How do I switch bank accounts

Banks have to help with changing accounts

What if one of the banks locks itself up?

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is responsible for complaints. This can impose fines on the banks in the event of breaches of duty. You can also send a copy of the complaint to the consumer advice centers.

Customers can also contact the ombudsman of the respective bank. We provide more detailed information on the ombudsman procedure in a separate article.

What can this service cost?

Both banks may only charge fees for the entire service if you have agreed this with you. The law requires the fees to be paid appropriate and based on actual costs be. What that means in concrete terms remains to be seen - for example through judgments. If you think your bank's fees are too high, feel free to contact the consumer advice center.

Personal data on standing orders and direct debits must be accessible free of charge, as well as the information and lists on standing orders, direct debit mandates and incoming transfers as well as the closure of the old account.

What applies when moving to another European country?

If you want to switch to other European banks, the old bank in Germany must cooperate. It must give you current standing orders and direct debit mandates as well as list your own transfers from the past 13 months.

This makes it easier for the new bank to issue relevant orders. A new bank in another European country is then not subject to the local duty to help you with this.

Help with choosing a suitable current account

Before changing, you have to select a new current account. In the previous search for a suitable new current account, the consumer advice centers help with tips, checklists and sample letters.

Regulation is part of the basic account law

The relocation regulation is contained in the law, which since June 19, 2016 has also guaranteed a statutory right to a basic account. Since then, every consumer in Germany has been able to set up such an account with banks and savings banks. We explain what a basic account is in a separate article.

Do I have to use the account switching assistance?

Consumers can of course change their current account without the support of the banks. In the end, this is not difficult at all, it just requires a little hard work. In particular, a list must be drawn up which regular incoming and outgoing payments should be transferred to the new account. The bank statements from last year are particularly helpful here. Here we offer you further tips, checklists and sample letters for switching accounts. Certainly also an exciting read for consumers who want to use the account switching assistance.

Some banks offer - in addition to the legally required account switching assistance - a voluntary service with which they support the customer.