Service, your old account will be closed automatically. Check your post and email for notifications.

    If you didn’t use the Current Account Switch Service and you want to close the old account, you’ll need to ask your old provider to do this.

  5. Review your business banking regularly

    It’s a good idea to review your business banking at least once a year to make sure you’re getting the service you need. You could set a recurring reminder in your calendar or if you have an accountant, you could ask them to keep an eye on your account to make sure you’re getting value for money.

How long does it take to switch business bank accounts?

For business accounts covered by the Current Account Switch Service, banks and building societies promise to complete the entire switching process in seven working days.

You’ll need to apply for an account with your new provider and inform them that you want to use the switching service (often you will be asked about this during the application process).

You can then pick a date for the switch – it must be a weekday in at least seven working days’ time, and not a weekend or bank holiday. Your new bank will do the rest. You don’t need to inform your old bank. If you’re switching to a provider that isn’t covered by the Current Account Switch Service, it is likely to take longer than seven working days to switch accounts.

Once your new account is open, you’ll need to do the switch yourself: cancel existing scheduled payments and set them up again on the new account, transfer across money in the old account, inform your customers and so on.

Do I have to close my existing account when I open a new business bank account?

If you use the Current Account Switch Service, your old provider will automatically close your existing account for you after they have transferred all the money and scheduled payments (direct debits and standing orders) to your new account.

So if you want the option to keep your old account open, you can’t use the Current Account Switch Service, and will need to arrange the switch yourself.

Will I be charged a penalty fee if I switch business accounts?

You shouldn't be charged a penalty to switch accounts but you’ll need to clear any debts with your existing provider before you can close your account.

Can I switch business bank accounts if I have an overdraft?

If you have an overdraft with your existing bank, you can use the Current Account Switch Service. You will need to check whether your new bank will match your existing overdraft facilities and will allow you to transfer the money you owe to your new account.

Switching Business Bank Accounts FAQs

Can I switch my business bank account?

Switching business bank accounts isn’t only possible, it has been made easier by the UK government and banking industry.

In the past, switching was a complicated process but the Current Account Switch Service has made it much easier and there is more choice than ever.

Is switching business bank accounts worth it?

You may consider moving your business account to another bank. Other providers may have features or services that are not offered by your current provider, so it can be worth shopping around to find a business account that works for you.

About the author

Kristina Fox
Kristina is a writer at NerdWallet. A recent graduate trading French for finance, she has experience creating content for student newspaper Cherwell and an edtech company. Read more
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Our comparison service features a selection of providers from whom we receive commission. This table is initially ordered according to our commercial arrangements. Use the sorting options at the top of the comparison table to order by other criteria.

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