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Most people need an account with a bank or building society. It's important to have the right information about opening and running an account to help you manage your money properly and deal with any problems which crop up.

Read the following pages to find out more.

Getting a bank account

Information on how to get a bank account, types of account available and switching from one bank or building society to another.

How bank accounts work

Explanation of how bank accounts work, including how money is paid in or taken out of an account. Covers overpayments, overdrafts, direct debits, problems with cash machines, bank charges and chip and pin cards.

Joint bank accounts

Information on joint bank accounts, including how to set one up, who has responsibility for the account and disagreements about joint bank accounts.


Information on what cheques are, how to use them, how to cancel a cheque, clearing times, bounced cheques and what to do if a cheque or cheque-book is lost or stolen.

Stopping a future payment on your debit or credit card

Information about your rights to stop a future credit or debit card payment, by phone, email or letter, and how to get your money back if money is taken from you account against your wishes.

Banking – security and fraud

How to keep your money and bank details safe, including protecting your details, lost or stolen cards or chequebooks, identity theft, fraudulent use of your account and transactions that have been carried out incorrectly.

Your bank goes out of business

What to do when a bank goes out of business, including getting money back, claiming compensation and what happens if you have money in more than one bank which ceases trading.

Complaints about banks and building societies

How to make a complaint about your bank or building society, the standard of service you should expect, what to do if you feel you have been discriminated against and organizations to contact if you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with.

Sending money overseas

Information directing enquirers to a website providing information and advice on transferring money abroad.

You’ve run out of money abroad

What to do and who can help if you run out of money while travelling abroad.

Your payment card was used without your permission

What you can do if your payment card has been used for a distance sale purchase by internet, mail order, TV, phone or fax without your permission.