Switching your Personal account to another provider

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It is also possible for you to switch your account, where you request to have your account moved from your existing provider to a new provider. Banks and credit unions provide a switching service, but not all providers do. If your new provider does and you would like to switch, you will be supported to open your new account in this way.

The process is 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). You can access the Switching Code here.

However, please note that there are very important actions 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.

If you would like to switch your account, you must first decide where you want to move your account to. Once you have decided which provider you would like to open your new account with, you should request the new provider’s switching pack which will give you all the information you need to switch your account. Your new provider will also tell you what you need to know about the process and answer any questions you may have.

You will need to fill out an Account Transfer Form (ATF) (also known as a “switcher/switching form”), which you can find online from the new provider’s website (details are below) or you can call into a branch to get the form in paper format.

If you decide to switch your account, you can decide to follow an “Option A” switch – where you switch your account to a new provider and close the old account as part of the switch – or an “Option B” switch – where you switch your account to a new provider but keep the old account open. However, because Ulster Bank and KBC Bank are leaving the Irish market, you may wish to instruct them to close the old account later if you choose an “Option B” switch.

If you choose to switch your 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 account. This is to ensure that any pending transactions and/or Direct Debits (Direct Debits) and/or Standing Orders (Standing Orders) 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 e.g., at least 10 working days when there are no Direct Debits or Standing Orders coming out of your account, and ensure it falls on a weekday – not a weekend or bank holiday.
  • Ensure that you do not generate any pending transactions on your account once the process has commenced, especially if you choose an “Option A” switch.

    If there are pending transactions on your account, it may result in the switch being delayed or cancelled. In order to avoid your switch request being rejected for pending transactions, you should:

    §  Choose a switch date which is a quiet time on your account – from the switch date all transactions such as direct debits and standing orders will no longer be processed on your old account.

    §  Be aware that debit card transactions on your old account may take a couple of days to settle so you should stop using the debit card on your old account in advance of the switch date. You should activate and commence using the debit card on your new account in advance of the switch date, to ensure continued access to your funds during the switch.

    §  Be aware that any cheques you have written for payment from your old account which have not been presented to the old bank for payment before the switch date will be returned unpaid by your old bank.

    §  Be aware that any ATM withdrawals from the old account can only proceed if the old account and the debit card are still active. Once they are no longer active, you will not be able to withdraw money at an ATM from the old account.

    If, however, you choose to follow an “Option B” switch, you will still be able to access your existing account. However, you may wish to close the account later.

  • You will need to ensure that any companies that you have a payment arrangement with i.e., Direct Debits with a mobile 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 process, 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 process, your existing provider will notify the new provider of any Standing Orders on your account and your new provider will set these up for you.
    You should also check for any recurring payments attached to your debit card e.g., subscription services, and update those providers with your new card number. These payments will not be switched over as part of the switching process and therefore you must ensure that you contact these service providers with your new card details.
    You may also need to update your card details on any other payment platforms that you may use e.g., Google Pay or Apple Pay.
  • If people pay directly into your account, you will have to contact them yourself and notify them of your new account details. For example, you will need to do this in the case of your employer to ensure your salary is lodged to the new account or the Department of Social Protection for any welfare payments you may receive.
    You may be asked to prove your identity as part of this.
    To help you identify all sources of income, you should look at the account statements from your existing provider to identify anyone who sends payment into your account.
    Each provider’s switching pack contains templates that you can use to support you with this part of the process. It is important that you do this to avoid any income being returned to the sender.

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

To open a new account with a new provider, you will need to follow the usual steps of verifying your identity and providing proof of your address.

To do this, you will need to provide at least one form of photo ID and at least one document proving your address. Your new provider will advise you about the documents that will meet this requirement.

As above, it is very important to ensure that any companies you have a Direct Debit arrangement with has your new 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 process, so you should contact them to check.
You will also need to contact any companies that you might have a subscription with (e.g., Netflix, Spotify) 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 process, so you need to provide your new details to these companies yourself.
You may also need to update your card details on any other payment platforms that you may use e.g., Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Your new account will be available to you once the account has been opened. Subject to the switching request being successful, your existing provider must transfer the balance, send a list of Standing Order details to your new provider, and inform Direct Debit Originators of your new account details within 7 working days. Your new provider must ensure that the account is up and running within 10 working days. Any Standing Orders you may have will also be set up on your new account 10 working days from your chosen switch date.

You can get more information about switching your account using the Switching Code by contacting your chosen new provider or by visiting the websites of the main banks and the credit unions. The table below provides the relevant website addresses.

BankSwitching Information
AIBhttps://aib.ie/content/dam/aib/personal/docs/our-products/current-accounts/switching-your-personal-current-account/personal-current-account-switching-pack.pdf
Bank of Irelandhttps://www.bankofireland.com/app/uploads/assets/37-1327R-current-personal-switching-guide.pdf
Credit Unionshttps://www.creditunion.ie/what-we-offer/current-account/
permanent tsbhttps://www.permanenttsb.ie/help-and-support/why-join-us/switching-guide/
Ulster Bankhttps://www.ulsterbank.ie/switching

You can also get information about switching at www.switchyourbank.ie and at www.ccpc.ie.

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