Switching bank accounts: “Can I switch while I raise issues with my current bank?”

Money Edit reader Sheila wants to know if she can switch bank accounts and sort out mystery outgoing payments with her bank at the same time. Katie Binns helps her find out

Person opening mail containing new bank card
(Image credit: Getty images)

Are you considering switching bank accounts? Getting free cash for simply changing bank account during a cost of living crisis feels like a no-brainer, especially if you’re not happy with the service provided by your current bank or are affected by local branch closures

Switching bank account

A Money Edit reader has written to us after deciding to switch bank accounts after 62 years with the same bank:

Dear Money Edit,

Could I pick your brains? I want to switch bank accounts, from TSB to Nationwide, as it’s the only bank left in my very small town. TSB was here but closed, and the nearest branch is about 25 miles away. 

It’s a shame really, as I had been with them since I was 8 years old - I am 70 now.

So I want to change, but there's a couple of things that need looking into with my account. Some mystery payments are coming out of my account - I am really not sure why. 

If I switch bank accounts, can I still pursue these queries with TSB, or would the bank not be able to follow through with the account being closed? 

Also, would my cost of living payments go straight to the new account? 



Money Edit’s Katie Binns explains

I’m sorry to hear you’re affected by branch closures, Sheila. It sounds like Nationwide will be a good fit for your needs.

The good news is that switching bank accounts is quick and easy, thanks to the Current Account Switch Service (CASS).

It’s a shame Nationwide is not currently offering a cash bonus to switching customers for you to benefit from. Money Edit reader Lydia Howland recently told us how she made £311 switching bank account. And there’s plenty of offers too: Natwest, for example, is currently offering a £200 switching deal plus a 6% regular savings account

But not to worry about that. 

I spoke to the Current Account Switch Service which confirmed that while it handles the process of moving accounts, changing payments and transferring balances over, it would NOT pursue any contested payments. 

The best guidance I can give would be for you to deal with any outstanding issues with TSB before switching your account.

It would also be a good idea to flag the queries with the new bank to ensure they are not replicated when your new account is set up and payments are switched over. 

And cost of living payments such as direct debits or standing orders are automatically redirected as part of the switching process when the new account is opened.

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Katie Binns

Katie is staff writer at The Money Edit. She was the former staff writer at The Times and The Sunday Times. Her experience includes writing about personal finance, culture, travel and interviews celebrities.  Her investigative work on financial abuse resulted in a number of mortgage prisoners being set free - and a nomination for the Best Personal Finance Story of the Year in the Headlinemoney awards 2021.