Switching bank accounts has never been easier. With the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), all you need to do is find an account you'd like to switch to and the rest is taken care of.

What is the Current Account Switch Service?

The Current Account Switch Service is part of Pay UK, the organisation that keeps British banking running smoothly.

When you decide to switch bank accounts, the CASS guarantees to complete the transfer within seven days. Your old bank talks to the new one, and everything is switched over seamlessly, including your balance, direct debits and salary.

Before you switch bank accounts:

  • Find an account to switch to

  • Decide if you want to keep your old account open

  • Think of a date you want your account to switch by

Why switch bank accounts?

As the current account market gets more competitive, banks and building societies these days offer a number of short-term incentives to get you to sign up.

In most cases when the introductory period ends. any interest you earn is likely to drop significantly, and any perks and benefits will expire.

Some of the perks you can expect to enjoy include:

  • Higher interest rates

  • Lower overdraft fees

  • Discounts on shopping, travelling, or cinema tickets

  • Cashback incentives

Some banks these days have bank switch offers such as cash incentives to convince people to switch bank accounts. HSBC, for example, is offering 125 for users who switch with them.

Find the right account by comparing bank switch offers

Before the bank account switch can start, you need another account to transfer your existing one to. If you don't already have one open you'll need to apply for one before arranging the switch.

Our comparison shows personal & premium current accounts available from UK banks and building societies that you can switch to.

Check the account is right for you and better suits your needs, look for features like:

  • Lower overdraft fees

  • Higher interest on balances

  • Better customer service ratings

  • Extra benefits e.g. breakdown cover

You can also compare bank switch offers as several banks offer cash for switching to them. Here is more on how to choose a current account.

Decide on the type of bank switch offers that work for you

There are two types of switches:

  • Full switches: Close your existing account and transfer all payment arrangements, including your Direct Debits and standing orders, over to your new account within seven working days.

  • Partial switches: Keep your old account open and you can choose which payments move over to your new account. There is no guarantee on how long the switch will take to complete.

Only full switches are covered by the Current Account Switch Service Guarantee.

Here is more information on the switch types

Start the switch

Once your new account is open, you can start to switch banks. To do this you need to:

  1. Request a bank switch: Contact your new bank or building society and agree to the 'Current Account Switch Agreement' and 'Current Account Closure Instruction'

  2. Choose a switch date: The completion date cannot be a bank holiday or on a weekend. To avoid issues, do not set up new payments on your existing account during the switch process.

  3. Wait for the switch to complete: Allow seven working days for this. You can continue to use your old account during the switch process. You will be notified when the switch has completed or if there are issues.

  4. Start using your new account: All payment arrangements like Direct Debits and standing orders should now be transferred to your new account.

If there are problems with your switch, read the Current Account Switch Service Guarantee to know your rights.

Know the rules

Check if there are any requirements for switching banks to avoid any issues:

Cash bonuses

You can earn cash for switching bank accounts, but there may be an eligibility criteria to meet depending on which bank or building society you choose to switch to.

For example, you can switch bank accounts and get 100, but only if you transfer at least two active Direct Debits from your old account.

Payment redirection

Payments sent to your old account after the switch will be redirected to your new one.

Although this is useful, the service lasts for 36 months after the switch date.

To avoid the risk of money going missing in the future, update your account details with family and friends.

Switching your bank account FAQs

Q

Does my old account have to close?

A

No, a partial switch can keep it open. But they can take longer to complete and are not covered by the Current Account Switch Service Guarantee

Q

Can I switch my account if I'm overdrawn?

A

Yes, but It depends if your new account has an overdraft limit. If it does, the overdrawn balance must be within the limit of your new account.

Q

Can joint accounts be switched?

A

Yes, as long as both account holders agree to the switch. The new account must also be a joint account.

Q

Can I cancel my switch?

A

Yes, but only up to seven working days before the switch date. Your bank or building society can advise you if you decide to cancel it.

Last updated: 24 March, 2021