How to close a bank account?

For various reasons, you may wish to close your bank account. Closing a bank account can be done on your own initiative or that of your bank, in accordance with a well-defined procedure. What are the steps to change banks? Find out everything you need to know to complete the necessary formalities. You are also told under what circumstances a bank may have to close your account.

Closing of a bank account at the initiative of the customer, approaches

Sometimes the situation requires a change of bank. A mortgage can, for example, require you to domicile your income with the lending bank. If your bank charges turn out to be exorbitant, you can also change bank.

Be aware, however, that it is quite possible to close an account without providing a reason.

The procedures are carried out at any time and free of charge. Please note that for certain savings products such as life insurance or in the event of a mortgage, fees may apply.

To close your account, simply send a closing letter to your bank with acknowledgment of receipt. This formality applies to all existing banks. In the case of a joint account, the two co-holders must sign the closing request for it to be taken into account.

You should also know that it is possible to change banks without having closed the old account. This is a transitional period, often necessary to accomplish the steps.

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Take the opportunity to communicate your new RIB to the organizations and companies that debit or transfer money to you on a regular basis.

account closure, the steps to follow

Before thinking about closing your account, you must necessarily regularize it. Make sure that no more transfers or direct debits are made on your bank account.

To avoid any pitfalls, do not withdraw the entire amount deposited if you have made payments by check or credit card.

Your account will only be closed when all checks issued have been debited. To do this, check your pay stubs.

Direct debits and transfers must also be made to the new account.

In the event of a debit from your account after closing, the payment will be automatically rejected. You may be accused of non-payment or refusal to pay, with the threat of being banned from banking.

Finally, return your unused checks and your bank card to your old bank for destruction.

You must also cancel any automatic payments you set up through your old account; the last thing you want is an automatic payment to be made to your old account and whether or not it finds out if the account has already closed. A good way to make sure all automatic payments are taken care of is to make a list of recurring payments, then check them off once you’ve canceled them in your old account and set them up with your new account. This may take a billing cycle or two, so you may need to manually pay some bills in the meantime.

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The next step to take when closing your account is to transfer your money from your old checking account to your new checking account. Pay close attention to any outstanding charges on your old account, so that you don’t have an overdraft on the account or incur any charges. Also be sure to check if your old bank has a transfer limit, as many banks limit the amount you can transfer or withdraw at a time.

Our advice

Open your new account before closing your old account. This allows you to continue to have access to your money. It’s also useful if you’re moving, so you can continue to have access to your funds to pay movers, rental cars, and other related costs during the move.

Read also: What to do in case of transfer to a closed account?

Destroy your checks and credit card

Once you have requested your account be closed, you must shred any remaining checks and cut up your credit card. You don’t want to accidentally use the checks or credit card, lose them, or have someone use them fraudulently. This step is absolutely essential and could be a costly mistake if you don’t do it.

Closure of an account at the initiative of the bank, the reasons

A bank has the right to terminate the account agreement. And this, without justification. It must notify its client within one to two months.

It should be noted that the closure may take place before this deadline in the event of a solvency problem and if the account holder manifests recurring payment incidents.

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If ever the client is overdrawn with a negative sum, he must regularize his situation before closing the account.

If the account has been inactive for ten years, the bank has the right to close it. The account is managed by the bank for twenty years and the sums are paid to the Caisse des dépôts.

Nevertheless, the account holder has the possibility to recover the sum during this entire period. He will then have to present the necessary supporting documents.

The sum will belong to the State after a period of thirty years.

Finally, in the event of the holder’s death, the bank blocks the account pending settlement of the estate.

Our advice

When looking for a new bank, be sure to consider the minimum balance required and any fees you may have to pay to your new bank. Also, be sure to learn about withdrawal and transfer limits.

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