Using the Switching Code process to move your Business Current Account

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It may be possible for certain businesses to avail of the switching process set out in the Central Bank of Ireland’s (CBI) Code of Conduct on the Switching of Payment Accounts with Payment Service Providers (the Switching Code). Not all providers have a switching service. If your new provider does and you wish to proceed in this way, you will be supported to open your new account using the switching service. You can access the Switching Code here.

Under the Switching Code, certain businesses, but not all, are eligible to apply to have your business current account moved from your existing provider to a new provider.

The Switching Code does not apply to any credit facilities.

The Switching Code applies to Current Accounts with Credit Institutions denominated in euros held by personal and certain business customers in the Republic of Ireland, who fall within the category of “Consumer”, as defined by the Account Switching Code. For businesses it covers:

  • a person or group of persons, but not an incorporated body with an annual turnover in excess of €3m (for the avoidance of doubt a group of persons includes partnerships and other unincorporated bodies such as clubs, charities and trusts, not consisting entirely of bodies corporate); or
  • incorporated bodies having an annual turnover of €3m or less in the previous financial year (provided the business is not a member of a group of companies having a combined turnover greater than €3m).

However, please note that there are very important things that you as a customer must do (and only you as a customer are authorised to do) to ensure the process can be completed successfully. More information is provided below.

FIRST STEP IS TO OPEN A NEW ACCOUNT WITH A NEW PROVIDER
The first step in using the Switching Code process is that you need to arrange to open your new business account with a new provider, complete the account opening forms and provide all the required documentation.

If your business is eligible to avail of the Switching Code process, you must first decide which provider you want to move your account to.

Once you have decided which provider you would like to open your new current account with, you should request that provider’s switching brochure which will give you all the information you need to switch your account.

Please review Section 2 above which provides information on opening a new business current account. Once your new account is opened, you will need to fill out that provider’s Account Transfer Form (ATF) or Account Switching Form which you can find online at the new provider’s website (details are below) or you can call into a branch to get the form in paper format.

The Account Transfer Form under the Switching Code process will provide you with the following two options:

Option A’ – where you close the old account and switch your balance and your direct debits/standing orders to your new provider

Option B’ – where you keep the old account open but switch your balance and your direct debits/standing orders to your new provider

However, if you choose Option B, because Ulster Bank and KBC Bank are exiting the Irish market, you will have to instruct them to close the old account at a later date.

Once you have completed the Account Transfer Form, your new provider will send it to your existing bank.

If you choose the Switching Code process to switch your current account, you will need to make sure you do the following:

  • Select a switch date (during which time the switch can take place) at a time during the month when there is the least amount of activity on your current account. This is to ensure that any pending transactions and/or Direct Debits (DDs) and/or Standing Orders (SOs) are paid successfully. To help with choosing a switch date, you should look at the account statements from your existing provider to determine the time during the month that there is least activity on your account.
  • Ensure that you do not use your debit card to generate any pending transactions on your current account once the process has commenced. If there are pending transactions on your account, it may result in the switch being delayed or cancelled.
  • You will need to ensure that any companies that you have a payment arrangement with i.e., Direct Debits with a phone company, electricity and gas companies, broadband arrangements, Revenue Commissioners etc., are made aware of your new account details. Your existing provider will notify these companies of your new account details as part of the switching service, but it is very important that you follow up with these companies to ensure they have updated your account details on their system so that your bills continue to be paid after the switch has completed.
  • Also, as part of the switching service your existing provider will notify the new provider of any Standing Orders on your current account and your new provider will set these up for you.
  • You should also check for any recurring card payments coming out of your account e.g., subscription services as you will need to those service providers with the details of your new card number as the switching service will not do this. One way to help identify recurring payments may be to look at your account statements from your existing provider to identify any payments set up on your card.
  • You will need to notify anyone who makes payments into your account of your new account details. To help you identify the source of incoming payment to your account, you should look at the account statements from your existing provider to identify anyone who sends payments into your account.
  • There are rules and restrictions that apply in order for this process to complete. If you choose to follow an ‘Option A’ switch, it is important to know that you will not be able to use your account while the switch is being processed. If, however, you choose to follow an ‘Option B’ switch, you will still be able to access your account. However, you will need to then close the account later.

Your new provider will advise you of any additional steps you may need to take to ensure the switch completes successfully.

Select an account transfer date that falls at a time when there is the least amount of activity on your account

As above, it is very important to ensure that any companies you have a Direct Debit arrangement with has your new current account details and that they have updated these on their system to ensure continued payment of any bills you may have with these companies. It cannot be guaranteed that this will be done automatically as part of the switching service so you should contact them to check.

It is important that you follow up with any companies you have a Direct Debit arrangement with to ensure that your new account details are noted on their system. Otherwise, a bill may not be paid on time.

You will also need to contact any companies that you might have a subscription with or any company that you have agreed to pay with your debit card (known as a “recurring card payment”). These payments are attached to your debit card and these companies will need to know your new card details to process any upcoming payments.  They are not part of the switching service, so you need to provide your new details to these companies yourself

Your new account will be available to you once the account has been onboarded successfully by your new provider, subject to the switching request being successful.

Any balance that you had in the old account will be available in your new account 10 working days from your chosen switch date. Any Standing Orders you may have will also be set up on your new account by this date.

You will need to request a new debit card as part of the account opening process with your new provider who will then send you a debit card in the post.

You can get more information about switching your business current account by visiting providers websites or contacting your chosen new provider.

The table below provides relevant website addresses for providers offering business current accounts.

BankSwitching Information
AIBhttps://aib.ie/content/dam/frontdoor/business/docs/products/current-accounts/business-switcher-web-version-with-strapline.pdf
Bank of Irelandhttps://businessbanking.bankofireland.com/support-centre/business-banking/business-current-accounts/switching-to-bank-of-ireland/
permanent tsbhttps://www.permanenttsb.ie/help-and-support/why-join-us/switching-guide/
N26https://n26.com/en-eu/business-bank-account
Revoluthttps://www.revolut.com/en-IE/business/business-account
fire.comhttps://www.fire.com/
bunqhttps://www.bunq.com/business

 

Contact details for Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland

Ulster Bank

Ulster Bank customers can telephone 0818 210 260

https://www.ulsterbank.ie/business/support/support-hub.html


KBC Bank Ireland

KBC Bank customers can telephone 1800 93 92 44

https://www.kbc.ie/en-US/homepage

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