The free service backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee aims to make the process of switching your current bank account easier, safer, hassle free and quick; reducing the time it takes to only 7 days.
As a nation we tend to stick with our Bank for many years; in fact of the whopping 49 million current account holders throughout the UK, few have been likely to switch with the average person remaining true to their provider for 26 years.
In the competitive world we live in, don’t you find it astounding that we commit to our banks longer than some of us commit to a relationship; and what makes it even more amazing is that this commitment isn’t through any sense of loyalty or bond; after all the days of popping into the local branch are for most long gone.
Our allegiance has unfortunately been through a fear of switching and the perceived problems that come with it.
But fear not; the good news is that from today you can switch providers in just five easy steps:
1. Shop around online and choose the bank you want to switch to
2. Check your new bank uses the Current Account Switch Service
3. Inform the new bank that you want to switch by contacting them either online, over the phone or in branch and open your account
4. Complete 2 forms – One to become a customer of the New Bank, the other to close your old account
5. Choose the date you would like the switch to take place. You will continue to use your old account until this date
Yes you’ve got it, your new bank do all the work so there is absolutely no need to contact your old bank and you are in control of when the switch takes place, taking into account the 7 day window.
Whatsmore the Current Account Switching Service means that your new bank will take full responsibility for the switch and automatically transfer funds, direct debits or standing orders and ensure that for 13 months, any payments accidentally made to your old account are redirected to your new one.
The Current Account Switch Guarantee also gives you the reassurance that if something were to go wrong, your new bank would refund any interest (paid or lost) or charges made as a result of the switch to either your new or old account.
This much needed and highly regarded service means that customers could save hundreds of pounds through reduced bank charges, improved interest rates and cash incentives. A word of warning though; don’t opt for a deal that offers short term value without thinking about the long term impact. You need to ensure that the account you choose will suit your ongoing needs. A current account comparison service like the one provided by the Money Advice Service will point you in the right direction.
So do you have a long term relationship with your bank that you’ve been dying to end? Then it could be time to write that ‘Dear John’ letter and move on to pastures new.
By Ashley Shepherd