Switch your bank account in just seven working days. Here, we explain how to switch, the best time of the month to do it and what to do if something goes wrong.

How do I switch bank accounts?

Most banks have agreed to use the new switching service, which means it should take just seven working days to switch you over from your old account once the new account is opened.

If you want to check which banks and building societies are participating, you can search by name here on the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) website.

The switching service is largely automated. The step-by-step process below details exactly what happens.

Step 1: Find your new bank account

Step 2: Apply for your chosen account

When you apply to the new provider, it will undertake its normal account-opening procedures.

Banks and building societies have to comply with strict money-laundering rules so, when you open an account, you’ll be asked to provide two separate documents for proof of identity and proof of address.

You will then need to complete a ‘Current Account Switch Agreement’ form and a ‘Current Account Closure Instruction’ form, provided by your new bank or building society,

Step 3: Know your rights

Your new bank or building society will confirm whether it is using the current account switching service which is backed by the Current Account Switch Guarantee.

This guarantee means that they will correct any problems with payments as a result of the switching process.

Step 4: Choose a switch date

You will be able to agree a convenient switch date for you with the new bank or building society.

It can’t be a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, and must be at least seven working days after your account has been opened.

Once this date has been agreed, your new bank will provide confirmation that the switch has begun and will be completed on the agreed switch date.

You will continue using your old current account up until the agreed switching date, though don’t set up new payments such as Direct Debits and standing orders during the seven working days leading up to your agreed switch date.

Your new provider will contact you if there any issues during this period.

Step 5: Start using your new account

On the switch date, your new bank or building society will be responsible for moving your incoming and outgoing payments, and transferring any money to your new account, before closing the old account and sending confirmation that the process is complete.