How to Switch Current Accounts

The new Current Account Switch Service (CASS) makes it easier than ever to change your account, with most UK banks having signed up, and so, having agreed to the 7-day changeover period. Specifically, providing you are not in debit or overdrawn, it should take no more than seven working days to switch from your old account to new.


Switching Accounts

In order to check which banks and building societies opt into the seven-day switching scheme, you can search on the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) website. Once you have found a more suitable current account, you will begin the standard account-opening procedure with the new bank. For instance, as banks and building societies have to comply with anti money-laundering legislation, when you open a new account, you will have to provide both your proof of identity and address. Once your request is approved, you will simply be required to complete a ‘Current Account Switch Agreement’ form in order to process the closure of your old account. From there, you will choose a convenient date to open their new current account, providing it is during the working week, and at least seven working days since your application. Following this, your new bank will provide confirmation stating that the switch is in process. However, it must be noted that you will have to continue using your old current account up until the agreed switching date, and that you will have already ensured that your account is cleared, or in credit.

Upon the switch date, your new bank will be responsible for moving your incoming and outgoing payments, and for transferring your balance to the new account, before closing your old account on your behalf. In addition, your new bank will also contact the sender and give them your new account details.

Moreover, for 3 years, your new bank will arrange for payments accidentally made to your old account to be automatically redirected to your new current account. Furthermore, as per government legislation, your new bank must refund you for any charges that have incurred in the case of a direct debit or standing order not having been successfully transferred to your new account. However, it is also possible to undergo a partial switch, wherein you choose not to close your old account.


Earn Money by Switching Accounts

Although it is not advised to switch bank accounts purely on the basis of some attractive short-term perks, some banks offer switching bonuses, often in the form of money.


First Direct Switching Bonus

For instance, First Direct currently offers (June 2018) £100 to those who switch to its current account service. However, you will not be eligible to receive the cash incentive if you have previously had a First Direct account. Moreover, to qualify for the bonus, you must pay in at least £1,000 within three months, and the monthly account subscription of £10. With that said, the £10 fee is waived for the first six months if you pay in £1,000 a month, maintain a monthly balance of £1,000 or take out a further First Direct account.


Halifax Switching Incentive

Alternatively, switching to a Halifax current account will reward you with a £75 cash bonus plus an additional £3 per-month, which it promises to pay within three days of the switch. However, to qualify for this incentive, a minimum of £750 must be paid in on a monthly basis and at least two direct debits must be set up.


HSBC Advance Bank Account Bonus

A further popular incentive is available with a HSBC Advance bank account, wherein new accountholders are awarded £200, paid in two instalments – £150 upon the initial switch (by 30 June 2018) and an additional £50 after 12 months with the bank.