Switching current account: what's changed?

New rules that force banks and building societies to make switching your current account easier are now in effect.

The Current Account Switch Service means your bank account should be transferred on a date of your choosing.

Now, when you switch current account your new bank will have to:

  • Complete the switch on a date you choose (as long as you give them seven days or more)

  • Let you know when they start - and complete - your switch

  • Transfer your salary and incoming payments for you

  • Transfer all your direct debits and standing orders for you

  • Reimburse any interest lost or penalties incurred if the switch is delayed

  • Redirect payments to your new account for up to 36 months from the switch date

The current account switching service is being offered by almost all UK current account providers and they are run in-house by the bank or building society. You simply need to compare current accounts and apply to get things started.

Once you have applied for a current account you will need to fill in a Current Account Switch Agreement and one Current Account Closure Instruction, choose a switching date and then your old and new providers will take it from there.

What difference does the seven day account switch guarantee make?

The current account switching guarantee was brought in to kick start competition between current account providers and help people to switch.

Switching current account has never been easier and there are even current accounts that offer incentives for you to switch.

If you are paying overdraft fees, losing out on the account benefits or you are simply unhappy with the customer service then finding a new current account is vital.

Here is what you should consider:

What do you need your current account to do?

Work out what your existing current account gives you, including:

  • The size of overdraft

  • Its fees and charges

  • Any subscription fee

  • The account perks

  • The interest rate (if any) paid on your in-credit balance

Ask yourself which features you are using and if they are costing or saving you money. Looking at which you use and which you do not should help you compare the best buy current accounts to your existing package.

What is your monthly money story?

If you spend the entire month in credit, a current account that pays interest might suit your finances best.

If you dip into your overdraft every now and then or spend most of the month in it, find an overdraft current account that is better than your existing account.

Compare current accounts

Whatever your needs, use the useful features of your account as the basis for a current account comparison and try to find accounts that improve on its negative ones.

Read our guide to switching bank accounts if you are in your overdraft for more tips.

With switching made easier, you can find a current account package that lets you manage your money efficiently and worry free. Simply find the best account and apply for it direct with your new bank or building society to get the ball rolling.