600,000 switch current accounts in six months - Banking - News - Moneyfacts

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600,000 switch current accounts in six months

600,000 switch current accounts in six months

Category: Banking

Updated: 17/07/2014
First Published: 17/07/2014

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Almost 600,000 people have switched their current account provider to a better deal in the first half of the year, a rise of 16% since the introduction of the new Current Account Switch Service in September last year.

According to mid-year results published by the Payments Council, 592,695 switches were completed in the six months to the end of June 2014, some 81,556 more than in the same period a year earlier, prior to the service's launch.

Research published at the same time also revealed that over two-thirds (67%) of people in the UK are now aware of the service, up from 64% at the start of the year, while confidence in the service is growing too.

"The Current Account Switch Service set out to remove the fear-factor from switching and these results suggest that it is doing exactly that," said Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council.

"Competition is growing as existing providers are upping their offerings and challenger banks are competing to attract new customers. This all amounts to greater choice and good news for customers."

Getting started

If you've never thought about switching your current account, there has probably never been a better time to do so. The introduction of the Current Account Switch Service has made it easier, faster and safer to switch current accounts than ever before.

Once you've found a suitable account and have checked the bank is part of the scheme (those participating will display the Current Account Switch Guarantee Trustmark) you can get things underway.

All you need to do is let the new bank know your intention to switch, provide them with proof of your identity (such as a utility bill, bank statement, passport or driving licence), agree a specific switch date and fill in a couple of forms – a Current Account Switch Agreement form and a Current Account Closure Instruction form – and they'll take it from there.

How long does the switching process take?

Under the new rules, a new current account must be fully operational within seven working days.

Your existing provider is obliged to supply the new bank or building society with any Direct Debit and standing order details, and once the switch has taken place any payments coming in or going out of your old account will be automatically redirected for 13 months. Any money remaining on the switch date will also be automatically transferred to the new account.

Will I have to pay any charges if errors are made?

No. The Current Account Switch Guarantee ensures that, should mistakes be made and penalties incurred (such as charges levied should Direct Debits be taken from your old account), you'll be completely refunded.

The same applies if you suffer from loss of interest or have any other problems during the switching process.

Plan when you'll switch accounts

Although the Current Account Switch Guarantee will cover you if mistakes occur, it'll make things a lot simpler if you plan your switch date according to when regular payments tend to be made.

If, for example, your standing orders and Direct Debits leave your account on a certain date each month, it's a good idea to arrange for the switch to take place shortly after, and your agreed switch date will need to be at least seven working days after your new account officially opens.

FAQs

  • Can I switch accounts if I'm overdrawn?
    • Yes, and your new bank may offer ways to help you pay off your overdraft (subject to usual lending criteria).
  • Can I change my mind?
    • Yes, but only up to seven working days before the agreed switch date. After that only certain elements can be cancelled.
  • Will I have to pay?
    • No, it's an entirely free service that's been designed by the Payments Council to make switching quick and easy. Why not take advantage of it

What Next?

Compare the best high interest current accounts

Switch your current account in 7 days

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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