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Switching current accounts - what you need to do

Ready to switch bank accounts? Here's how you can switch using the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

What is the Current Account Switch Guarantee?

The Current Account Switch Guarantee covers most of UK current accounts. It should take only 7 working days to switch your current account, once your new account is open. Payments, such as Direct Debits and standing orders, and any regular payments made to, or requested from your old account, will automatically be transferred and redirected to your new account.

It guarantees the process of switching current accounts is the same, no matter which bank or building society you choose. Plus, you'll be refunded any charges or interest incurred if something goes wrong. 

If you have a joint current account, you'll need permission from any other account holders before you switch.

Explore: Benefits of switching current accounts

How to switch your current account using the Current Account Switch Guarantee

1. Check eligibility

Start by checking you meet the eligibility criteria for the current account you're interested in. This may vary from bank to bank. For example, you may need to pay in a minimum amount of money each month.

2. If you want an overdraft, apply first

If you want an arranged overdraft with your new current account, you'll need to be approved by your new bank before you make your switch.

Explore: Overdrafts explained

3. Tidy up your existing account

Bank statements may come in handy for identification and for some loan applications, so it can be useful to get some copies from your current bank before you switch.

It's also worth checking your Direct Debits and standing orders to make sure they're still needed. You can cancel any you no longer want to make.

4. Choose your bank switch date

Switching current accounts takes 7 working days and you can choose the date you'd like the switch to be made.

5. Start the switching process

Tell your bank or building society you want to switch using the Current Account Switch Guarantee. They'll take care of everything from there and make sure the following are switched to your new account:

  • Balance
  • Incoming payments (such as your salary)
  • Outgoing payments (such as Direct Debits, standing orders and bill payments)

You can use your old account as usual, but don't set up any new Direct Debits or standing orders from your old account.

6. Start using your new current account

Your old account will be closed and your new one ready to use on your switch date. From this point, you can use your new account as normal.

What if you don't want to close your old bank account?

You can make what's called a partial switch to a new current account, but this isn't covered by the Current Account Switch Guarantee. It also takes longer than 7 working days. You'll need to arrange for credit payments to be transferred into your new account.

Keep in mind - if you do a partial switch, you may not get some of the incentives that are being offered by your new bank.