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How to close your transaction or bank account

If you’re not happy with your current bank account, you should 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

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.

Comparison of transaction accounts with debit card access

Rates last updated November 24th, 2017
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
NAB Classic Banking
$0 monthly account fees.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone.
Visa $0 $0 $0 account keeping fees with no deposit conditions. Unlimited free withdrawals at NAB and rediATMs. Go to site More
Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Earn Qantas Points on eligible purchases and on your account balance.
Conditions apply.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees when you deposit at least $2,000 into your account each month. Otherwise, a $6 monthly fee applies. Unlimited Free withdrawals at Bankwest and CommBank ATMs in Australia. Go to site 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 account keeping fees. Unlimited free withdrawals at over 3,000 HSBC, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
ING Orange Everyday Account
$75 cash bonus & Apple Pay available.
Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with an ING Savings Maximiser.
Visa $0 $1,000 ING charges no ATM withdrawal fees and offers a rebate on any third-party ATM fees and international transaction fees when you deposit $1,000 (and from 1 March 2018 make 5+ card purchases a month). Go to site More
ANZ Access Advantage
Apple Pay, Android Pay & ANZ Mobile Pay.
Take advantage of Apple Pay by linking your ANZ Visa Debit card to an eligible iPhone and seamlessly pay for purchases with your phone.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at ANZ ATMs. Go to site More
Bankwest Easy Transaction Account
No monthly account fees when you deposit at least $2,000 per month (e.g. salary). Plus save on ATM fees at major banks such as ANZ, Westpac, NAB, St.George and Commonwealth Bank.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $6 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at CommBank, NAB, ANZ, Westpac, St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site 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 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
St.George Complete Freedom Account
Waived account keeping fees when minimum deposit is met with no minimum balance.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Go to site 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 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at Bank of Melbourne, St.George, Westpac and BankSA ATMs. Go to site More
BankSA Complete Freedom Account
Cardless Cash available. Open one in less than 3 minutes.
Visa $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees if you deposit at least $2,000 per month. Otherwise, a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at BankSA, St.George, Westpac and Bank of Melbourne ATMs. Go to site 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

  1. 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?

    • Staff
      ShirleyNovember 4, 2015Staff

      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
    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

    • Staff
      SallyJuly 20, 2015Staff

      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
    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

    • Staff
      ShirleyNovember 3, 2014Staff

      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
    juiOctober 19, 2014

    how can i close my ANZ bank account

    • Staff
      MarcOctober 20, 2014Staff

      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
    christianFebruary 14, 2014

    how to close my bank account online? thanks

    • Staff
      MarcFebruary 17, 2014Staff

      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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