Which bank should I switch to?

As Tesco Financial institution launches its first current account, we highlight our 5 favourite bank accounts currently on the market, based on what you want: customer support, perks, interest, loyalty or cashback


The world’s third greatest retailer launched itself into Britain’s present account market place this week – a advancement that may possibly lastly inject some genuine competitors into banking, or so buyer professionals hope.

Tesco Bank is aiming to win a lower of the market place currently dominated by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Natwest, which deal with 74pc of recent accounts in Britain.

Tesco Financial institution buyers will be supplied factors via Tesco’s loyalty Clubcard scheme, as nicely as interest of 3pc on balances up to £3,000. The bank’s chief executive, Benny Higgins, explained he was proud of the solution but remained cautious about its prospective affect, saying financial institution consumers have been nonetheless reluctant to switch. There has been a reasonably modest 14pc improve in customers moving banks considering that a new system of smoother switching was introduced last September.

Nevertheless, the present account market has become more and more aggressive in latest months. Marks &amp Spencer unveiled a new account in Could and TSB split from Lloyds with a 4pc market place share, although the Publish Workplace is giving current accounts in a pilot trial and Virgin Funds is also expected to introduce an account this year.

If you are thinking about switching bank, decide what you want from the account – are you hunting for a cheap overdraft facility, for instance, or a generous rewards scheme?

A generation in the past, banks targeted college students and youngsters with gimmicks (see NatWest’s piggy banking institutions over) if they opened an account. Nowadays, the perks have enhanced drastically (see under).

Many individuals are opening present accounts to exploit the substantial curiosity on offer, given the woeful costs on cost savings accounts. We explain much more on how do to this at telegraph.co.united kingdom/banking , with more evaluation of Tesco’s new present account.

To kick-start off your variety process, we have listed five advisable bank accounts beneath.

Very good FOR SAVERS

Nationwide FlexDirect Account

The Nationwide FlexDirect account is perfect for followers of introductory provides, paying out 5pc interest on credit balances up to £2,500 in the initial 12 months (a maximum of £125). According to SavingsChampion, that is 3 times as much curiosity as you can currently earn on the ideal-get straightforward-entry cost savings account, which is paying out just one.65pc. New clients who switch, a process which will demand the transfer of your direct debits and standing orders, will also not be charged for authorised overdrafts in the initial yr.

Buyers require to shell out in at least £1,000 each month, and transactions have to be performed on-line, by telephone, on your mobile or at an ATM. Soon after the first 12 months, the credit interest drops to 1pc and overdrafts revert to Nationwide’s normal tariff, which is at the moment 50p a day.

Nationwide also scores extremely for transparency, according to James Daley of Fairer Finance. As properly as the FlexDirect account, Nationwide’s FlexAccount comes with free of charge European travel insurance coverage, although its FlexPlus account – which charges £10 a month – is arguably the greatest “packaged” account on the market place, with cost-free throughout the world travel and mobile mobile phone insurance, and free of charge breakdown cover, he says. Nationwide’s fees for using your card overseas are also reasonably reduced.

Professional: Marketplace-leading 5pc in-credit score curiosity

Con: Lower £2,500 balance that earns curiosity


Santander 123 Existing Account

The Santander 123 present account gives cashback on home payments, having to pay between 1pc and 3pc on water and council tax, vitality expenses and broadband packages. In addition, Santander mortgage loan consumers receive 1pc cashback on repayments up to £1,000 a month. This account also pays in-credit score interest of 3pc for these with £3,000 to £20,000 in their account, so is yet another favourite for clients looking for a return on their savings.

“The Santander account has been the go-to for savers for some time, making it possible for deposits of up to £20,000 at a quite aggressive charge of 3pc,” says Susan Hannums of SavingsChampion. The downside is a regular monthly £2 fee, which would gradually erode the curiosity, but if utilised correctly the cashback option can outweigh the charge. Clients require to pay out in £500 a month and have at least two direct debits set up. No interest is earned if your credit stability dips under £1,000.

There is no arranged overdraft charge for four months if you switch to this account, and the account contains a £12 fee-free buffer. It then fees £1 a day for organized overdrafts and £5 a day for unarranged overdrafts, to a maximum of £95 in any calendar month. “If you are often overdrawn, there are far better offers accessible elsewhere,” explained David Black of Buyer Intelligence.

Pro: Up to 3pc cashback and in-credit score curiosity

Con: £2 month to month fee

Great FOR Consumer Services

First Direct 1st Account

Very first Direct is the prime bank for consumer support, and has been for some years. Mr Daley of Fairer Finance says: “It’s a excellent way ahead of other banks, and its consumers are frequently heard advocating the brand, recommending it to their pals.” It has very good smartphone apps and a 24-hour call centre, where calls are answered by a human, not a machine. Most transactions have to get spot on the web, on the phone or on a mobile – Initial Direct does not have its own branch network, even though clients can spend in cheques or make withdrawals, and conduct other transactions, in HSBC branches.

The account comes with a £250 interest-free of charge overdraft facility and fees a competitive 15.9pc on additional authorised overdrafts. The financial institution will also pay customers £100 to switch (this can be up to £125 by way of switching bargains with sites such as MoneySuperMarket and MoneySavingExpert, or through the Telegraph’s web site at telegraph.co.united kingdom/currentaccounts ) . The account expenses £10 a month except if clients shell out in a minimum of £1,000 each month or preserve an typical month to month balance of £1,000. 1st Account consumers can also open a Initial Direct typical saver account, which pays 6pc.

Professional: £100 welcome gift

Con: No in-credit curiosity


Halifax Reward Present Account

Buyers who switch to a Halifax Reward Current Account can earn up to £160 in the very first year. There is a £100 bonus for switching your account to Halifax, and month-to-month reward payments of £5, which are ongoing. Consumers have to transfer two or far more direct debits and close their outdated account as part of the switching service, and to earn the £5 month to month reward you should deposit £750 every month and remain in credit score. Halifax Rewards are also paid net of tax, which can be an advantage over interest-paying out recent accounts, according to Kevin Mountford of MoneySuperMarket.

The Halifax Reward Recent Account has substantial overdraft costs, charging £1 per day on overdrafts up to £1,999.99 and up to £3 a day for £3,000 and over.

Pro: £100 welcome present

Con: High overdraft charges

Great FOR M&ampS Consumers

M&ampS Present Account

M&ampS Bank’s new current account comes with a £500 overdraft, with the first £100 interest-free. Balances in excess of the initial £100 are charged at 15.9pc, and there are no overdraft fees. Unlike other M&ampS recent accounts, this one particular has no regular monthly fee, and individuals switching to M&ampS will get a £100 M&ampS present card. Account holders earn one level for each and every £1 invested on their M&ampS Visa debit card in M&ampS (in shop and on-line) and customers also get preferential prices on some M&ampS Financial institution merchandise.

Mr Mountford of MoneySuperMarket said another advantage was that buyers can access M&ampS Financial institution branches in retail shops seven days a week. M&ampS Financial institution will also not charge for cash withdrawals overseas, which puts it in the best 5 least expensive accounts to use abroad, along with Norwich &amp Peterborough constructing society, Nationwide, Metro Bank and the Publish Workplace, in accordance to Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms.

Professional: M&ampS vouchers and factors

Con: No in-credit interest

How to switch your bank

New guidelines suggest clients ought to be capable to switch their existing account supplier in seven functioning days, with a ensure that all your payments will be transferred. Here is a stage by step manual:

• Determine which financial institution account you want to switch to.

• Apply to join the new financial institution. The Current Account Switch Guarantee states you will be refunded any curiosity or costs in the unlikely occasion that anything goes wrong.

• You will comprehensive a Current Account Switch Agreement type and a Current Account Closure Instruction form.

• You pick a switch date. This has to be at least seven working days after your new account is opened.

• Your new financial institution or creating society will confirm when the switch has commenced and that it will be comprehensive by the agreed date. You will be contacted if there are any troubles with the switch.

• You can continue to use your outdated account until the agreed switching date.

• All your earnings and outgoing payments will be moved to your new account, and any money in your old account will be instantly transferred.

• Your outdated account will near. Any payments sent to your outdated account will be redirected to your new account for the next 13 months.

– Tesco Bank recent account: is it any very good?