In personal conversations, I experience time and time again that people are unhappy with their current bank. They think about changing the bank!
But to which one?
Without knowing the personal needs and preferences, it is difficult to make blanket recommendations. When one asks precisely, one often gets the response, “That is not of your business”, and continued, “I just want to get an advice to which bank I should go.”
However, it is quite obvious that the optimal recommendation without a deep analysis is more like a lucky hit. People, who change their account, often do not notice – or not at first – why the new bank is better than the old one. But is it the best they could get?
As a specialized web portal, we do not offer consultation, but we develop solutions that are valid for specific groups. This article just might be right for you, if you recognize and appreciate it to not to have to show the cards to a financial advisor. 😉
A change of bank is nowadays easier than ever!
Although the complexity of life has increased through laws, numbers, documentations and signatures, but there are banks that offer great help when changing to them. We explain that further in the course of the article!
Change of bank: current account or everything?
1. Open and test a current account at a new bank!
Changing the bank head over heels may bring new dissatisfaction; therefore it is advisable to plan a change of bank. Start with opening a new current account.
Open it online and let all bank cards and documents be sent to your home. Transfer a little money to the account and try how well you can manage the online banking. For this purpose, make a sample transfer from your new account.
Use your new bank cards deliberately for small amounts and make yourself familiar with the procedures.
Take advantage of the opportunity to contact the telephone customer service of the new bank at the first question. This way, you will quickly develop a feel for your new bank.
If you are satisfied with everything, then continue with point 2.
2. Moving payment transactions
This is generally the most elaborate part at which a lot of people cringe and rather stay with their expensive and suboptimal bank for years.
According to the subject, Gregor has recorded this video some days ago, showing the account change service of the Comdirect:
If you have an incoming salary payment and often use the overdraft facility, it may be of advantage to move the salary payment first to the new bank, in order to quickly obtain an overdraft facility in the desired amount.
In the meantime, you can still transfer money from the new bank to the old account for the settlement of payments.
However, there are also banks, such as the Comdirect, that grant an immediate overdraft facility at a corresponding creditworthiness rating.
3. Parallel time period
Let both accounts run at least two months in parallel, even if you are sure that all direct debits and standing orders moved to the new account. In some cases, something has been overlooked and it would be a shame, if there were complications out of charge backs.
At a change of accounts, annual withdrawals are often overlooked. This happens less for insurance, but rather for club memberships or donations projects.
4. Closing the account
That is the easiest part. An account cancelation must be made in writing. You are welcome to use this sample letter:
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren, bitte lösen Sie mein Konto mit der Nummer 123 auf. Das Guthaben überweisen Sie bitte auf meine neue Kontoverbindung bei der (Bankname), IBAN und BIC. Sollte mein Konto einen negativen Saldo aufweisen, dann ziehen Sie bitte den Betrag einmalig vom oben genannten Konto per Lastschrift ein. Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüße
Experience shows that it is enough in 99.9 per cent of cases to send the letter of cancellation at a change of bank as a simple letter (= non-registered).
An account cancellation or closure is basically free in Germany!
Now to the question of the intermediate header:
Change the current account first and move other banking products, such as call money or deposit account, in the further course.
In some cases, it may also be meaningful to leave a small amount in the old bank account. For example for cash deposits, although most recently Number26 made bank branch offices for cash deposits unnecessary through an innovative concept.
To which bank should I change?
As mentioned in the beginning, this is a question that can be answered best through a personal consultation, however, we do not offer this as a web portal. Therefore, you can find general recommendations here:
Bank account for young people
Young people are wooed anyway possible with free offers, however, many discover later – when the university or training is over – that the expensive and less good service phase has begun. Why not change to a bank that offers a free current account with lots of features for everybody?
Recommendations of our special portal:
People with regular salary payments
Regular salary income is the most important thing in the creditworthiness assessment of German Banks and enables you to get free current accounts with credit cards and corresponding credit limit. You will be able to withdraw cash free of charge worldwide and get fees refunded, in the case of foreign fees.
Such bank accounts are offered by:
Accounts for frequent travellers or (potential emigrants)
Especially the issues of foreign countries, foreign income and residing abroad are in practice difficult for many banks.
Today, a staff member of an emigration counselling centre assured me that her customers have made the best experiences with the DKB.
However, if you have securities and appreciate telephone consultation in investment matters, I would recommend the Comdirect, because it does not have problems with German customers abroad either and is drawn up even better than the DKB in the securities area.
Direct banks provide outstanding services – but no branch offices
Especially in direct banks, it is important to make a good decision, because one cannot just come by to settle things in a personal conversation.
Therefore, we focus on the four German banks proposed here, because we know them since the very beginning and have most often made very good experiences.
Are you facing a change of bank?
If you are facing a change of bank and you will change to one of “our” banks, then I would be grateful to hear from you via the comments box. And if you wish also post something that you really like about the new bank.
Since November 2015, we are little by little offering online seminars (webinars, in German language), in which we explain the clever use of “our” bank accounts. Perhaps this is an interesting start for you to get to know a new bank?