How to close your parent’s bank account

The steps you need to take to close your parent’s bank account vary depending on where your parent banks and what type of account you have. There are also certain things to think about before you go ahead

First of all, if you are intending to close a bank account on behalf of a parent, you can only do this if you hold legal power of attorney

If you do not have power of attorney, your parent would need to close the account themselves

How to close an account

Contact the bank to get their procedure for closing accounts. The procedure for closing an account varies depending on which bank your parent uses and the type of account they have

Check the bank’s website to see if they publish the procedure for closing accounts. Otherwise email or telephone them to ask. Or drop into the local branch, if you have one.

If you’re going into the branch, it’s always worth taking along some ID, such as a driving licence or passport, and any cheque books and cards relating to the account in case they will allow you to close the account then and there.

Check that there are no outstanding payments set up on your account. If you close the account, make sure Direct Debits or other payments are transferred properly to a new account if applicable

If you’re switching a current account to another provider, new rules mean that the new bank or building society will arrange for  payments to be transferred and the process will take seven working days. If there is a mistake or delay, any charges or interest incurred will be refunded

If you’re closing an account and not opening another account, make sure you tell anyone who normally pays your parent or they normally pay that you’re closing the account.

Check that you’re not overdrawn. The bank won’t allow you to close an account that is overdrawn, until any debts are paid. Do a balance check to ensure that the account either has a zero balance or is in credit. If it is in credit, you will need to tell the bank where you want them to transfer the remaining balance.

Check that you won’t be charged for closing your account. Some banks impose a penalty for closing an account, such as a savings account before a specific date.

Look at paperwork relating to the account. If the bank charges a penalty for closing the account, it must have made this clear before your parent opened the account. If you can’t find your original paperwork, contact the bank and they will be able to let you know

If you think your bank is charging a penalty unfairly then you have the right to complain

Money Advice Service

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

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