Does anyone know why banks/building societies take 3-5 days to transfer money to another account? Surely it should be immediate?

by , 14 Dec 2010

Barclays are the only bank that does this - why can't the other Banks?


Chosen as Best Answer

Its to do with the old BACS system they use for transfers. Instant transfer has always been possible through CHAPS, but that was at a premium (?25 for next day delivery). However, now more and more banks are signing up to the BACS replacement, called 'faster payments' that sends the cash between banks within two hours... No need to even wait overnight!

On the other hand, older building societies will use BACS to transfer between accounts for the same person (A&L did this thanks to their Girobank roots). It'll be a while before they all get sorted with faster payments as there are apparently costs involved. You might notice that building socieites use bank accounts to receive direct debits and standing orders thanks to their old problem with transfers!

by G-Man, 18 Dec 2010

That's how they make their money, by making use of people's funds in the 3 - 5 days the money is supposedly in cyberspace.

by Feline123, 14 Dec 2010

Absolutely, Feline123! I've argued this point with several banks, and one of them had the admirable honesty to admit that this is exactly what they do.

by fruitcake, 14 Dec 2010

Although not a bank, Nationwide usually does very fast transfers and payments to other banks/building societies (on-line). Not as quick as Barclays however.
There is no technical reason why bank payments are not instant, after all the money leaves your account instantly so why does it not appear in the payee's account?. The reason is that banks make money out of our money in transit and will start to charge for current account transactions if this is stopped.

by Sidesalad, 18 Dec 2010

Its not like computers don't work weekends, or that website queries to do the transfer aren't executed in half a really winds me up!

by johnselekta, 10 May 2012

I can transfer from my Nationwide current account to another bank within 1 hour.

by Sidesalad, 10 May 2012

It's much better these days, SS.

by Feline123, 10 May 2012

Isn't it, Feline! Reading our comments back on this thread shows just how much things have improved! We didn't have 'Faster Payments' fully operational then.

by fruitcake, 10 May 2012

Rbs have signed up to faster payment so all transfers apart from the first time from my business account with them are instant, I believe natwest are part of the same group, Clydesdale also offer it as well but not on every transaction sometimes the transfer is stopped and checked

by donnaha63, 13 Jun 2012

Halifax have had it up and running for quite a while now.

by fruitcake, 13 Jun 2012

Hi Donk

We always say "better in my account, then theirs" and in the case of the bank they take that to the max and there's not much we can do about it because they all do it.

by Vettriano, 14 Dec 2010

Feline 123 has got it spot on. Making money on us customers in the intervening period. At least building societies can make up a credible excuse in claiming that they are not High Street clearing banks and so it takes 5 working days to clear.

by creativesaver, 14 Dec 2010

I wondered that. Took 3 days to get money from my savings to my current account the other day.

by GinnyB, 14 Dec 2010

Good question donk, I wish I new the answer.
It's another of life's imponderables but I think Feline has come to the point and answered this for all of us.

by LILLIE, 14 Dec 2010

They like to make money from our money yet when we try to get interest rates are dismal! Alot more banks now get the money in to another bank on the same day.

by NTB, 18 Dec 2010

Halifax do a 'Faster Payment' service, but it can be a bit hit and miss. I've learned to set it up a day or two in advance online to ensure any payment to another bank goes through as a 'Faster Payment'.

by fruitcake, 18 Dec 2010

Barclays, Lloyds and Nationwide. I am greedy and have accounts with them all.

by NTB, 18 Dec 2010

I paid a calor gas bill on 3rd December. Paid it over the counter at Nat West. Received a reminder bill 2 days ago which said that payments received after the 7th Dec may not show up yet. I rang Calor to check they had the payment, and they said Yes they have, it took till the 10th to get to their account because CASH takes longer to clear than any other form of payment!!!!!!!!

by wendiew, 18 Dec 2010

Thats terrible service. It should be instant if paid in cash.

by NTB, 18 Dec 2010

If a transfer was done from a Lloyds TSB account on Monday morning to Barclays account, when will funds be seen in Barclays account? It's Friday evening and nothing's there yet...

by marci81, 24 Nov 2012

Posts within the community represent the views, experiences and opinions of members and experts only. They should not be taken as financial advice and should not be followed without further research.

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