How quick and easy can I switch current accounts?

You’ll often hear that nobody switches their current account – and the banks still offer incentives to get young people to open a student account in the hope of getting their business for life.

The choice of where you hold your current account is an important one. It can determine your access to overdrafts and ATMs, the availability of local branches, and you’re generally much more likely to consider your own bank first when you need a loan or a mortgage, or to open a savings account or business account.

But the truth is that plenty of people switch current accounts – since the Current Account Switch Service launched in 2013 to make the process easier, over four million UK accountholders have used it, with a satisfaction rating of 95%.

The service ensures that if you switch current accounts, payments into your old account do not go astray, but are correctly forwarded to your new account number, while payments requested from the old account, for example by Direct Debit, are also taken from the new account – and there’s no fixed deadline on how long this will be done for.

At the same time, the switch service moves existing arrangements over to the new account too, so that within as little as seven days, the old account should no longer be in use.

In over 99% of cases the complete switchover takes less than seven days – and thanks to the redirects of payments that are incorrectly made to the old account, you won’t lose out on any outstanding payments due to be made to you.

What about opening a new current account?

There is a sticking point with using this service, and that is whether or not you can actually qualify for a new current account from the high street banks.

The switching service can only help you to move over from an existing current account to a new one that is fully approved and up and running – if your application gets rejected, then naturally you cannot switch.

With the high street banks there are many reasons why a perfectly reasonable application might be denied, for example:

  • No proof of name or expired proof of ID.
  • No proof of current or previous addresses.
  • Bad credit rating/no credit history.
  • Too many applications in a short time.

The list goes on, and if you find yourself on it, this can make it much harder to switch current account – not to mention slowing down the whole process as you try to find suitable paperwork to prove your ID or address.

If you want to leave your current bank quickly for any reason, perhaps due to a dispute over how they have treated you or because you have finally managed to clear an overdraft that was making it impossible to close your account, then an Arro Personal Account is an option.

A new current account in 3 minutes

You’re unlikely to get a current account faster than with an Arro Personal Account, which can be up and running in just three minutes, with no paper ID needed, no credit check and guaranteed approval, subject to our Fair Fit criteria.

To apply you must be over 18 and live in the UK, but we don’t need proof of current or previous addresses – we can verify your ID with a quick online database check, which won’t show up on your credit report.

As long as you are eligible, we guarantee to accept you for an Arro Personal Account, which gives you a sort code and account number just like a bank account, as well as a MasterCard® debit card you can use in all the usual places.

You can withdraw cash from ATMs with your card, set up Faster Payments and Direct Debits online, and use your debit card online and in shops too – all the common ways to spend from a current account.

With just one quick signup form to tell us your name, age, address and a few other contact details, you can apply and be approved within three minutes – and we’ll send you your online dashboard login and account details immediately.

We’ll even send you your debit card number via SMS, so you can start using it online right away until the physical MasterCard® comes in the post a few days later – one of the fastest ways you can get a new current account and debit card to use online with no credit check or ID.