Changing the bank where you have your account has become a much simpler and faster process since new regulations were introduced on the transfer of payment accounts.

Although to date customers had to bear the costs of all the arrangements when they wanted to change their account from one bank to another, the new law forces financial institutions to undertake this service, and they must ensure that transfer of a bank account is effective and agile.

If you want to change your bank account to Santander, and still don't know how to carry out the transfer process, read on for all the details.

What does the new account transfer regulation say?

In 2017 the government approved Royal Decree-Law 19/2017 of 24 November on basic payment accounts, transfer of payment accounts and comparability of commissions, in order to transpose the contents of an EU Directive (Directive 2014/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014) introducing new regulations in these three areas into Spanish law.

For the introduction of the section pertaining to the transfer of accounts between banks, it was necessary to wait for an Order by the Ministry of Economy and Business to be approved, and this finally occurred in 2019 (Order ECE/228/2019 of 28 February). This implements the procedure for transfer of accounts, the main element of which states that this, in any case, will be free for the customer.

Steps to take to change your account to another bank

The first thing you have to do if you wish to change your current account to another bank is to contact your current bank and request a transfer. If you share an account with another person, any of the accountholders can send the request, but all the accountholders will have to sign the document to make the request.

Your bank must then provide you with a form to request the transfer of your account, and this will inform you as follows:

  • The functions to be carried out by your current bank and your future bank during the various phases of the account transfer process.
  • The maximum deadline to carry out the various phases.
  • The conditions which, as a customer, you can request to make the change.
  • The information they will ask you for to carry out the process.
  • And the alternative processes to resolve disputes if a conflict should arise.

The request form you will have to fill in will specify:

  • The date as of which the permanent orders for transfer and direct debits (such as bills for water, electricity etc.) are issued with the reception payment services provider (your new bank). There must be a margin of at least thirteen business days with the date on which your new bank receives the completed form.
  • The action (as stated in Articles 10 and 11 of the Order by the Ministry of Economy and Business) that must be taken by the transmitter payment services provider (your old bank) and those that must be taken by the receiver (your new bank).
  • Incoming transfers, permanent credit transfer orders (permanent orders of transfers issued from the account) and direct debit orders applicable to the transfer.
  • And, whether you wish or do not wish to cancel the account being transferred, along with any products or services that may be associated with it (such as credit cards, insurance, mortgages etc.).

Remember that this process will be free for both you and your new bank.

What Banco Santander has to do

If you are going to change your account to Banco Santander, it will undertake the role of reception payment service provider. When we receive your account portability form at Santander, there will be a period of two business days to request the following information from your old bank:

  • A list with the permanent transfer orders and direct debit orders for the account.
  • Available information about periodic incoming transfers and direct debits on your account over the last 13 months.
  • Cancellation of permanent orders as of the date you have stated on your request.
  • Transfer of any balance you had on the account.
  • Closure of the account as of the date you have stated, and cancellation of the products associated with it, which will be carried out when the entire process has been carried out. The associated products are not cancelled through the request, and at the date of execution the bank of origin will have to stop carrying out standing order debits.
  • And if your old bank does not have an automatic system to resend incoming transfers and standing order debits to your new bank account, cessation of acceptance of standing orders and incoming transfers as of the date you have stated on your request.

When Banco Santander receives all this information from your old bank, it will have five business days to:

  • Make the necessary arrangements to maintain any transfer orders and standing orders on your old account.
  • Provide the data of your new account for those who used to make regular transfers to you (for example, your company, to pay your salary each month).

What your old bank needs to do

And what will your old bank do meanwhile? Within five business days, after receiving the request from Banco Santander:

  • Send Santander the information requested.
  • Cancel any permanent transfer order or debit on your old account, at the execution date.
  • Transfer any balance on your old account to the new account at the execution date.
  • Close the account (only if this has been requested) at the date you have stated, provided you have no payments pending there.

You should know that your old bank cannot block your means of payment (such as credit or debit cards) before the date you have stated in your request. Remember that this requires express cancellation.

Can I change bank with a mortgage?

It may happen that you wish to change to another bank, but you still have a mortgage ongoing with your current bank. In these circumstances, you can change the mortgage as long as your new bank makes you an offer to subrogate the mortgage.

With this binding offer you will notify your current bank, and request a certificate of the amount pending on the mortgage loan, which must be delivered within 7 days. You will then have to wait 15 days to formalise the subrogation. You may then continue with arrangements for the mortgage, and when these have been completed you will start to pay the monthly instalments at your new bank.

Can I change my account to Banco Santander with a loan from another bank?

As with a mortgage, you can also change your account to Banco Santander even if you have a loan at another bank. You will have to ask Santander for a loan refinancing service.

Through this process, our team of advisers will draw up a study of your financial profile, and if financing is approved, the bank will provide the money required to cancel your loan with your old bank. You will then start to repay the new loan to the bank, through your new account at the bank.

How to change salary or pension payments to Banco Santander

Another possibility which may interest you is changing your salary or pension payments to Banco Santander. The only thing you have to do is notify your company of the number of the new account where you want the salary to be deposited. If it is a pension, you must inform social security of the new bank account either in person or telematically.

Moving bills from another bank to Santander

If you only wish to change the bills you had been paying from another bank to Santander, the procedure is even simpler. You have two options to change the payment of bills:

  • You can make this arrangement yourself by contacting the companies sending you the bills to notify them of the change, and providing them with the new account number you wish the debits to be sent to.
  • Or we can do this at Banco Santander. To do this, you will have to provide information on the issuer to enable the bank to contact them and inform that, after a certain date, bills for a certain service will be charged to the new Santander account.

Changing your account to another bank is a simpler process now. The new legislation is on the consumer's side to make this process as agile as possible. You can access the account change form and start the process immediately. Find out at your nearest Banco Santander branch about the conditions and characteristics of the services we offer. Consult your options and Santander's offer of bank accounts.


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