The Current Account Switch Service launched in September 2013. More than one year on, over 1 million accounts had moved and 86% of small businesses making a switch through the service said they felt in control of the process, while having just one point of contact at the new business bank, rather than having to liaise with the old provider, was also a bonus.
Until this free-to-use facility was brought in, changing from one account to another could be a lengthy process, with the switch typically taking between 18 and 30 days after the new account had been opened. That was a huge hurdle for small businesses heavily reliant on cash flow, with worries about missing out on invoice payments landing in the right account or suppliers not being paid according to terms, with the possibility of late payment charges being incurred.
But that timeline’s been reduced right down to seven working days from the day the switching process starts to when the switch takes place.
What about my Direct Debits and standing orders?
On top of that, the service ensures that existing payments such as Direct Debits or standing orders will be moved to the new account automatically, and any transactions which do go through to the old account will be redirected to the new one for 36 months (from 1 April 2015), so there is no need for a business to worry about any payments going missing.
The company making or taking the payment using the old account details will also get a message instructing them to update their records with the new account information.
What if something goes wrong?
Importantly, the service is backed by a guarantee which means that if something should go wrong during a switch, any charges or interest will be refunded. You can download the full guarantee here.
A guide for small business considering moving their business current account has also been produced, and can be downloaded here.
Who can use the Current Account Switch service?
From 1 April 2015, the switch guarantee scheme has been extended to businesses, charities and trusts with a turnover of up to £6.5 million – any business aiming to change banking provider should check they’re eligible to use the service with their new bank.
The Current Account Switch Service is a free-to-use service for small businesses, small charities, small businesses, small trusts and consumers, and is designed to make switching current accounts from one bank or building society to another, simpler, reliable and hassle-free. The Current Account Switch Service is backed by a Current Account Switch Guarantee, supported by UK banks and building societies which, between them, cover virtually 100 per cent of the competitive current account market. Find out more here.