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How to Close a Bank Account Online

Updated on December 31, 2009

Recently, I needed to close a bank account and found myself stressing over how I'd be able to do so, since I no longer live in the country I opened it in. Fortunately, technology has progressed at light speed since I left the US nearly a decade ago, and I was actually able to close my bank account online. Strangely, however (and this is why I'm writing this) there's no mention of it being possible to do on their website. I won't speculate as to why that may be, given that it's not at all relevant to this article; I'll just tell you how I did it, in case you need to do so yourself.

Step One: Have a zero balance.

Your account has got to be in the clear before you can close this -- that's fairly standard stuff. If you owe them money, they're going to want that first. If they owe you, they may want you to come in and collect it personally. Regardless, get your account down to a zero balance and then contact them immediately (BEFORE the next month's maintenance fees are charged, as then you'll be in a position of owing them dosh.)

Step Two: Check their help database.

Your bank may allow you to close the account via secure online banking services and if this is the case their FAQ may tell you precisely how to do this. Mine did not, so I went into an online banking secure chat center and asked the representative how I might close my bank account while living in another country.

Step Three: Give them permission.

All I had to do in order to close my bank account online was answer yes when she asked me if I was granting her permission to do so. It was that simple and in 2 days' time, the account was closed.

Step Four: Save the chat!

Just to be on the safe side, you'll want to save the name of the representative who assisted you in closing your account and save the chat itself as well. I wouldn't recommend printing it, but rather saving it as a file on your computer to make it easier in the event you might need to show it to someone. This is mainly to CYA in case they happen to accidentally charge you a maintenance fee in the short time it takes to close your account.

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