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How to cancel a standing order

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Last editedMar 20223 min read

Do you have a standing order running but need to cancel before your next payment? Learning how to cancel a standing order is relatively simple, but it’s something that everyone making regular payments via standing order should know. So, can you cancel a standing order? If so, what’s the best way to cancel a standing order with each of the UK’s major banks? Find out the answer to these questions, and many more, with our comprehensive guide to cancelling standing orders.

Standing orders explained

So, what is a standing order? Essentially, it’s an automated way to make regular payments. You’ll instruct your bank to make a payment for a fixed amount of money to another person or business at regular intervals. It can run indefinitely or be set up to cover a specific period of time (i.e. one year). Although it may sound similar to Direct Debit, there are a couple of key differences between these two payment methods. Put simply, with Direct Debit, the organisation receiving the money asks for permission to “pull” funds from the payee’s account. With standing orders, on the other hand, the payee instructs their bank to “push” funds to the recipient.

Can you cancel a standing order?

At a certain point, you may need to cancel your standing order and switch to an alternative form of payment. But can you cancel a standing order? Yes, even if you set up the standing order to cover a certain period of time which hasn’t yet elapsed, you can cancel a standing order whenever you like. Furthermore, you are the only person who can instruct the bank to cancel your standing order. It should be a relatively simple process:

  1. Firstly, you’ll inform your bank. The method you use to inform your bank can vary (we’ll explore the different options in the next section), but usually you can either do so via online banking, telephone banking, or simply heading into your local branch.

  2. Next, you should inform the recipient that your standing order is being cancelled. Non-payment can lead to fees or penalties, so it’s very important to let the recipient know ahead of time not to expect payment. You should also double-check the terms of your contract to make sure that notice doesn’t need to be given before you cancel the standing order.

  3. If you still need to make regular payments but don’t want to do so using standing orders, you’ll need to arrange an alternative form of payment. There are lots of potential options, including Direct Debit, cheque/cash, or simply paying online with your credit/debit card.

  4. Finally, you should check your bank statements to ensure that the cancellation has been processed and the money is no longer coming out of your account. If for any reason your bank has made an error and you’re still being charged, get in touch with them immediately. They should be able to identify the error relatively easily and provide you with a refund. 

Cancel a standing order with major UK banks

The process of cancelling a standing order tends to be more or less the same across the board. However, each bank has their own way of doing things, which is why we’ve put together a short guide for how to cancel a standing order with each of the UK’s major banking institutions:

  • HSBC – To cancel a standing order with HSBC, simply log into your online baking account, head to ‘Standing orders and future payments’ and follow the steps to cancel the payment.

  • NatWest – With NatWest, you can cancel a standing order via their online banking service or using your mobile banking app.

  • Santander – If your standing order is with Santander, just log into your account and go to the ‘Payments’ tab. Then, select ‘Standing Orders’ and follow the instructions.

  • Barclays – Wondering how to cancel a standing order with Barclays? It’s simple. You can complete the cancellation via the Barclays app, your online banking account, in-person at your local branch, or using telephone banking. 

  • Lloyds – If you bank with Lloyds, you can cancel your standing order from your online banking account.

  • RBS – To cancel a standing order with RBS, just log into Digital Banking, click on ‘Payment and transfers’, and follow the instructions.

How long does it take to cancel a standing order?

Cutting your cancellation close to the line? Generally speaking, cancelling a standing order doesn’t take very much time, so as long as you aren’t trying to cancel the standing order an hour or so before the payment is due to go out, you should have plenty of time. So, how long does it take to cancel a standing order? Well, each bank has a different amount of processing time for standing order cancellations, however, as long as you cancel at least 48 hours before your standing order is set to go out, your payment won’t go through.

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