Changes to how banks process large payments could lead to moving delays and costs of up to £28 million a year, warns a London removals and logistics firm.

The cut off time for payments made using the Clearing House Automated Payment System, better known as CHAPS, is being moved back an hour and forty minutes, to 17:45. This means that money transfers made as part of house purchases could be made any time up to 18:00 in the afternoon, potentially delaying the handover of the keys by almost two hours.

With professional removals costing in the region of £55 per hour, that’s around £110 more per move. Multiply that by the amount of house sales in a year (255,000 according to the Land Registry), that’s a whopping £28 million per year.

The knock-on effect of this is that movers will be waiting until later in the day to collect their keys, resulting in increased removals costs, especially if they’re hiring their removals team by the hour.

Currently, most removals firms work on the basis that transactions that haven’t cleared by the 16:00 it will be delayed to the following day. This means movers are unable to get their keys on the intended move date. With the extended operating hours of CHAPS, removals firms could be kept on standby for a further two hours, resulting in extra costs for customers. Transfers that remain incomplete by 18:00 could result in extra waiting time and an extra day’s removal costs, plus storage.

Firms often have to store goods over night to avoid having staff working later than is safe. Unexpected late working for removals professionals has obvious fatigue implications and we know any reasonable house mover wouldn’t want exhausted crews handling their stuff.

Extended working hours for crews also have industry-wide reputational implications. It makes things very difficult when staff have to work late with another big job on the next day. This puts additional pressures on the industry, making it harder to retain or attract new team members when they are immediately faced with potentially long and unpredictable working days.

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers explained how the changes could impact his customers:

“Moving is stressful enough and when a move involves a transfer of funds, things can be extra tense. Customers can’t get the keys to the property until the money transfer is complete, so if there’s a delay at the bank end, it has a knock-on effect with removals, storage and deliveries.

“The one upside of the current system is that we usually know by 4.pm whether a transfer will go through on a given day, giving us enough time to get things into storage if necessary. With the time being pushed back, removals firms could be waiting on keys for a further two hours still to be told they’ll need to come back tomorrow. It could get quite chaotic and expensive for a lot of movers.

“We’ll be looking to offer a discounted hourly rate for customers who experience big delays due to the extended CHAPS rules.”

UPDATE

Two in five house buyers get into debt due to unexpected costs 

  • 65% of house buyers exceeded their moving budget by more than £100 due to unforeseen moving costs
  • One in ten had to find £500 or more to meet extra costs
  • Bank charges account for most common unplanned expenditure
  • 2 in 5 forgot to budget to buy furniture
  • Changes to bank processes could increase moving costs by further £100 (£28 million in total*)
  • Almost two in five (17%) borrowed to meet unexpected moving costs
  • The majority of people who’ve bought a property in the past five years faced unexpected costs that meant they exceeded their original moving budget, according to new Kiwi Movers research.

The most common source of unexpected expenditure were bank charges for money transfers. 65% reported not budgeting for these.

Transfer fees are typically between £40-£60 and cover the bank’s charges for moving the balance to the conveyancer’s account.

Insurance add-ons were another common expense that movers didn’t expect. More than half (51%) said they paid for indemnity insurance and went over budget as a result.

17% said they had to borrow, either on a credit card, overdraft, loan or from friends or family to meet unexpected house move costs.

Top budget-busters for house movers (expenses that weren’t originally budgeted for)

 

Bank charges70%
Indemnity insurance 51%
Land Registry fee (disbursement)38%
Moving materials (boxes, packing material)22%
Furniture19%
Stamp duty6%

 

Time saving tips for movers

We can’t control the banks, but these tips might help you save a few minutes (and a few quid too).

 

  • Get a survey done beforehand. We offer these for free and so do many other removal firms. If there are parking issues, space issues due to property modifications made after you moved in, then it’s smart (and cheaper) to plan for these in advance.
  • Do your big clear out before you move. Why waste time and money lugging stuff that you actually don’t need?
  • Consider planning your move for the day after completion. Not always convenient and potentially more expensive due to time needed away from work, but it can help reduce the stress of dealing with the unknown.
  • Label your boxes by room. An old tip but it really does save time and energy when people are loading out your stuff.
  • Keep pets and kids away if possible. Moving can be stressful for pets and with kids on the scene too you can find you spend a lot of your time keeping them safe and entertained. If possible, enlist the help of a friend, relative or neighbour to watch them while you move.