Switching from one bank to another primarily relates to the switching of a payment account, the so-called current account, from one bank to another. The procedure has been made considerably simpler for Croatian consumers. They need to go to their selected 'new' bank and fill out an authorisation form containing all the details necessary for closing the old and opening a new account. The bank than takes over the administrative tasks of account switching. In this way, consumers are offered a clear, quick and safe procedure of switching their payment accounts, without the administrative and financial burden and without the need to go to the 'old' bank.
By means of the authorisation granted to the 'new' bank consumers may also request for the service of their account being switched to another bank without closing the account with the 'old' bank. In other words, consumers will conduct their transactions in the 'new' bank and at their newly opened accounts, but the account with the 'old' bank will remain opened. If, however, consumers state in their authorisation that they wish to close their old account, the 'old bank', in accordance with the authorisation, closes the account, provided that there are no unsettled obligations towards the 'old' bank arising from that account. In case of unsettled obligations that prevent that account to be closed via the authorisation granted to the 'new' bank, the 'old' bank shall immediately notify the consumer in order for the consumer to be able to agree the conditions and manner in which the account will be closed in direct communication with the bank.
The receiving bank, i.e. the 'new' bank to which the consumer wishes to transfer their business, that is, payment account, starts the switch after having received the authorisation from the consumer. When giving the authorisation in the switching process, consumers may request the old service of direct debit and/or standing order to be maintained or contract a new one, they may request for the transfer of the positive balance from the 'old' to the new bank or request that their employer be notified of the account opened with the 'new' bank, etc. While no fees may be charged for account switching itself, banks may charge a fee for individual services in accordance with the respective bank's applicable fees (for instance a fee for contracting a standing order or direct debit with the 'new' bank).
The deadline for account switching is 12 working days and the Act on the Comparability of Fees Related to Payment Accounts, Payment Account Switching and Access to Basic Accounts prescribes that the 'old' and the 'new' bank may not charge an additional fee for the switching service. However, they may charge a fee if the consumer requests the switching service but then decides to withdraw the request.
As of 1 November 2018, consumers may get information on applicable fees for most often used banking services on the CNB's website where they can find a comparison of fees for most frequently requested services connected with bank payment accounts in the Republic of Croatia. By checking the list of fees, available as part of the CNB's free mHNB application, consumers may choose the bank that is most favourable for them in view of their specific needs and request the switching service, which by its simplicity and speed makes the procedure that was thus far slow and complicated much easier.