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Switching headache for Norwich & Peterborough customers

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Thousands of Norwich & Peterborough (N&P) customers need to find a new home for their current accounts but may find switching a difficult process.

The Yorkshire Building Society announced last week it planned to close 20 of its own branches and 28 N&P branches, with the N&P brand disappearing altogether by April 2018.

All 100,000 N&P current account holders have been told to move their money by 31 August 2017.

However, N&P is not part of the Current Account Switching Service (CASS), which was launched by the government and banking sector in 2013 and aims to take the hassle and anxiety out of switching bank or building society.

Matt Sanders, head of money at comparison site GoCompare, said this was a poor deal for N&P current account holders.

“While the vast majority of UK current accounts are covered by the CASS process, there are still a number of small providers that don’t have the resources to commit to participation. As a result, N&P customers may have to manually switch their own accounts and won’t automatically qualify for most of the incentives on offer from the big banks for new customers who switch via CASS.”

Customers can still switch without the CASS process but they will have to manually identify regular payments that need to be transferred and also contact payees such as gas and electric providers, to set up new direct debits.

“Most customers will find they will have to trawl back through at least three months of statements to be sure they’ve identified all their transactions, otherwise they could be exposed to missed payment charges.”

N&P said it will write to customers in the next two weeks to provide details of how they can switch or close their account.

Once a customer has chosen a new provider, N&P said it will give the new provider details of any regular payments and arrange any account balance to be transferred to the new account.

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