Switching accounts

If you are unhappy with the service you are getting from your bank, or you think you are paying too much for your current account, you can easily switch to a new bank or building society.

If you are thinking of switching, check what banks are offering free banking. There may be conditions attached to free banking, such as a minimum lodgement amount each month, but if you can meet these conditions you will save on fees.

You can compare the account you have now with other current accounts on the market using our current account comparison This compares the fees and features of current accounts from the main providers. You can save money by taking the time to choose an account that suits your needs. For instance, make sure to look for an account with a fee arrangement that suits the way you use your account, as well as providing you with the services you need. For example, you may be charged per transaction on your debit card so keep an eye on how many times you use it and look at getting cashback instead. Also, keep an eye out for contactless payments. This is a quick and handy way to use your debit card for transactions under €30 and many banks are waiving the fees. However this may chance, so find out when you’ll have to start paying, as having to pay per transaction fee on lots of small transactions will quickly add up.

Switching your bank account

The Central Bank’s Code of Conduct on the switching of current accounts (Code) is designed to make switching your current account quick and easy. All banks and building societies offering current accounts in Ireland must comply with this Code.

Under this Code your new bank or building society must have your new account up and running within 10 working days of the switching date – this is the date agreed between you and your new bank or building society for the process to start. You will be given the option to keep your old account, or to close it. You must let your new bank know before you switch.

If you keep your old account open you may have to pay charges on this account and stamp duty on your cards, even if you no longer use it. If you decide to close your old account,return any unused cheques for your old accounts to your old bank to receive a refund of government stamp duty.

Remember: If you are paid directly into your bank account, you must give your new bank account details to your employer and anyone else who pays money into your bank account. Your new bank cannot do this for you.

How do you switch?

Switching is easy. Follow our 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Pick a new provider

Contact the bank or building society where you want to open your new account. We have information to help you choose a current account and details of the fees and charges with each bank. Your new bank will supply you with a switching pack in the branch or you can get it from their website. This contains a description of all of the current accounts currently being offered by that bank to new customers, as well as a step by step guide to what you need to do when switching.  When you are opening an account with your new bank you will also receive:

  • A copy of the relevant terms and conditions
  • Full details of any standard fees and charges
  • Details of any interest rates that apply
  • A point of contact to help you with any queries.

If you have an existing overdraft and you want to transfer it to your new bank, you need to talk to your new bank about this before opening your new account. If your new bank will not make an overdraft facility available to you, you need to talk to your existing bank about clearing your overdraft before you switch your account.

Your new bank may also carry out a credit check before they open an account for you.

Step 2: Pick a switching date

You need to agree a date with your new bank for the switching process to start – this is called the switching date. This should be a date during the month when there is the least activity on your account. Avoid selecting a date on or near when you are due to be paid or when your mortgage repayment is due. Your new bank will help you select the switching date.

You will also need to:

  • Provide proof of your identity and address to your new bank
  • Decide if you want to keep your old account open or not
  • Order bank cards and a cheque book for the new account
  • Set up internet and telephone banking and any bill payment arrangements

Step 3: Complete and return an account transfer form

Your new bank will ask you to complete an account transfer form. They will then send this form to your old bank, which will supply details of your direct debits and standing orders, to your new bank, to help make the switching process smoother. The balance on our old account will be transferred to your new account.

Step 4: Switch

Your new account will be up and running within 10 working days of the switching date you selected.

If your are not satisfied with your dealings with the providers consider making a complaint.


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