Skip to main content

Switching your current account: step by step

Changing bank accounts is quick and simple. Find out how to change a current account and switch from one bank account to a new one. Get a better deal on your new current account bank account.
Share this guide
Guide to how prepaid cards work?
Prepaid card

Looking for a better bank account? You can now move bank 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 just a few days.

How can I find a new bank account?

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

The Current Account Switch Guarantee means that your new bank will do all the work for you, moving across your existing direct debits, standing orders, and payment from salary or pensions. It is available for both personal and business current accounts. If anything goes wrong the banks involve are obliged to reimburse you, so there is no risk in moving your bank account.

Should I change bank account?

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

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

Many people have been with their current account since they were a child or a student. Find out how switching bank accounts can get you a better deal.

With the current account switch guarantee it is easier to switch your current bank account. You can use our comparison service to find the best current account bank account for you. Read on to see our step-by-step guide on how to switch bank accounts.

Why benefits could I get from switching bank accounts?

If you are thinking ‘should I switch bank accounts’ you may be concerned about the paperwork involved. In fact, it is very easy to move bank accounts, 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 be a switching incentive, better rate of interest, lower interest on overdrafts or more added extras. With the tools available you can easily switch bank accounts online.

Your new bank may even pay you a switching incentive in the form of cash, or retail vouchers or other deals and perks.

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 could be up and running within seven working days. That means all your direct debits and other payments automatically transferred across when you are changing bank accounts.

You are able to switch banks accounts even with the current Covid-19 restrictions in place and the process should not take any longer as it is all handled electronically, even if you do not actually bank online.

Understand how the Seven Day Switching Guarantee works

Read on for our easy step-by-step guide and see how to switch bank accounts.

How do I switch bank accounts?

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

Before you start your comparison, it's good to know:

How you use your account

Are you often overdrawn, or do you have a high balance in your account? Would you like to make more of your money or find an easy way to manage your finances or prevent yourself from spending?

Your existing bank details

If you're switching your current account, your new bank will need your 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.

Any notice period

Current account bank accounts don't normally require you to give notice if you want to close your account.

How do I switch 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 before switching

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

  • Decide when you want to start the switch

  • Don’t close your old bank account until your new current account is open

"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?

On our current accounts homepage use the tabs to choose which type of current account you would like to compare.

The most popular bank accounts table shows what other consumers have shown most interest in, while the packaged accounts will show you the top high-street banks and building society current accounts that come with added benefits.

High interest bank accounts are the current accounts with higher than average savings rates, allowing you to make more from your monthly income, and cashback current accounts offer you a cash bonus for signing up as a new customer or on your day-to-day spending.

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 bank account.

Do I need current account 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 make a better return on your day-to-day spending and savings.

Do I need a current account with low interest rates?

If you want to use a bank account to borrow money, then you could look at some of the most popular bank accounts to see what rates they offer. If you make use of an overdraft regularly some of the most popular accounts will usually offer competitive rates on authorised overdraft borrowing, dependent on your credit status.

What is an Overdraft? Uswitch explains

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, that you actually want, separately then it could be a good money-saver. Now that travel is starting to open up again, packaged accounts are starting to look better value once more.

Find out about Premium Bank Accounts

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

If you need help with bad credit 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 if you have bad credit. They can help manage spending and do not offer an overdraft or any other benefits.

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

Based on the type of current account you specify, we show you a list of accounts from a range of banks.

If the bank you're switching to is signed up to the current account switch guarantee, you can have a new account within 7 working days.

Understand how the Seven Day Switching Guarantee works

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 how it compares to what you are looking for from your new bank.

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

If you find a current account that you think is right for you, or that you'd like to get even more information about it, click the 'apply' button to get in touch with the provider. Once on the provider's page you can read their terms and conditions in full before deciding whether to apply.

Read our Guide to Opening a New Current account

How do I apply for a new current account?

You can use the provider’s page to make the application. After you click 'apply', we'll send you directly to the website of your chosen bank so you can complete the application 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

  • Close your old current account

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

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

This should happen within seven working days.

If you choose a bank that hasn't signed up to the CASS, then you may need to do these things yourself.

If they're not signed up to the current account switch guarantee, the bank or building society may have their own scheme within a similar timeframe.

Otherwise, you may need to inform your employer of your new bank details and re-arrange your Direct Debits and standing orders. This should all be done within seven days.

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

No, but there may be no need to keep it open once your new account is set up. 

How long will the switch take? 

With the current account switch guarantee it only takes 7 working days and you can pick the date you want it to begin. Otherwise, it usually takes 10 working days or less to switch your current account from one bank to another.

Some consumers have reported that it can even take as long as 15 working days, so if the bank you're switching to is not signed up to the current account switch service, then make sure you get confirmation from them on how long they think 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 with Uswitch or see more product information.