The Fixer: Current account switch


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Dear Fixer,
I have had a bank account with Barclays for as long as I can remember, but I have become increasingly fed up with it over the last few years and would like to switch to another bank.

A friend has recommended a Nationwide account that pays a high rate of interest on your money, but having never switched before, I am a bit worried about missing bill payments such as my mortgage while the changeover takes place.

Are there any rules in place to prevent this happening? And what do I need to do to make the switch? Thank you for your help.

M Peters, London

Dear Ms Peters,

The good news is that there is now a Current Account Switch Service designed to make the process of switching banks quicker and easier by ensuring all switches are completed within seven working days – down from up to 30 working days in the past.

The service comes with a Current Account Switch Guarantee that states that all outgoing payments such as direct debits will be transferred to your new account provider automatically, and that any incoming payments sent to your old account by accident will be redirected to your new account for 13 months after the agreed switch date.

What's more, if any errors are made and you are penalised as a result, your new account provider will refund the full amount.

And all you need to do to make the switch is tell Nationwide that you want to open an account and leave it to contact Barclays and get the transfer process started.

You will have to visit a branch with relevant documents such as your passport or driving licence, and a utility or Council Tax bill to prove your identity and where you live.

But once that is done, the only other thing you have to do is close your old account once the switch has gone through.

The Fixer

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