To close a bank account, send a written request to close the account, along with contact information, personal information, account number and any other required documentation, according to About.com. Banks send the remaining account balance and a letter of verification once the request to close the account is finalized.
Before closing a personal bank account, start a new bank account, switch recurring transactions to the new bank and transfer money to the new account, recommends U.S. News and World Report. Then, visit the bank to close the account and request a letter of verification.
U.S. News and World Report notes instances of banks re-opening closed accounts due to an attempted withdrawal. Avoid this by properly switching any recurring transactions, automatic payments and account balance in advance. As a safeguard, a written statement indicating that an account was closed is important to settle any possible discrepancies. It is recommended to switch any recurring or automatic payments to a new bank at least three weeks prior to closing an account. Review bank statements from the previous 12 months to find any possible automated transactions.
Closing a bank account usually takes at least two weeks, as stated by About.com. Some banks allow customers to close accounts by mail. Shred any checks and debit cards associated with the account to prevent any complications.