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.