Changing Banks (UK) - Some questions.

I want to change banks because my bank is poo (Barclays) It looks like I have to transfer all direct debit payments etc across to the new account.

Question - can’t I keep both accounts so that I can transfer things across slowly and in my own time, or does the opening of one account have to result in the closure of another one?

Any advice from people who’ve done it?

Of course you can keep both accounts and do as you suggest, however many current accounts will only give you free banking if you undertake to pay you paycheck into it monthly.

If you shop around though I am sure you can avoid that. Forget recommendations, bar perhaps First Direct which seem uniformly good from friends feedback, but from my experience it is pretty random whether your account works well or not. If you can find one that runs well without error for a year or so then stick with it.

My Barclays accounts have run perfectly, your are poo. Go figure…it’s a lottery.

There’s no regulation saying you can only have one bank account at a time. Individual banks may enforce certain regulations on particular accounts (minimum balance, minimum monthly deposit etc), the breaking of which may elicit penalties (i.e. higher charges). You’ll have to check the terms and conditions for that.

The only real problem in migrating bank accounts slowly is having enough cash in each to fulfill the debits levied against it. You’d have to split your cash quite carefully.

In previous cases where I’ve moved accounts I’ve opened the new one, deposited a small amount, and then set up the internet banking system on it. When that comes through I use it to set up all the direct debits in one go and transfer the bulk of the money from the old account. Then you just have to ensure your employer is sending your salary to the right one.

For what it’s worth, both my personal and company accounts are currently with NatWest and I find them pretty good.

I have seen some adverts on the crystal cube where banks(former building societies actually) state that they will handle the entire changeover, and when you think of how much it is in the interests of banks to make changing as painless as possible, you would expect that you can probably do this with pretty much any bank.

As for Barclays. I have had problems at one branch, and yet they have been excellent at others, I think it depends a great deal upon the branch in question, but over the years with various relocations and account transfers I can say that the quality of their branches does vary.

I’ve been happy with Barclays, but my girlfriend has had horrendous problems with them. I’ve also had good service from Smile and the Co-operative Bank (both the same company) and Safeway/Abbey National.

AFAIK, you certainly can have several different bank accounts with different banks. I’ve got seven accounts with three different banks here in Ireland (and no money in any of them…!).

The real problem is that the direct debit is an agreement between you and the debiting party, not the bank - the bank’s only participation in the transaction is to get your authorisation for some organisation to dip their mucky fingers into your account. So if changing banks, you have to inform each one of the direct debit companies that you are changing accounts. And you have to submit a signed form to the new bank to authorize the new DD. A bank that will undertake to do that on your behalf would be a good bank to join.

I hate direct debits - this is why I refuse them as often as possible and opt for a standing order instead, which I control.

Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

As it happens the bank I am thinking of switching to is First Direct (on my dad’s reccomendation.) The speil suggests that they will handle of much of the changeover as possible (ringing my place of work, student loan company???)
The reason Barclays has been poo for me is that I used to be a student, therefore had a student account. When I stopped being a student I went into a branch to arrange to have the student status removed. They said no problem, and then proceeded to completely fuck up the account.

Not only did they not remove the student status, but they removed the overdraft limit (to 0) so my 2000+ overdrawn was suddenly demanded. They also did something which rendered the account stuck half way between student and non-student status, so that I would have to go into my account-holding branch (across the irish sea) to fix it (assuming they wouldn’t refer me to somewhere else or a telephone number). This meant my intrest rate was sub-atomic, and I couldn’t have a proper debit card.

They also persistently ask me to prove that I exist, by getting every piece of paper I own signed by the king of the universe.

‘as’, ‘as’! ‘of’ looks so dumb! :rolleyes: Lobsang.

Don’t close the Barclays a/c though. It’s useful if you go to places like Kenya and Tenerife :slight_smile: .

Barclays have buggered up both my and my daughter’s accounts. In my case they took money from my account to pay another Vetch’s bills- and then sent me a snotty letter saying I was overdrawn. Twice.
They did a similiar thing to my daughter -took a £1000 out of her account (which she didn’t have) Similiar snotty letter. After a certain amount of verbal communication they humbly apologised to her and sent a manager to our house with flowers and two bottles of wine. She took the gifts and told them to close the account.
Sorry about all that- it’s still a sensitive issue with me.
Hasn’t really answered your question, but I feel a lot better.:slight_smile: