If you’re one of the thousands of people affected by the news that Tesco Bank is closing its current accounts before the end of the year you may be wondering where you stand.
Tesco will be writing to its current customers to inform them of the closure of their current accounts but you can still take action now. Read on to find out what you need to do if your bank stops offering its current accounts and decides to close them.
If you want to switch your current account
If the current account is your main bank account you’ll need to switch to a new bank. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may be able to find a current account that offers you cash to join, or you may simply want to be assured of top class service, particularly if things go wrong.
Shop around to find the best fit for you and make sure you check any eligibility requirements, which includes things such as a minimum amount needing to be paid in every month.
Where possible try and take advantage of the current account switch guarantee which means that your new bank will handle the transfer of all your direct debits and standing orders. If you have an overdraft on your current account you can still switch, but make sure you contact your new bank first. You’ll need to arrange any overdraft required with your new bank before you make the switch.
If you want to close your account before the deadline
You may simply want to close your account – for example, if you have more than one. Contact your bank to do this – though in this case you will need to have withdrawn any money in the account, or to have paid back any outstanding overdraft you have.
If there’s money in your current account
If the bank closes the account before you’ve had a chance to take action, and you have cash in there when this happens then the bank should issue a cheque to you covering that balance. You can then pay this into your new current account.
If you’re using your overdraft
You will need to pay back your overdraft. If you think you will have trouble doing so contact your bank. It should not be forcing you down the road of unrealistic payment plans and should offer you the option to repay in instalments.
If you need your bank statements
Once an account is closed you won’t be able to access your statements, so if you’ve gone paperless make sure you print these out. If you don’t manage this in time you can ask the bank for paperwork of your transactions up to five years back although they may charge a fee for this service.
What if my bank just decides to close my current account?
If your bank is still keeping its current accounts open – but it decides to close yours as an individual incident, the situation is slightly different. Banks can choose to close your current account – and unfortunately, they don’t have to tell you the reason for doing so. However, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) expects any bank that wants to close your account to give you ‘reasonable’ notice of at least 30 days.
It’s likely – but not definite – that if this has happened to you it will be because your bank has suspected fraudulent activity on your account. If you think your bank has closed your account unfairly, raise your complaint as soon as you can either directly or using Resolver for free. You can escalate your case to FOS if your bank does not respond to your complaint within eight weeks, or if you disagree with its response and you are in ‘deadlock’.