Thirty-three banks and building societies have signed up to the Payment Council’s new Current Account Switch Service, which is designed to make switching current accounts from one provider to another “simpler, more reliable and hassle-free”.
From Monday September 16, 2013, the free account switching service will be available to consumers, small charities and most importantly to small businesses.
“After two years of work and commitment by the Payments Council and financial institutions to develop this new standardised switching service, this marks a significant day for all parties involved,” says Payments Council chief executive Adrian Kamellard.
“As final preparations are made for launch, we look forward to a new era of account switching which will lead to greater choice and wider competition in the marketplace.”
The current account providers will use the “Current Account Switch Guarantee”, which details the benefits of the service, including:
- SMEs will be able to pick their own date for the switch
- It will take up to just seven working days to switch account (a major improvement on the current process which can take between 18 and 30 days)
- Existing payment arrangements (Direct Debits, standing orders, etc) will be transferred automatically from the old account to the new account
- A new central redirection service will ensure that any payments sent to, or attempted to be taken from, the old account after the switch date will be redirected automatically to the new account for a period of 13 months
Together, the 33 banks and building societies that have signed up to the new switching service make up nearly 100 per cent of the current account marketplace.