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CHAPS extension will increase moving costs, warns removals firm

A removals firm is warning that changes to the CHAPS system could see home movers paying more to relocate.  

This summer the cut-off time for payments made using the Clearing House Automated Payment System (CHAPS) is being moved back by an hour and forty minutes. 

Removals firm Kiwi Movers says that these changes could delay the handover of keys as banks leave it later to send payments. 


It says the current system requires banks to move the money from their account by around 3pm to allow it to reach the solicitor’s account before close of business.

Kiwi Movers' argument is that movers may now have to wait until later in the day to collect their keys which will mean their removals costs will be higher. 

It says that if a homeowner is hiring a removals team by the hour, it could see them paying an extra £110 to move house. 

It calculated the figure of £110 based on charging its typical hourly rate of £55 per hour for an additional two hours.

“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,” says Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers.

“The one upside of the current system is that we usually know by 4pm 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 and still to be told they’ll need to come back tomorrow. It could get quite chaotic and expensive for a lot of house buyers.”

In December, the British Association of Removers (BAR) announced its opposition to the changes – which many believe could force agents to open longer before releasing keys – describing them as 'ill-advised'.

This followed comments from Matt Faizey of Midlands-based removal and storage company M & G Transport, who blasted the CHAPS extension as ridiculous and claimed it could leave families 'homeless' for entire afternoons

  • Rob Hailstone

    The Law Society thinks it may mean that some transactions that would not otherwise have completed on the contractual completion date will.

    "The Bank of England has confirmed that the CHAPS payment system will be staying open for extra time from 20 June 2016.

    Subject to individual banks confirming their position, the new extended opening hours could mean that deadlines for customer-to-customer payments will be put back an additional hour and forty minutes to as late as 17:40, and 18:00 for bank-to-bank payments. Individual banks will be able to choose their own cut-off times. They will confirm the details of their service changes to their customers.

    The Law Society is not proposing to make any changes to the completion times set out in the Standard Commercial Property Conditions or in the Standard Conditions of Sale as a result of these changes.

    However, it may mean that some transactions that would not otherwise have completed on the contractual date may do so following 20 June.

    To help to inform users of the change to the scheme’s operating hours, CHAPS Co has produced information guides for customers."


  • Rob Hailstone

    Sorry, complete link to CHAPS guide below:


  • Rob Hailstone

    Link still not being copied and pasted completely.

    Third time lucky!! If you copy and paste the words below into your search engine, you should reach the CHAPS guide:)

    CHAPS, the same day payment system, to stay open for longer Information Guide for Businesses and Consumers

  • Jane Finch

    The removals industry is getting ready for the CHAPS extension time, and in most cases it will cost a lot more than an extra £110 for customers to move home, if they don't get the keys until after 4.00pm.

    Removers are now starting to put an extra clause into their terms and conditions, that if the keys to the new property aren't received before 4.00pm or 4.30pm, the removal company has the option of delivering on an alternative day - which may not always be the next working day, due to other booked jobs.

    It is not always feasible to deliver late in the day. If the amount of personal possessions needing to be moved requires a large HGV lorry, there are strict legal drivers hours HGV drivers have to adhere to, which means they may not be able to deliver late. Also the EU working time directive restricts the hours staff can work as well, so it is not just drivers who will be affected.

    Plus would you like to deliver goods in the dark? Removers do it currently because they have to, to get the job finished. But many are not prepared to be forced, because they have to wait for keys after 5pm.

    Estate agents and solicitors should warn their clients now that their removals costs probably will get affected by the CHAPS extension time, should their monies not go through before 4pm.

    With the new extension time starting in the busy summer season, it's the worst possible time to extend the hours. Expect chaos as removers start to be affected by the changes and figure out the best way forward. Not all removers know about the changes, as well as not all estate agents know either, having spoken to quite a few recently who had no clue the changes were coming.

    It's going to be an interesting summer to say the least!

  • Jane Finch

    Please note that some removers will be quoting for a 2 day move, as standard, if completion times are involved. Turning a simple 1 day move into a 2 day move is not their preference, but they have to cover themselves with the chaotic exchange and completion system that is currently in place.

    Some removers see the CHAPS extension time as a good thing, meaning they will make more money, but most see it as a logistical nightmare. Only time will tell how the industry will deal with the added stress of even later completions.


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