Current Account Switch Service | Switching Bank Accounts

Switch bank accounts without hassle, for free!

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By Cai Bradley
Updated on Monday 16 November 2020

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While current account providers dish out free gifts, discounts, incentives, cash rewards, and higher interest rates to new customers, those who have been loyal to their bank for several years are missing out on benefits.

If you’re looking to change banks to reap the rewards of the most competitive offers out there, you need to make full use of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) to change providers with minimal effort on your part.

Our guide introduces how the Current Account Switch Service works, how you go about using it, which banks are eligible, and the benefits of switching bank accounts.

In this guide:

The benefits of switching bank accounts

How does the Current Account Switch Service work?

How to use the Current Account Switch Service

Switching to a digital bank

How does the Current Account Switch Service work?

The Current Account Switch Guarantee makes switching to a new provider a walk in the park – all of the work is taken care of on your behalf.

When you switch with the Current Account Switch Service, your existing and future banks liaise to automatically transfer your outgoing payments (including your direct debits and standing orders) and incoming payments (including your salary, pension or rental income) within seven working days.

Types of bank account switch

You can either make a partial switch or a full switch, with the latter being the most common type in the UK.

The full current account switch:

  • Transfers all your existing payment arrangements from your old account to your new one

  • Is only applicable to individuals, small businesses, and charities

  • Is guaranteed to be completed within seven days

  • Redirects your existing transactions to your new account

The partial current account switch:

  • Let’s you transfer specific information from your old account to your new one

  • Is not guaranteed to be completed within seven days

How to use the Current Account Switch Service

To begin the process of switching bank accounts, you should contact the new current account provider that you intend on switching to and let them know that you would like to use the Current Account Switch Service.

Your bank will provide two forms (a Current Account Switch Agreement and a Current Account Closure Instruction) that you’re required to complete and sign, but once you’ve provided those and the relevant information, the process will begin.

It takes seven working days to be switched to your new provider, and you will be notified when your account is completely set up.

Am I eligible for the Current Account Switch Guarantee?

Although there are no strict requirements to meet in order to be eligible for the Current Account Switch Guarantee, there are a few things you can do to further enhance your chances of being accepted:

  • Ensure that you do not have an excessive amount of direct debits

  • Deposit money into your account on a regular basis

What banks are in the Current Account Switch Service?

99% of all major current account providers in the UK offer the Current Account Switch Service, so the odds certainly favour you, but you will not be able to use the service if your current bank is not involved in the programme.

What are the benefits of switching bank accounts?

The CASS allows you to find the best current account for you and transfer all your payment arrangements without hassle, but why would you want to switch providers?

Current account providers seem to forget about existing customers and loyalty is rarely rewarded, while new customers are typically offered a whole host of incentives and benefits.

Current account providers will usually offer new customers benefits such as:

  • A large overdraft

  • Cashback rewards

  • Free gifts (including free cinema tickets!)

  • Cash rewards (you can get over £100 for opening a bank account with certain providers!)

  • Better interest rates on savings accounts

Switching to a digital bank

Many people in the UK have switched to digital or online-only banks in recent years, and their popularity only seems to be rising.

The main benefits of digital banks – also known as challenger banks – include money management and budgeting tools. Users find that these challenger banks offer far more advanced budget management tech and allow them to organise their spending far more efficiently.

Digital banks such as Starling also give account holders greater control over their savings, allowing them to pay into multiple savings pots within the smartphone app itself. You can set up savings pots specifically for holidays, weddings and house deposits, and general spending can be split into categories of groceries, leisure, transport, and so on.

Read More: Starling Bank Review: Mobile Only Banking

Are there possible drawbacks to switching bank accounts?

It’s important to remember that switching bank accounts could have a negative impact on your credit score if your application to switch to a new current account provider is rejected.

Carrying over unnecessary direct debits to your new account once you switch can also decrease your credit rating, so be sure to cancel any that are no longer needed before applying for a new bank.

If your direct debits are all in order and your application is not rejected, then your credit report should remain as it is without any negative implications.

Head over to our resources for more information on all-things credit scoring and credit reference agencies.

Related articles:

Digital Banking Explained

Online Banking: Is It For You?

The Best Energy Provider Switching Service: LAMB

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