Switching an account - Financial Conduct Authority

Switching an account

Last Modified: 16/09/2013
Find out your rights when switching a current account or cash ISA to another bank or building society.

Switching to another bank or building society should be a free, simple process that your new bank should mostly do for you.

Once your application for a new account is approved the switch should be completed within:

  • 10 working days for current accounts
  • 15 working days for cash ISAs

Did you know? Most banks now guarantee to complete the switch of a current account within seven working days. Ask the new bank for more information.

Switching a current account

You can agree a date with your new bank that you want the switch to take effect. You might want to look at the date your direct debits and standing orders are paid each month and choose a date just after this.

But the switch should otherwise be completed within ten working days from when the application is approved.

Once it is approved, the new bank should ask your old bank for details of payments going out, like direct debits and standing orders, or those coming in, such as your salary, within three working days. Once your old bank receives this request, it should give your new bank this information within three working days.

Your new bank will then tell the companies you have direct debits with about your new account and set up new standing orders for you.

If you want to close your old account, or just transfer the balance to the new account, the banks will agree a date to make the transfer – but should not charge you for it.

Once your account is up and running you should check that all the details are correct, especially for regular payments coming in and going out.

You might also want to make sure that anyone making payments into your account – like your employer, benefits agency or pension provider – knows about your new account details.

Know your rights!

If your current account is not switched within ten working days of the date the application is approved, ask your new bank to chase it up for you.

If anything goes wrong with the switch you should tell the new bank as soon as possible. It should refund any charges and fees paid on a current account because of the delay in making the switch.

Switching a cash ISA

A cash ISA is an individual savings account that allows you to save money without being taxed on the interest earned. Moving a cash ISA can be a little more complicated if you want to protect the tax-free status of any interest earned.

Make sure you tell your bank that you want to switch or transfer your cash ISA rather than close the account.

Your new bank should ask you to complete a transfer request and send it to your old bank, which should then transfer the money electronically or send a cheque for the balance to your new bank.

The banks have agreed to try to transfer cash ISAs within 15 working days.

Your new bank should start paying interest on the date of the cheque, the date the electronic payment started, or day 16 of the transfer process – whichever is earlier.

Consumer Helpline

Telephone: 0800 111 6768

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External links

Payments Council

Further information on the current account switch guarantee

Money Advice Service

Provides information and tools to help you manage your money

Financial Ombudsman Service

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Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

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