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Whether you’re looking for a basic no thrills account to get your wages paid into or a savings account for a rainy day, opening a bank account can sometimes seem a bit daunting.
We walk you through everything you’ll need to open a bank account, and how to find the best one for you.
Depending on the bank and the option you’re going for, what you need can differ. For instance, with challenger banks like Monzo all you need is a photo ID and a smartphone.
However, with other banks you may need to go into a branch to finalise the details before you can join. Generally with high street banks and building societies you need to provide the following:
First things first, let’s take a look at the different types of accounts on offer. There are a whole host of options which are designed to suit different customers’ needs.
In the above section we’ve given you a breakdown of the different accounts out there. However, these aren’t hard and fast rules. Some current accounts actually pay better interest rates than some savings accounts for example.
Below, we look at a few of the key features to look out for when choosing a bank account.
There can be some major benefits to switching bank accounts. Often you can get better interest rates by transferring to a different savings account provider.
For anyone looking to change their basic current accounts, the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) will essentially do all the leg work for you. Well, your new bank will at least.
If they’re part of the scheme then they have to close your old account, move your balance and switch your payments.
You should be able to close most banks accounts pretty easily and free of charge.
The exception to this rule is fixed-term savings accounts. With some of these you will be charged for early withdrawal, or you may not even be able to access your money at all until the fixed term is ended.
However, generally it’s simply a case of getting in touch with your bank or building society.
If you have an overdraft then you’ll have to settle this before closing the account.
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