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Switching your current account: step by step

Changing banks is quick and simple. Find out how to switch your current account to get a better deal or better service.

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Looking for a better bank account? You can now move current accounts quickly and easily using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which is free to use and gets your new bank account up and running in days.

How can I find a new bank account?

You can switch bank accounts to find a new one that offers better credit interest rates, more perks or lower overdraft rates. Switching bank accounts is simple and should be completed within seven working days thanks to CASS, which most banks and building societies have signed up to.

The Current Account Switch Guarantee means your new bank will do all the work for you, moving across your existing direct debits, standing orders and payments into your account from your salary or pension. It’s available for both personal and business current accounts. If anything goes wrong the bank involved is obliged to reimburse you, so there’s no risk to moving your bank account.

Should I change bank account?

If you’ve been with your old bank account for a while it could be a good time to shop around and find the best current account for your needs.

Some banks offer current account switching incentives, while others offer credit interest or perks and rewards. You could have a new current account in as little as a week.

Many people have been with their bank since they were a child or student. Switching bank accounts could get you a better deal.

With the Current Account Switch Guarantee it’s easier to switch your current account. Use our comparison service to find the best account for you and read on to see our step-by-step guide to how to switch.

What benefits could I get from switching bank accounts?

If you are considering switching bank accounts you may be concerned about the paperwork involved. In fact, it is very easy to move your account thanks to an agreement between banks and building societies to make the process seamless and quick.

By switching you could get more from your current account, whether it’s a switching incentive, better rate of interest, lower interest on overdrafts or other added extras. With the tools available you can easily switch bank accounts online.

Some banks pay you a switching incentive in the form of cash or high credit interest for a limited period.

Switch to a better current account

Compare current accounts from different providers and find a bank that works for you.

How long does it take to change bank accounts?

You could find a current account that suits you in less than 10 minutes with our online comparison tables and see how different accounts measure up at a glance.

Under the banks’ switching guarantee, your new bank account should be up and running within seven working days, with all your direct debits and other payments automatically transferred across.

How do I switch bank accounts?

First of all, you can use our comparison tool to see the best deals on current accounts and to compare banks’ switching incentives.

Before you start the switching process, it's good to know:

How you use your account

Are you often overdrawn, or do you frequently have a high balance in your account? Would you like to avoid spending over the odds on your overdraft, find an easier way to manage your finances or earn more credit interest on your money?

Your existing bank details

If you're switching your current account, your new bank will need your existing account number so that they can switch your direct debits and standing orders for you.

With the Current Account Switch Guarantee, banks and building societies signed up to the scheme will also redirect any payments made to your old account and inform the payee of your new bank account details.

The date you want your switch to happen

With the Current Account Switch Service you can choose a switch date to suit you. It can’t be on a weekend or bank holiday and you need to allow at least seven working days for the process to be completed. 

How do I switch my current account? 

There are a few simple steps involved in switching current account:

  • Decide what kind of current account you need based on your spending habits.

  • Run a comparison of current accounts available and any incentives they offer.

  • Read the fine print to make sure you’re eligible for your chosen account.

  • Decide on your switch date.

  • Apply to your new bank. It will transfer your cash, direct debits and standing orders across. 

  • Start using your new account. Your old bank will close your old account if you switch using CASS.

"I'd been with my previous bank for about 5 years, after first opening my account when I moved to the UK. I'd never thought of switching because I didn't see (or rather, know) any benefits in going through the process again. I also wasn't unhappy with my previous bank (if it ain't broke, don't fix it). I didn't realise that other banks offered incentives like cash or points to switch accounts, and that the process was much easier than opening my first account, as there was no need to go into a branch. I did some research and found a bank offering what I thought was the best deal at that time. So I applied for a new account with them online and then used the Current Account Switch Service to switch accounts. The process took a few weeks, but I didn't have to do anything as I was assured all my balances and direct debits would be moved for me. And they were!

Six months later, I've just switched to another bank offering a great bonus. The rewards have certainly been well worth my time, and I would consider switching again for another great deal." - Ian from London

How do I pick the right current account when I switch banks?

You can compare accounts on a range of criteria, including their switching incentives and credit interest. You can also see which are the most popular bank accounts – the ones consumers have shown most interest in.

Alternatively, visit our packaged accounts page to see the top high street banks and building society current accounts that come with added benefits.

High-interest bank accounts are current accounts with higher-than-average credit interest rates, allowing you to make more from your money. Cashback current accounts offer you cashback on your day-to-day spending and there are other accounts that give you monthly rewards. You may have to pay a fee for these though.

What do I need to decide when I change bank accounts?

You need to decide what you are looking for in a new current account. Ask yourself the following questions:

Do I need credit interest on my bank account? 

If you are in credit the majority of the time and/or have a high balance in your account, you could look at a high-interest or cashback account to get a better return on your savings or spending.

Do I need a current account with low overdraft interest rates?

If you make use of an overdraft regularly, look at accounts that offer competitive rates on authorised overdraft borrowing. This will depend on your credit rating.

What perks and rewards could I get with a new current account?

Packaged accounts offer added extras like travel insurance, breakdown cover and exclusive discounts in exchange for a monthly fee. If you can find a package that works out cheaper than buying all the perks you will actually use separately it could be a good money saver. 

Can I swap to a new current account if I have bad credit?

If you have a poor credit history you could apply for a basic bank account. Basic bank accounts are a 'no-frills' option and are a good choice if you just want a simple account or have a bad credit rating. They can help you manage your spending and don’t offer an overdraft or any other benefits.

What features should I look for in a new current account?

The features you should look for depend on your priorities and how you will use your account. 

On our current accounts comparison page, you'll be able to see the interest rate, overdraft rate, account features and any relevant eligibility criteria. Have a look to see what each bank offers and whether it will give you the features that will suit your needs.

If the bank you're switching to is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service, you can have a new account up and running within seven working days.

Where can I get more information about switching my bank account?

If you find a current account you think is right for you or that you'd like to get even more information about it on our current accounts page, click the 'View deal' button to visit the provider’s website, where you can read its terms and conditions in full before deciding whether to apply.

How do I apply for a new current account?

Once you’re on the provider’s website and have decided to take out one of its accounts, you can apply for it directly from there and start the switching process. 

Switching your current account: step by step, Switch Guarantee

How quickly will I get a new bank account?

Under the Current Account Switch Guarantee banks will:

  • Transfer your money to your new current account

  • Move your direct debits and standing orders to your new account

  • Tell your employer to pay your salary into your new account

  • Close your old current account

This should happen within seven working days.

If you choose a bank that hasn't signed up to CASS, you may need to do these things yourself or it may have a similar switching process.

Do I need to close my old account when I am switching bank accounts? 

No, but to use the Current Account Switching Service you do as your old bank will close your old account as part of the process. You’ll also need to switch through CASS to get bank switching bonuses.

How long will the switch take? 

With the Current Account Switch Guarantee it should take just seven working days and you can pick the date you want it to happen. Otherwise, it could take longer to complete the switch. 

If the bank you're switching to isn’t signed up to CASS, make sure you get confirmation from it on how long it could take.

How current account interest rates work

What will happen to my existing account benefits? 

If you're getting discounted travel insurance or other benefits with your current account, these will stop when you close your account.

You can see the benefits and discounts offered with each account when you compare accounts to switch to with Uswitch and see more product information.