Is your bank closing? Here’s what you can do
15 September 2021
Every month banks close branches on the high street, so if your bank has shut its doors, or is set to do so this year, we’ve got a few different options for you to consider.
Is there another bank in town? You can easily and safely move your banking to a new bank or building society using the Current Account Switching Service.
All your money, standing orders and Direct Debits will be transferred to your new bank, and future payments in will also be moved over.
If you’ve more than one bank near you that you can switch to then take a look at the different accounts available, and see if there are any incentives. You might be able get an interest boost on savings, lower overdraft fees or even a bonus just for switching.
How to switch bank
Here’s how the switching service works:
- Once you’ve chosen a new account, the new bank or building society will ask you to fill in two forms: a current account switch agreement and an instruction to close your old account.
- This has to be at least seven working days after your new account is opened.
- All your incoming and outgoing payments will be moved to your new account.
- You can carry on using your old account up until the day of the switch. Your old account will then be closed.
- For 36 months any payments into or out of your old account will be automatically redirected to your new account. However, recurring payments, such as a gym membership or payday loan, which uses debit card details, are not part of the guarantee. So if you switch bank accounts, you will need to tell these firms your new card details.
You can of course just ditch branch banking altogether and focus on digital banking. Many of us do this anyway, hence the closures, so you could choose to fully embrace the digital revolution by choosing an app only bank.
There are a number of these new banks which have been designed from the start to work from your phone. These banks claim this makes it a far better user experience than older banks trying to adjust ancient IT systems to work. The downside is there is no branch to pop into if things go wrong, however they do usually have good customer service in app.
You might actually prefer the budgeting tools offered by many app only banks. They're very popular in our budgeting and saving Facebook group.
If you're worried about paying in cheques, many banks - including some traditional ones - now let you pay them in using the bank's app to take a photo of it.
Use the Post Office
It’s not commonly known that you can actually pay in and take out money from most banks at the Post Office. Head to the counter and you can use your card and PIN to access services, and even pay in cheques.