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How to close your bank account

Sometimes you can close your account online, but some banks require you to call or visit a branch. Here's what to consider when closing your account.

Here's how to close your bank account:

  1. Withdraw your money so the bank account is empty
  2. If there's no option to close your account in the mobile app or Internet banking, call your bank or visit a branch and request your account is closed
  3. Update all your direct debits and payment details with your employer

However, before you do close your current bank account make sure you open your new bank account. The process will be a lot easier if you have a new bank account ready to go. Here are the three steps to take if you want to close your bank account in more detail.

Withdraw your money from the account you want to close

To withdraw your money, you can simply make a bank transfer to your new account. Depending on the amount of money you're transferring, you may have to increase your bank account's daily transfer limit so you don't have to split the transfer over a few days. You can do this via Internet banking or your mobile banking app, or by calling your bank.

Before you transfer all the cash in your old account over to your new bank account, you might want to consider leaving a small amount of money in your old account for a short period of time (for example a few weeks). While you may think you've covered all your usual direct debit payments, there is a risk that you may have forgotten something. Leaving some cash in your old account for a short time to cover any payments you may have overlooked will help you avoid missed payment fees or penalties.

Finder survey: What features do people want in a transaction account?

ResponseFemaleMale
Account fees48.28%46.43%
No ATM fees47.93%45.49%
Online banking/mobile app45.86%34.21%
Accessibility to ATMs13.79%17.29%
Customer service13.97%16.35%
Contactless payment capability (e.g. Apple Pay)15.52%13.35%
Rewards (e.g. cashback or points)14.83%15.23%
Accessibility to branches13.28%11.65%
Instant payments (Osko/PayID)13.1%9.59%
Foreign transaction fees5.34%8.08%
Deposit conditions2.59%7.89%
Other1.03%0.75%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1113 Australians, December 2023

How to 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. You can ask a representative at your new bank to help you with this. 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 things like your home Internet, your phone bill and Netflix that come out of your account automatically

Be sure to give your new BSB and account number to your employer or payroll officer as soon as possible, so your salary goes to the right account the next time you get paid. You should give the same account information to anyone else who pays you money regularly.

If someone does send money to your old account after it's been closed, the transaction will usually not work and the money will bounce back into the person's account who sent the money.

Close your old account by contacting your bank

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.

Some bank accounts can be closed online. Check in your mobile banking app if there's an option to close your account, or start a live chat with a bank representative. Sometimes they can help you close your account using this live chat feature.

Some banks require you 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. Some banks will allow you to close your bank account over the phone, once you've verified your identity. The easiest way to know for sure which option your bank wants is to call them and ask.

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10 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    peterNovember 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?

      AvatarFinder
      ShirleyNovember 4, 2015Finder

      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

    Default Gravatar
    YongdukJuly 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

      AvatarFinder
      SallyJuly 20, 2015Finder

      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

    Default Gravatar
    HMTNovember 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

      AvatarFinder
      ShirleyNovember 3, 2014Finder

      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

    Default Gravatar
    juiOctober 19, 2014

    how can i close my ANZ bank account

      AvatarFinder
      MarcOctober 20, 2014Finder

      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.

    Default Gravatar
    christianFebruary 14, 2014

    how to close my bank account online? thanks

      AvatarFinder
      MarcFebruary 17, 2014Finder

      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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