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Current account switching rules

From September, a new bank account switching service will make it faster and easier to switch provider – find out more on how it will work

Moving bank can feel like a daunting prospect, with the perceived hassle of transferring payments and incurring charges often discouraging people from switching.

For example, recent uSwitch research found that seven in ten customers have held their accounts for more than ten years, while 53% have never switched – whether or not they were satisfied with their bank.

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However, switching current account is set to become simpler, with the whole process taking seven days opposed to the 18 to 30 days it currently takes.

There will also be a guarantee to ensure that customers receive a clear and consistent standard of service throughout.

Current account switching – key benefits

The new service is being launched by UK payments organisation the Payments Council and will introduce a number of key changes, including:

  • Moving bank – the customer arranges the switch with the new bank, not with the old one.
  • Switching date – the customer chooses which date the switch happens on.
  • Faster process – while it should take around 10 days or less to switch, many switches take between 18 and 30 days to complete. The new service will ensure the process takes seven days from start to finish.
  • Changing payments – arrangements to and from the old account will be automatically transferred to the new account.
  • Redirection service – this will run for 13 months from the switch date to catch and redirect any stray payments to the old account.
Current account switching rules

How did the service come about?

From IT failures to the LIBOR scandal, the poor practices of the big banks have hardly been out of the spotlight in recent years.

So to help encourage dissatisfied customers to switch current accounts, a key recommendation made by the Independent Commission on Banking in 2011 was the establishment of a new current account switching service.

Built on proposals put forward by the Payments Council, the service has since been accepted by the Government and will be launched in September.

Until then, you can check out the results of the latest uSwitch Current Account Awards and switch to an award winning provider.

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