Close a Bank Account In Canada (Bank Account Closing Letter Template)

This post covers how to close a bank account in Canada and contains a sample bank account closing letter you can adapt for your needs.

With new bank accounts with better features popping up, you may decide to close an old account to keep your finances organized. When you’re ready, the information below will get you started.

There could be easier ways to close a bank account than mailing in a letter. But if you want to keep records of the account closure, writing a letter to close your bank account may be the way to go.

bank account closing letter

How To write a bank account closing letter

So how do you write a letter to your bank to close your account? You want to keep things simple, straight to the point but include all the important details about your account.

Here’s a basic guide to follow:

  • Address your letter to someone at the bank: e.g. a bank manager or simply use “To whom it may concern”
  • Provide the details of the account(s) you want to close
  • If there are funds in the account, include an instruction on how to transfer the money to you
  • Request for a confirmation of account closure
  • Provide a means to reach you if they have questions or clarifications

Check the sample bank account closing letter below to get started.

Sample Bank Account Closing Letter

{Date}

Branch Manager (or To whom it may concern),

REQUEST TO CLOSE BANK ACCOUNT

Please close the account(s) listed below and stop further transactions to them. Also, please send any remaining balance and accrued interest in the accounts by cheque to my address below.

  • Chequing Account: {Account Number}
  • Other Accounts: {Account Number}

Please contact me through the phone number below if you have any questions. I would also like to receive a written confirmation that the accounts have been closed.

Thank you,

{Your Signature}

{Account Owner’s Name}

{Phone Number}

{Address}

Simply copy the free sample letter above (no need for a Word document or PDF download) and update the information where necessary.

You may also add any additional details or information if you want.

Other Easy Ways to Close a Bank Account

You can use the sample letter above, but there could be easier and faster ways to close an account at your bank.

Some of these includes:

Do it Online

This is usually the fastest way if your bank has the option. This option would be available with almost all online banks. It can be as simple as completing a short form or contacting the bank directly from your internet banking profile.

Call the bank’s Customer Service

You can also call your bank to initiate the account closure process. The customer service representative will provide you with all the information you need and advice you of the next steps.

If you decide to go with this option, make sure you request for a confirmation of your request and the timelines.

Visit your local branch

Finally, you may have to walk into your bank’s local branch to request for your bank account to be closed. In fact, some banks prefer this option.

Why? Because it gives them an opportunity to convince you to keep the account open. They may even offer you some deals to keep you around.

If you’ve made up your mind though, you should be ready to push back especially if you’re moving for better services, higher savings rates and so on.

What to do before closing your bank account

Before you start the bank account closing process, here are some things you should do first

1. Research and decide on another bank

The first thing you want to do before closing your bank account is deciding if you need another one or not.

You won’t always need to open a new bank account. For example if you’re closing some of your old bank accounts to keep your banking at a single bank, then this won’t be relevant to you.

If you need another bank account though, you should look around at other bank’s offerings to decide on the one that meets your needs.

In making the decision, you should think about why you want to close the account. Are you moving because of poor services? To pay lower or no fees? Or to earn more on your savings?

Make a shortlist of banks that satisfy your needs. Then compare your current bank account’s features and benefits to these banks.

If you’re a newcomer to Canada, you can check here for the best bank accounts for newcomers.

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2. Update your payment and deposit information 

Do you have any direct deposits that go into the account? Or pre-authorized debits (PAD) for some bills? You’ll want to update these banking details to a new bank account to avoid missing any payments or deposits.

A few direct deposits and pre-authorized debits you may need to update include:

  • Bills payments (phone, utilities, credit cards etc)
  • Paycheques
  • Government payments (tax refunds, GST/HST refund, Child Benefits and so on)

Do a quick scan of your bank statements for the past few months to be sure you’re not missing out any payments or deposits.

Also, stop writing new cheques from the account. And replace any cheques you’ve given out from the account or wait for them to be paid before closing the account.

This step is important to avoid having to pay non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees on some of your PAD.

3. Move Your Money

You can transfer your funds out of the account yourself if you want to keep things simple. Alternatively, you can wait for the bank to close the account and move the remaining balance to you.

If you do it yourself, try to move it out on the first day of the month. That way, there won’t be any accrued interest to deal with for account that earns interest.

How to Close a bank account in Canada

The steps to close a bank account at some of the popular banks in Canada are below.

How to Close RBC Bank Account

RBC lets you close a bank account through one of the 3 options below:

  • Visiting a branch
  • By phone at 1 800 769-2511
  • Secure email through your internet banking profile

The option available to you depends on your account type, whether you have a balance and if you’re transferring the balance to another RBC account.

For example, you must visit a branch if you’re not transferring your balance to another RBC bank or have one of their special account types (V.I.P., Estate, joint and so on).

Closing an account within 15 days of opening it is free, but you’ll pay $15 if you close it within 16-90 days.

An account becomes inactive after 2 years without a transaction. The NSF fee is $45.

Learn more: How To Close A RBC Account: Steps & Fees


How to Close TD Bank Account

To close a TD Bank account, you can

  • visit one of their local branches
  • use the EasyLine Telephone banking (1-866-222-3456

If you simply want to close a TD bank account to open another one, you can make the request online through EasyWeb.

There are no fees for closing an account at TD if you move the money out yourself. Otherwise, TD Bank will charge you $15 to transfer the balance to another financial institution.

Other things to note:

  • The NSF fee is $48
  • An account becomes inactive after 1 year. The bank does not charge inactivity fees but other account charges remains.

How to Close Scotiabank Bank Account

Scotiabank does not allow account closure online or by phone. You must visit one of the bank’s branches to close the account.

Here are some relevant charges and fees for closing a ScotiaBank account

  • Closing an account within 90 days of opening it (14 days if opened online): $25
  • Transfer of ScotiaBank account to another bank: $20
  • 2-4 years inactive account fees: $20
  • 5-8 years inactive account fees: $30
  • Inactive account after 9 years: $40
  • NSF fee: $48

Your account will be closed if it is inactive for 12 consecutive statement periods and the balance is less than $15.


How to Close BMO Bank Account

To close a BMO bank account, you have to:

  • Visit one of their branches; or
  • By phone if the account has $0 balance

Here are the relevant fees:

  • Account closed after 90 days of opening: Free
  • Closed within 90 days of opening: $20
  • Transfer account balance to another financial institution: $20
  • 2-year notice of dormant account: $20
  • 5-year notice of dormant account: $30
  • Transfer of balance to Bank of Canada after 10 years: $40

Learn more: How To Close A BMO Bank Account


How to Close CIBC Bank Account

You can close your CIBC bank account:

  • Over the phone (1 (800) 465-2422); or
  • At a CIBC branch

A CIBC account becomes inactive after 2 years of no transactions. Here are the account closure related fees at CIBC:

  • Transfer bank account to another financial institution: $19.50 per account
  • Closing an account within 90 days of opening: $20
  • Non-sufficient Fund (NSF) charges: $45
  • 2-4 years dormant account: $20
  • 5-8 years dormant account: $30
  • 9 years dormant account: $40

Balances are transferred to the bank of Canada after 10 years.


How to Close a Tangerine Bank Account

You can’t close your Tangerine account from within your internet banking page. You need to call the customer support line at 1-888-826-4374 (toll-free, available 24/7) to start the process.

Alternatively, you can initiate a chat with one of their reps while logged into your account.

NSF Fees at Tangerine is $45.

Learn more: How To Close A Tangerine Bank Account


How to Close An EQ Bank Account

EQ Bank lets you close or delete your account using one of the options below:

  • Call the EQ Bank Customer Care at 1-844-437-2265
  • Initiate a live chat and speak with one of their agents

You can reach them between 8 am and midnight (Eastern time) every day of the week.

EQ Bank does not charge for non-sufficient funds (NSF).


Closing a bank account at a credit union

The process is similar to how you would close your bank account at other banks.

But there’s a small difference…

When you close a bank account at a credit union, you’re essentially discontinuing your membership.  Some of them will refund the membership fees you paid while others won’t.

Tips for closing a bank account

Here are some tips to make your bank account closing experience less stressful

  • Update your pre-authorized deposit information to avoid NSF.
  • If your bank requires you to visit a branch, visit your home branch if possible.
  • Move the money in the account yourself to avoid having to wait endlessly for the cheque from the bank.
  • Download account statements and store in a secure place if necessary

Closing Investment Accounts

Many brokerages will let you close a your account online and transfer your investments to other providers. But there’ll almost always be a fee to do this.

The fees will usually not be negotiable. But depending on where you’re moving your account to and the amount, the receiving financial institution may cover these fees.

Check this post for the transfer fees for transferring your TFSA and RRSP and the banks that reimburse them.

FAQs

Are there fees to close a bank account?

It depends on the bank. Some banks charge fees to close your bank account especially if you need them to transfer the balance to another bank or within 90 days of opening the account.

Do I really need to a bank account closing letter?

No. In fact, you can close your account at all the big banks in Canada without the need to mail in a letter. If you like keeping detailed paper trails of your transaction though, then you should consider mailing in a letter. It is also a good way to close a bank account without going to a branch if your bank does not allow it to be done online.

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Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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