Switching a current account from one bank to another has always involved more 'work' -- due to standing orders and direct debits -- than switching a standard savings account; where the only task is to move one lump sum from one account to another. In the past there was no system wide protocol that banks used to switch current accounts for their customers, the result of which, was it sometimes 'fell' on the account holder to notify people/businesses/companies who pay in/out of their account -- employers etc -- a daunting task that put people off switching banks.
(Pictured: HSBC are one of the participating banks to CASS)
The good news is that Current Account Switch Service (CASS) was introduced in 2013: currentaccountswitch.co.uk. CASS applies to both personal and business current accounts for all the participating banks and building societies. The CASS official website states that forty banks and building societies have signed up to the service and that means that over 99% of all UK current accounts are CASS covered. All holders of a personal current account -- includes joint bank accounts -- are covered by CASS, but when it comes to business current accounts: CASS only applies to small businesses and charities (less than 50 employees and an annual turnover that does not exceed £6.5million).
The CASS switching service is designed to be simple and automatic: open a new current account, request the banks switching service, and the rest will be taken care of automatically. If a customer has an existing overdraft, then the process will be a little more complex, as overdraft agreements are typically based on individual circumstances, and these will have to be negotiated with the prospective new bank. It is possible to select a switch date, and the whole process should be completed in seven working days. To make the switch a customer will have to agree to the 'Current Account Closure Instruction' and 'Current Account Switch Agreement'.
The banks and building societies currently signed up to CASS are: Acorn Account, Adam & Company, Allied Irish Bank (GB), Arbuthnot Latham & Co, Bank of Ireland UK, Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Barclays Private, C. Hoare & Co, CardOneBanking, Clydesdale Bank, Co-operative Bank, Coutts, Cumberland Building Society, Danske Bank, first direct, First Trust Bank, Halifax, Hampden & Co, Handelsbanken. HSBC, HSBC Private Bank,Investec Bank, Isle of Man Bank, Lloyds Bank, Lloyds International, Lloyds Private, M&S Bank, Metro Bank, Monzo, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Post Office, RBS International, Reliance Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, smile, Starling Bank, Tesco Bank, thinkmoney, Triodos Bank, TSB Bank, Ulster Bank, Virgin Money, Weatherbys Bank and Yorkshire Bank.