If you’re thinking about making a current account switch then now may be a better time than ever to do so. In this guide we explain what makes it such a good time and what factors you should consider when choosing your new banking provider for your current account needs.
Recent changes in legislation have put into place new measures to make switching bank accounts easier. These measures mean that you can expect your current account switch to be undertaken with 7 working days, with all direct debits transferred automatically. It also means that there are complaints procedures for switches gone wrong (where, for example, a direct debit payment is missed), this means that you’re then able to claim monetary compensation.
Normally your current account with the previous bank will be closed after switching to a new one.
Choosing the right current account for your needs
The banking market is increasingly being filled with paid current accounts that offer all manner of additional ‘benefits’. These added extras include various insurances, preferential currency rates and breakdown cover. Whilst smooth talking sales people may lead you into thinking that you’re getting an amazing deal with all these extras at £10 a month, you need to carefully consider whether you’ll actually use the features on offer. Far too many consumers forget entirely about the fee charged every month and never use the services they pay for.
When switching to a new current account do not forget to check what are the overdraft fees, the monthly taxes and the cashback. Though some banks give money to switch to them, you may find yourself paying more for all these costs than what you have received from the bank.
A current account switch for basic bank account holders
If you own only a basic bank account then you shouldn’t be concerned about staying with the same provider if you’ve received poor service (although it is advisable to hold the same account for 6 to 12 months in order to improve your credit history).
All providers are required by law to provide basic bank account facilities to those who have a poor credit history, so if you can’t find the literature in branch ask a customer services representative directly.
Choosing a provider based on their reputation
There are no end of resources that can help you choose a provider that will both meet your financial needs and provide high quality customer service. The first of these resources is consumer review websites. Here you’ll be able to read about real world experiences of existing customers, and customers who have recently switched to the provider that you’re considering.
Thinking about your savings
If you’re switching your current account then you may be either considering switching your savings over along with it, or you may be talked into it by the bank’s sales rep. Before deciding it is essential to check out the new institution's interest rates as compared to what your savings are accumulating right now. You always have the option of leaving your savings where they are and moving only the current account across.
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