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How to Close Your Transaction or Bank Account

Information verified correct on May 5th, 2016

If you’re not happy with your current bank account, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t close it and find one that is better suited to your needs.

Unfortunately, some banks don’t make the process as simple as they could. This leads many people to retaining unused bank accounts much longer than they should. Rather than risk being charged inactivity fees or monthly fees on an inactive account, here are some simple steps you can take to close your bank accounts.

Before you start

Click here to download our template for closing your bank account. It contains all the necessary information you will need to successfully close your bank account.

Shop around for a new account

Before you close down your old account, take the time to shop around and find a new account to replace it with. Think about what features you’re currently unhappy with and ensure that your new account doesn’t have these things.

If you’re currently unhappy with the fees charged, look for a fee-free account. Perhaps you want an account that allows you to make more transactions per month without slugging you with excess fees. Maybe you’re after a savings account that lets you earn some interest on the cash sitting in your account.

Regardless of what you’re searching for, be sure you check out your options before you proceed. The last thing you need is to open a new account, only to find out later that the fees are much higher than what you were already paying on your old account.

NAB Classic Banking

Switch to a bank account with no fees

Enjoy $0 monthly account fees on the NAB Classic banking account.

  • Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs in Australia
  • 24/7 Mobile Banking, including Quick Balance checker
  • Tap and Pay for Android
  • Free linked NAB Visa debit card with payWave

    Comparison of transaction accounts with debit card access

    Rates last updated May 5th, 2016
    $
    Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
    NAB Classic Banking
    Tap and Pay with your Android Phone using NAB Pay.
    No minimum deposit required.
    Visa $0 $0 No monthly account fees, ever. Free use at over 3,400 NAB and RediATMs Australia wide and $0 overdrawn fees. Open More
    Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
    Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
    Conditions apply.
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Free access to Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. No overseas ATM withdrawal fees (charged by Bankwest) though third party fees may apply. Open More
    ING DIRECT Orange Everyday Account
    Get up to 2% cash back on Visa payWave purchases.
    Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with a Savings Maximiser.
    Visa $0 $0 No monthly fees, and you can use any ATM in Australia for free when you deposit $1,000 each month e.g your salary. Open More
    Citibank Plus Everyday Account
    Enjoy 5% cash back on Visa payWave purchases (conditions apply).
    Free international money transfers and free overseas Citibank ATM withdrawals.
    Visa $0 $0 No ATM fees using Citibank, Westpac, BankSA and St.George branded ATMs in Australia. Use overseas Citibank ATMs for free. Open More
    HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
    Your Visa debit card unlocks special privileges worldwide with the HSBC home&Away Privilege Program.
    Visa $0 $0 $0 monthly fees. No ATM fees at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Open More
    ANZ Access Advantage
    Apple Pay now available.
    Unlimited transactions at ANZ ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet, Mobile and Phone Banking.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account fee when you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Other fee waivers available based on your personal situation. Open More
    Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
    Pay no ATM fees at over 10,000 ATMs in Australia (conditions apply).
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 Minimum deposit of $2,000 per month needed to waive the monthly account fee otherwise $6 monthly fee applies. No ATM fee applicable at Bankwest, CBA, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, BoM and BankSA ATMs in Australia. Open More
    Westpac Choice
    $0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
    Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
    Mastercard $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Deposit at least $2,000 per month and enjoy no monthly service fee. Open More
    BankSA Complete Freedom Account
    Open one in less than 5 minutes with Cardless Cash available.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No monthly account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 in the account each month. Free access to BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Open More
    St.George Complete Freedom Account
    $0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
    Via St.George's Global ATM Alliance. Cardless Cash available with an SMS and email alert system.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No account keeping fees, if you deposit $2,000 per month plus no minimum balance required. No ATM fees when using St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Open More
    BankSA Express Freedom Account
    Get Cardless Cash, free SMS and email alerts.
    Visa $0 $1,000 Avoid ATM fees when using BankSA, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs. Avoid the monthly fee if you deposit $1000 into this account each month. Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Complete Freedom
    Get Cardless cash and shop securely with your Visa debit card. Customise SMS and email alerts.
    Visa $0 $2,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, BankSA, St.George or Westpac ATMs. No monthly fees when you deposit at least $2000 into this account each month. Open More
    Bank of Melbourne Express Freedom
    Get Cardless Cash and PAYG branch and cheque services.
    Visa $0 $1,000 No ATM fees when you use Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. No monthly fees if you deposit $1000 into your account each month. Open More
    BankSA Sense Everyday Account
    Save and budget – get two accounts working together and save faster.
    Visa $0 $2,000 Use over 3000 BankSA, St.George, Bank Of Melbourne and Westpac ATMs in Australia for free. Open More

    When you’ve found the right one to suit your needs, go ahead and open the account.

    Update debit and credit information

    If you’ve already got some direct debit or direct credit payments going into or out of your account, you will need to transfer these over to your new account. This used to be quite a time consuming process, but as of 1st July 2012 banks are required to help you out with this process.

    Ask a representative at your new bank to help you with your transfers. They’ll get in touch with your old bank and ask them to provide a list of all your direct debits and direct credits. You’ll be shown the list and asked which of those payments you want shifted across to your new account.

    These will include things like:

    • Salary credit payments
    • Regular direct debit payments for any loan repayments or credit card payments
    • Direct debit agreements for insurance policies, gym memberships, regular subscriptions, or utility bill payments

    Be sure to take a note of your new BSB and account number and then give this to your employer or payroll officer to be sure your salary goes to the right account next time you get paid. You should give the same account information to anyone else who pays you money, including Centrelink or your rental agent if you’re having your rental income credited directly to your account.

    Remember, your new account won’t have information saved about any BPAY payments you’ve made. You’ll have to work these out through your new account when the next payments are due.

    Back up plan

    Before you transfer all the cash in your old account over to your new bank account, take a moment to think about a backup plan. While you may think you’ve covered all your usual direct debit payments, there is a risk that you may have forgotten something.

    Leave some cash in your old account for a short time to cover any payments you may have overlooked. This will help you avoid missed payment fees or penalties.

    Close your old account

    When you’re sure your new account is up and running properly, it’s time to close your old account. This should only be done when you’re sure all your direct debits and credits have been successfully transferred over and you’ve given your new account details to anyone paying money into that account.

    It is important to eventually close that old bank account, even if you leave no cash in there. This is simply because some banks may charge inactivity fees for not using your account. Others may continue to charge monthly fees on the account, which could put you in debt.

    With most banks, you are required to go into a branch to close your account. Some may ask that you request for the account closure in writing, along with your signature to verify the process. The easiest way to know for sure which option your bank wants is to call them and ask.

    However, don’t make the mistake of thinking your account will be closed over the phone just because you spoke to someone. Banks really don’t want to lose your business, so they will make you work just a little bit to finalise that account closure. Listen to what they want you to do and then get the process going.

    Switching bank accounts doesn’t have to be difficult. You simply need to be sure everything is in place with your new account before you shut down the old one. This will make sure the process is as smooth as possible for you.

    Fred Schebesta

    Fred Schebesta is a Director of finder.com.au and loves being frugal and finding loopholes in deals.

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    10 Responses to How to Close Your Transaction or Bank Account

    1. Default Gravatar
      peter | November 4, 2015

      i was wondering do bank keep your personal detail after you close your account with them? detail like you address your name your phone number, your personal information? or will it be erase permanently?

      • Staff
        Shirley | November 4, 2015

        Hi Peter,

        Thanks for your question.

        Banks generally do keep your personal details for a period of time after you close the account, though it’s not for marketing purposes.

        After about 2-3 years it’s generally erased permanently. For more information, please get in the touch with the bank directly.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

    2. Default Gravatar
      yongduk | July 18, 2015

      Hello. this is yongduk kim.
      I am from Korea. I have stayed in Australia for 5 years.
      I just have arrived Korea last week
      Unfortunately, I can’t go back to Australia.
      So I am just wondering that how can I close account?
      please reply for me, thank you

      best regards
      Duks

      • Staff
        Sally | July 20, 2015

        Hi Yongduk,

        Thanks for your comment.

        You will need to contact your account provider directly to close your account. Depending on who you were banking in with in Australia, you should be able to find an international contact number on their website. You will then be put through to the relevant customer service team who will be able to guide you in the right direction.

        I hope this has helped.

        Thanks,

        Sally

    3. Default Gravatar
      HMT | November 3, 2014

      I have recently moved back last minute over to England and would like to know how and the easiest way I can close my ANZ account? Thank you

      • Staff
        Shirley | November 3, 2014

        Hi HMT,

        Thanks for your question.

        Since your overseas, the quickest and easiest would be to give ANZ a call to close your account.

        All the best,
        Shirley

    4. Default Gravatar
      jui | October 19, 2014

      how can i close my ANZ bank account

      • Staff
        Marc | October 20, 2014

        Hi Jul,
        thanks for the question.

        You can close your ANZ account by calling them up directly. The process should take less than five minutes, and will require you to give the representative your card or account number, identify yourself, and then request you to close your bank account.

        I hope this helps,
        Marc.

    5. Default Gravatar
      christian | February 14, 2014

      how to close my bank account online? thanks

      • Staff
        Marc | February 17, 2014

        Hi Christian,
        thanks for the question.

        Most bank accounts cannot be closed online. To close an account, you’ll usually have to call your bank, visit a branch or send them a written request. Different banking institutions will have different ways of closing an account, so it’s best to contact your bank.

        Cheers,
        Marc.

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