There are many reasons for closing a bank account. Domiciliation of income in a new bank following a mortgage, inactive or dormant account, more advantageous rate in another establishment… It is possible to close a bank account remotely, without having to go to a branch. Find out what steps you can take to stop paying account maintenance fees unnecessarily.
What should be done before closing a remote bank account?
If you plan to close a bank account remotely, it is better to anticipate your request some time before.
First, leave money in the account to pay for current transactions (payment by credit card, direct debit, current checks, etc.). This step is essential since, if necessary, you can find yourself exposed. In addition, this can lead to filing at the Banque de France and a banking ban.
Then, you should notify the organizations that charge your intention to close your account. You must send them your new bank account details (RIB). From now on, your new bank will take care of these procedures for you. In principle, you don’t have to do anything. Check with your bank advisor.
On the other hand, hand over your old means of payment still in your possession to your new bank for destruction. Never leave a credit card or checkbook lying around in your papers. Better to destroy them to make sure no one misuses them.
Finally, if you change financial institution due to a move, remember to provide proof of address. Even if you are no longer going to be a customer, this allows you to receive important mail from the bank.
How to close a bank account remotely?
As a first step, you should make an appointment with your bank advisor to close your account. But for various reasons, it can be complicated to travel to an agency. You therefore have the option of carrying out your procedures remotely. Moreover, whatever the means chosen, whether in an agency or remotely, you will have to write a letter.
Remotely, send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to the attention of your former bank advisor. Accompany your letter with the necessary supporting documents, namely a copy of your identity document and your signature. And to be on the safe side, make sure your letter has reached its recipient by calling the agency or sending an email to your former adviser.
Sample registered letter to close an account remotely
Last name First Name
To the attention of,
Name of your former adviser,
Postal details of your old bank
Subject: request to close an account
(registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt)
Miss or Mister,
By this letter, I request the closure of my account n° XXX. Please proceed with the transfer of its balance to the new account, the bank details of which you will find attached.
The necessary steps have been taken with the organizations to notify them of my change of bank.
Please accept, Madam or Sir, the expression of my best regards.
When can I close my bank account?
You have every right to close a bank account whenever you want. There is no deadline to meet or reasons to give for your decision. Your adviser will not ask you to justify your request.
However, it is advisable to respect a period of a few months before definitively closing your bank account, the time that all the transactions are carried out. This gives you time to organize yourself.
On the other hand, if the closed account is in credit, the sums are paid to you. On the other hand, if he is a debtor, you will have to regularize the situation before closing your account.
Namely: certain agreements provide for a notice period which cannot exceed 30 days (article L312-1-1 III of the Monetary and Financial Code). Ask your adviser.
Also read: How to close a bank account?
Is it free to close a bank account?
Be aware that paying off your current account is a service that you will not be billed by your old bank. It’s totally free since 1er January 2005.
On the other hand, if you have a home loan or a life insurance contract, closing your account may incur costs. It is therefore advisable to inquire with your bank advisor before starting the process.
Deadlines for closing a bank account
In terms of deadlines, there are no rules. Indeed, it depends on the banking products that you hold as well as the responsiveness of your advisor. This can take a few months in certain situations, especially in the case of an outstanding credit. And if you have significant savings, the bank may seek to retain you.
Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for your old bank account to close to open a new one. It is also strongly recommended if you do not want to find yourself without a bank account. To obtain a RIB or cash a check, for example, you will necessarily need an account in a financial institution, traditional or online.
Closure of an account at the initiative of the bank, the procedure
You may not know it, but your bank can take the initiative to close your account by breaking your agreement. This is an authorized approach and does not require any justification. However, the establishment will have to warn you 1 to 2 months before closing your account so that you have time to open another one elsewhere.
It may seem surprising. And yet, banks practice this approach more and more when the accounts are not profitable enough. If you want to contest this decision, you have the option of contacting a banking mediator.
If your account has been inactive for a long time, the bank may also take the initiative to close your bank account. In this case, you will have the possibility to recover the sum by providing the necessary documents. You have 30 years before the sum becomes state property!
Read also: What to do in case of transfer to a closed account?