Five steps to changing your bank account
1. Shop around for a bank that suits. Many people want better service, better levels of interest, or peace of mind concerning a bank’s ethics. Some banks even offer a small cash bonus as an incentive.
2. Go to your new bank and ask to switch accounts, telling them the name of your old bank and providing your account details (at least two forms of ID are usually required). Generally, you will need to complete an application form and a transfer form.
3. The new bank checks which direct debit and standing order payments you want moved across and sets them all up, while getting your previous bank to cancel them from their system. If you want your balance transferred and old account closed, this can also be done by letting your new bank contact the old one.
4. Industry guidelines require your new account to be operational within 10 working days of approval, but it’s important to keep on top of the process to make sure all direct debits and standing orders have gone through smoothly.
5. To be on the safe side, always ensure that your new bank will offer an interest-free ‘switcher’ overdraft covering direct debits and standing orders that go through before money is paid into your new account.
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