If you've been considering switching your current account but scared to take the plunge because you have reservations, you'll be pleased to hear that the Current Account Switch Service guarantees an easy and painless switch in only 7 working days. It's offered by TSB and most other banks in the UK
What is the Current Account Switch Service?
It's a free service that lets you switch your current account from one bank or building society to another. It's simple, reliable and hassle-free, and it's backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee which means that if you incur any interest or charges as a result of your switch, you'll be reimbursed.
How does it work?
Once your new current account is set up, your new bank will contact your old bank and arrange for any payments, including your salary, any direct debits and standing orders to be transferred across to your new account. Any balance on your old account will also be transferred. The whole process takes just seven working days. For 36 months after the switch, any payments sent to or requested from your old account will be directed to your new account.
Do all banks and building societies back the service?
Over 40 banks are signed up to the service, including TSB. Go to the Current Account Switch Service website to find out if the bank or building society you're interested in is involved.
I run a charity or a small business - is this service available to me?
Yes, the service is offered to businesses and charities that have an annual turnover or balance sheet of no more than £6.5 million and employ less than 50 people. Taking up the service means you will benefit from having all payments (incoming and outgoing) transferred to the new account; a notification system for payees; and a single point of contact throughout the process. Visit the Current Account Switch Service website for further information for your individual circumstances.
Can I do anything to make the process easier or quicker?
You can make sure your old bank and your new bank have the same details for you e.g. your name and address. This will make the process a lot easier for your new bank and prevent any delays in authenticating your identity.
What happens if I incur some charges as a result of an issue with the switch?
If anything goes wrong with the switch, as soon as you notify your new bank is notified, you will be refunded any interest (paid or lost) and charges made on either your old or new current account as a result. That's all part of the Current Account Switch Guarantee. If you incur any markers on your credit record as a result of a missed payment, your new bank should be able to advise the credit agencies of the discrepancy on your behalf once you notify them that something has gone wrong.
How will I access statements from my old account?
You should request paper statements from the bank or download them through online banking while your account is still open, if they provide this service. Once your old account is closed you may not be able to access old statements without charge so if you think you'll need proof of address during your switch, you should print or request copies of your old bank statements to have on hand. Downloaded statements are a good record of your transactions for your records only. A downloaded bank statement does not always follow the same format as a copy you would receive in the post and many places may not accept downloaded statements. It's worth requesting your last statement before instructing your switch if you think you might need proof of address for any reason.
What happens if I want to keep my existing current account open and/or only switch over certain parts of it (e.g. just one or two direct debits)?
This is usually called a partial switch which is offered by most banks, including TSB, but you will not covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee because you are not fully switching over one account to the other. It can also take a bit longer than seven days to complete. The Partial Transfer Service allows you to choose which payment arrangements you would like to transfer and it also gives you the option to leave your old account open.