When it comes to managing your personal finances, one of the best ways to save is to regularly look at and compare the different current accounts available. Whether you’re looking for the best rates, the lowest charges or specific features such as online banking, overdrafts or a debit card, it’s important to find a current account that suits your needs. If you are thinking about switching your current account, the Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) offers this simple step-by-step guide to make switching as easy as possible:
STEP 1: CLICK TO COMPARE
The CCPC’s current account comparison tool, compares current account fees, charges and other features from all of the main current account providers. With a few simple clicks, you can weigh-up all of the costs and benefits of a range of current accounts, with all of the information independently provided to help you choose the best account that suits your needs.
Step 2: Choose a new provider
After looking at your options, the next step is to pick a new provider that’s right for you. Your new provider should give you a switching information pack which contains information on all the current accounts they offer, as well as a step-by-step guide.
You should also receive:
- A guide to their fees, charges and interest rates
- An account transfer form
- Contact details for making an appointment (if required)
CCPC Top Tip! Before you switch, you will need to decide if you want to close or keep your old account open. If you choose to keep it open, it’s important to remember that you may still have to pay fees and stamp duty.
Step 3: PICK your ‘switching date’
Once everything is in place, a switching date will be agreed between you and your new current account provider. Try to pick a switching date during the month when there is low activity on your account. Try and avoid dates on or near when you get paid, or when there are a lot of outgoings e.g. mortgage/rent payments, gas/oil payments, electricity payments etc.
Remember to provide your new account details to your employer and anyone else who lodges money into your account. The switching pack will have sample letters you can use to inform your employer about your new bank details.
Step 4: UPDATE YOUR DIRECT DEBITS
Your new provider will ask you to complete an account transfer form, which they will send to your old provider. The new provider will tell any business you have a direct debit with of your new account details, so they can update their records. It is worthwhile contacting any company you pay by direct debit yourself, to ensure they have your new details on file.
If you have direct debits to businesses outside of Ireland, you will need to tell them yourself. Likewise, if you have any recurring payments, such as standing orders, on your debit card such as music streaming or gym membership you will have to tell these businesses of your new card details. These are not direct debits and won’t automatically transfer over to your new account, as part of the switching process.
CCPC Top Tip! The balance in your old account will be transferred as part of the switching process, however, leave enough money in your old account to cover any fees or payments that you owe.
STEP 5: Switching complete
Depending on what option you chose, your new account should now be open and your old account will either be closed or left open. You will receive a debit card for your new account and you can destroy the cards for your old account.
For more information on switching current accounts, or our money tools, visit www.ccpc.ie