Switching bank accounts in the UK became simpler and quicker following the introduction of new switching rules in September 2013. The banking industry teamed up with the Government, investing more than £750 million in a modern account switching service.
Currently, banks are given up to seven days to switch a customer’s account, and are legally required to transfer directly standing orders and direct debits to the new account. Standing orders and direct debits are to be tracked for 13 months to ensure nothing goes astray. Any error caused by the bank will be compensated.
Here is a breakdown of how to switch your bank account in the UK:
Find another Transaction Account
Search for an account with easier access, better services, higher interest rates on deposits, or lower fees than the one you currently hold. If you hold multiple accounts with one bank, check if you are subscribed to their special package rate. If you are and you switch one of your accounts, you may lose this privilege.
Before opening a new account, ensure you read the terms and conditions so you are fully aware of all charges and fees. The last thing you want it to switch to a bank account with higher rates than the one you currently hold.
Transfer Your Direct Debits and Credits
Once you have opened a new account, you have to options at your disposal. Do it yourself, or ask the new bank to help you switch. It is advisable to follow the latter option, and it is the one we will discuss in this article.
Ask your New Bank to Help
If you ask your new bank to help you switch, they will request you to fill a transfer request form. They will then contact your old bank to get a full thirteen month list of;
• Direct credits like your salary
• Direct debits like regular utility payments or gym membership fees.
The new bank will supply you with the 13-month list to help you decide which direct debits and credits you would like to move across to your account. You can ask them to help with this and give them guidelines. You can also authorise the new bank to give all the relevant payees your new account details.
Have in mind that the 13-month list will not include;
• Pay anyone Payments (like monthly gardener payments or fortnightly baby sitter)
• Bpay payments
• Recurring payments where you have issued your debit card number