The best method of communication is occasionally a formal letter. You might have to send your request to shut a bank account in the form of a regular letter or present it in person at a bank branch. You can send the letter and be done with it without having to wait in line or hold, explain your situation to customer support, or even hope that the account will be canceled quickly. A letter may not be required, but using one leaves a paper trail that could provide you peace of mind if something goes wrong or becomes complicated.
Fill in the blanks in the text below using the information in the square brackets ("["and"]") as needed. For more information and more simple ways to close an account, see the advice included below the letter.
Sample Account Closing Letter
To whom it may concern,
Please close the account(s) listed below. Please refuse any additional requests for transactions in these accounts and remit any money still in those accounts by check to the address listed below.
Checking Account: [Account Number]
Savings Account: [Account Number]
Money Market Account: [Account Number]
Other Account: [Account Number]
Please send documented evidence that the accounts have been closed.
Please call me at the number shown below if you have any questions.
[Account Owner's Original Signature]
[Account Owner's Printed Name]
Other Ways To Close Your Account
Your account could be closed in a simpler manner. Try a more high-tech or individualized strategy if you don't want to print, sign, and mail a letter. Banks occasionally might choose one of these approaches over a letter. To find out what actions your bank advises, visit their website.
Submit an Online Request
Clicking "Close Account" could make it simple. You can request a closure and move all of your money out of online banks. While logged in to your account, other banks need you to submit a written request to customer support.
Call Customer Service
Another option is to make a brief phone call. Call customer support and request to terminate your account if you have a few minutes. Expect a few attempts to retain your business, which you can gently (but firmly) reject.
Tips for a Successful Account Closure
Often, all that is required to close an account is to submit a written, online, or phone request. To ensure the procedure runs as well as possible, you might take additional measures. Review these extra processes and unique situations before completing your account termination.
- Deposit any checks for leftover money from the bank
- Empty it yourself
- Provide an original signature
- Download statements or transaction
Make Sure You're Done
Check again to ensure there are no pending checks or upcoming automated payments before canceling your account. Before closing an account, amend your direct deposit instructions to the new account and wait to verify that the change has been made.
Empty It Yourself
Before you send the letter to terminate the account, it is typically better to empty it. You'll typically receive the money sooner if you transfer the funds yourself rather than waiting for the bank to complete your request.
Basic bank-to-bank transfers are one of the many free and simple ways to send money to yourself electronically. It is also possible to send money using apps and non-bank services.
You'll know exactly when and where to anticipate the money if you handle it yourself. The other option is to hold out until you receive a check in the mail, which you will then need to deposit before you can withdraw and use the money. If there are pending fees or charges, be careful not to drain your old account too soon. A fee or levy you cannot pay could make things more difficult and cause a delay.
Be Direct, But Polite
You only need to request the closure of your bank account (whether verbally, in writing, or electronically). The words themselves don't matter all that much. They'll do it as soon as possible, so there's no need to tell them to do it "promptly" or "immediately."
Banks do not hesitate in these matters until someone takes notice and exerts pressure. It will be more likely to be completed promptly and correctly if you make it simple for the individual who opens your letter—tell them precisely what to do and where to pay the money. Send any criticism of the bank or its services in a subsequent email after your account has been closed, if you have any.
Download Statements or Transactions
You might not have access to your account history once you close your account. You might look back on it and wish you had a record of a significant transaction. Before you close your account, download many years' worth of statements just in case. Alternatively, download your transactions into a piece of software that will automatically store them.
You May Need To Provide an Original Signature
Depending on the bank's policy, you could be asked to sign your letter in ink rather than using an e-signature or stamp. If a bank requests a letter in writing, part of that request can include an actual signature approving the account closure.
Use Wire Transfers or Cashier's Checks in Time-Sensitive Situations
Send the funds to your new account by wire transfer if you need them to move immediately and be available for spending. Get a cashier's check as an alternative; it will cost slightly less and still give "cleared" monies.
Changes in Address Can Delay the Process
Be advised that bank policies normally only permit them to send funds to your registered address if you're canceling the account because you've moved (the address they currently have on file at the bank). Address changes followed by check requests could trigger suspicions that your money is being attempted to be stolen by an identity thief. You may have to wait longer for your money or complete additional documentation and have your request notarized if the bank challenges the validity of the transfer.
Find out from your bank the requirements for mailing a check to a new address (better yet, get the money out yourself, as described above).
You might not have to end your account with a credit union just because you moved. Shared branching, which many credit unions engage in, enables you to use the branches of many credit unions (with thousands of locations available nationwide). In the future, you might want a local institution account for more complicated requirements; alternatively, you might get by just fine with your current account.
Use an App To Deposit the Check
You'll need to deposit the check somewhere if the bank sends one for the remaining funds in the closed account, and many individuals these days hardly ever deal with paper checks. Using the mobile app for your new bank is the simplest way to make that deposit (if available).
Verify the Closure
Don't just assume that others will follow your directions. To be sure that your account is closed, double-check by logging into your account or phoning the bank. Often you need to complete a task before closing the account since instructions sometimes get misplaced. You risk having inactivity penalties or low balance fees applied to your account if you are unaware of issues that develop. Even if they weren't your fault, clearing up the mess is simpler when it's still recent.
The Bottom Line
Even though it's not always necessary, using a hand-signed letter to ask for the closure of an account is a simple method to add an extra degree of monetary security. You have handwritten and dated proof of important data, specifically what you requested, when you requested it, and where any remaining monies were supposed to go, in case there are any issues or mistakes during the process. Just retain a copy for yourself.
Make sure to get in touch with the team as soon as you detect any errors if the procedure does go wrong at some point. Be straightforward in your communications with customer service, but avoid eroding relationships. Rude remarks won't make the process go faster; only clear communication will.
You can learn more about what to do before switching banks or canceling a joint checking account if you still have questions about the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which bank offers the highest interest rate on savings accounts?
Sallie Mae Bank, Affirm, and Connect One are a few financial institutions offering the best interest rates on savings accounts.
How can a bank account be deleted from Google Pay?
In the Google Pay app, hit your photo, choose "bank account," and choose the account you wish to deactivate. To get the option to delete the bank account, tap the three dots.
How do you move money from one bank account to another?
Transferring money to another bank account can be done in various ways. You can send the money immediately to another account through an ACH transfer. A payment app like Venmo is an option. You can pay with a personal cheque or money order. You can also physically withdraw the money and carry it to your new bank, although there are so many convenient digital alternatives that it may not be necessary.