The essentials in brief:
- The change of the current account is always associated with effort. The old and the new banks are now obliged to help you with this.
- It is usually cheaper to keep the account online. And the price comparison with entirely different banks/savings banks can also be financially worthwhile.
- When looking for a suitable current account and switching independently, we will help with information, checklists and sample letters.
Many consumers are willing to switch banks. But how many of the bank customers ready to switch will put their plans into practice? Many people still shy away from taking the last step because they know that changing the current account always involves a lot of effort. Or because they don’t know that the old and new banks should help them.
Bank customers can save money by switching from their old house bank to a more cost-effective provider – because necessary fees, costs for bookings and payment cards and fees for withdrawals at third-party machines quickly add up to a proud amount.
Since September 18, 2016, bank customers have a legal right to have the previous bank and the new bank help them with changing their current account. You can find information on entitlement to accounting switching assistance in our corresponding article. Many institutes have already done this voluntarily. Of course, customers can still switch independently.
DETERMINE WHAT IS IMPORTANT
For those who value personal contact in a branch, a financial institution with its branch network is essential. For those who like to do banking via online or telephone banking, account management at a direct bank is the right choice.
It is usually cheaper to keep the account online. When it comes to withdrawing cash, you should make sure that you can withdraw money from numerous ATMs in the region as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Another critical question is how to best stock up on cash when you are abroad. Some banks now offer their customers the opportunity to withdraw money free of charge worldwide.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT CHECKING ACCOUNT
Our checklist “Criteria for Selecting the Right Current Account” clearly lists the most critical requirements for a current modern account. The best way is to compare the offers from several credit institutions and enter the points that are most important to you. It depends on you whether you value lower costs, an extensive network of ATMs or a branch in your immediate vicinity. But be careful: watch out for disadvantageous clauses, especially when it comes to incredibly cheap offers. For example, banks often require a minimum monthly incoming payment for free current accounts.
CHANGE TO THE NEW PROVIDER
When you have found an offer that fits you, you should switch to a new bank or savings bank – unless you can convince your old institution to make you a better offer. The rule here is: asking doesn’t cost anything If you want to do without the change assistance and organize the move to the new provider yourself, our checklist “Step by step to the new current account” will help.
Correspondence with credit institutes and contractual partners: Our sample letters also make it easier for you to switch. With their help, you can cancel the old current account and inform your contractual partners – from employers to electricity providers – about your new bank details.
- Sample letter for changing direct debit orders
- Sample letter for informing the employer
- Sample letter for terminating the old current account
Occasionally we receive complaints that banks close the account very quickly after sending the cancellation. Consumers could then no longer withdraw money, for example, and had no access to online banking. The reason for this because there are no or only concise notice periods for current accounts and the banks implement the cancellations very quickly.
TIPS FOR YOU!
- First, open your new account and switch all payments (card payments, standing orders, direct debits, incoming payments from employers, etc.) to the new account.
- Let the old and new accounts run in parallel for a while (approx. 3 months). Keep a smaller amount in the old version. This is a safeguard against charges that you no longer expected.
- Do not cancel your old account until you have successfully switched.
- You should know that you will no longer be able to access your data in online banking after the end of the contract. We recommend that you access and save all documents in good time, especially the bank statements. Otherwise, there is a risk of additional costs for the subsequent creation of the documents.