How to switch bank accounts

Want to switch your bank account but don’t know how? We break down why it could make sense to switch and walk you through it step by step.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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While many of us are more than happy to switch our savings accounts or our car insurance providers on a regular basis, the same cannot be said for our bank accounts. But just like those other financial products, you could be missing out on a better deal if you don’t make a change. We are here to walk you through how to switch bank accounts.


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Why should I switch bank accounts?

A bank account is a bank account, right? Well, not quite. A bank account most importantly needs to suit your financial needs. In some cases, it can even give you a little extra.

If you are thinking about switching bank accounts, here are some things to consider:

  • Do you get an interest rate? While current accounts aren’t known for high interest rates, there are several out there that will pay interest on your balance. So if you tend to have a relatively high balance for most of the month, you could be making money on your money.
  • What are the overdraft charges? If you need to use an overdraft, knowing what kind of interest or fees you will be charged for using this facility is key. If the penalties for going into the red are high on your chosen bank account, then you could quickly end up in a debt spiral with interest charges piling up.
  • Are there any rewards or perks? A big reason for switching bank accounts is to qualify for a switching reward or bonus. Some banks offer a cash incentive to switch, while others include cashback or reward points as part of the package. Perks can even come in the form of exclusive access to products such as regular savers or credit cards.


How do I switch bank accounts?

If you think it is time for a change, then switching bank accounts is pretty simple. Since the introduction of the Current Account Switch Service, this can all be done within seven days.

Here’s how to switch your bank account in four simple steps:

1. Find a new bank account

Research the different types of accounts available and choose the one that best suits your needs.

2. Apply for the new current account

You will most likely need to provide your new bank with two forms of ID and proof of address. If you plan to use the current account switching service, then you will also need your existing bank account details.

3. Choose a switching date

You can choose a date that suits you (as long as it’s not a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday). The only thing is that it needs to be at least seven working days after your account has been opened.

You can still use your old current account up until that switching date, but don’t set up any new direct debits or standing orders during this time.

4. Start using your account

You’ll need to start using your new account once you reach your switch date. Banks signed up to the Current Account Switching Guarantee will redirect any payments made to your old account and inform the payee of your new bank details.

They will also close your old account, move any direct debits over and tell your employer to pay your salary into your new account.

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