Switching Current Accounts – What You Need To Know

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If you’re not satisfied with your current bank account, it’s quick and easy to make a simple switch to a new one that suits you better. You can even do it online from home, without ever needing to set foot in a bank. 

Is it always a good idea to switch banks?

Some people stay with the same bank for years and years, while others like to switch bank accounts regularly and try different providers. It’s all about finding what best meets your own personal financial needs. 

There’s no right or wrong, but there are a few things to consider before switching your bank account.

  • Are you happy with your current bank?
  • Are they providing all the services you need?
  • Are you getting a good deal in comparison with other available accounts?

You shouldn’t need to worry about negative impacts on your credit rating when switching bank accounts. As long as you repay any existing overdraft before switching, your credit rating won’t be affected.

If you’re unhappy with your current bank, or simply see another option that would suit you better, switching banks might be the way forward. It’s a popular move, as statistics show that around 700,000 people switched their current accounts just last year.

Reasons to switch

  • Location – While of course you can do your banking online, a lot of banks have less of a physical presence nowadays so if you’re a fan of banking in person you might want to switch to a bank that has a branch near you.
  • Interest rates – You might want to switch to a current account that offers a better rate of interest.
  • Switching bonuses – A lot of banks will offer special cash incentives to switch to them
  • Extra features/rewards – Some banks offer monthly rewards such as cashback on your bills and shopping, or discounts or vouchers.

When not to switch

Always make sure that the bank you’re switching to actually meets all your financial needs. If they’re offering a great incentive but don’t in fact cover everything you’re looking for in a current account, it may be better to stay put, or find a better option. 

How to switch

The good news is, with the Current Account Switch Service, it’s really easy to switch your bank account. The process is the same for all the banks and building societies that take part. Plus, it only takes 7 working days to switch once you’ve opened your new account.

Here’s how to switch current accounts:

1) Find the account you want to switch to and make sure it offers everything you want – including an overdraft if needed.

2) Make sure you meet all the eligibility criteria for the account – some accounts have requirements for a certain amount of income to be paid in each month.

3) Check all your existing standing orders and direct debits to make sure they’re all still necessary

4) Choose a start date, and begin your switch!

What happens next?

Once you’ve applied for your new account and started the switch, your old account will be closed and all your existing direct debits and standing orders will be moved over to your new account. 

Whilst you’re waiting for your switch to complete you can carry on using your old account as normal, but don’t set up any new standing orders or direct debits during this time.

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