Closing a joint bank account is relatively easy, according to Bank Rate. However, you'll need to provide the correct identification and make sure you're a joint owner of the account. Also, it's important to deal with outstanding checks and make the necessary auto-deposit and withdrawal changes. A bank may also charge as much as £6 to close a joint account. Before heading to the bank, it helps to have a few tips.
Joint Owner vs. Authorised Signer
In order to close a joint bank account, you must be a "joint owner" on the account, instead of an "authorised signer." For example, a mother might open a bank account with her son, and specify herself as the "joint owner" and him as an "authorised signer." This means the son can write checks on the account, but can't close it.
However, if you're a joint owner on the account, you have the authority to close out the bank account. If you aren't sure of your status on the account, contact the bank and ask.
Documents Needed to Close a Joint Account
Before closing a joint account, contact your financial institution and ask what documents are needed before making a trip to the bank, as most banks require account closures to be done in person. Most financial institutions require two different forms of identification. For example, you could bring a state-issued identification card or driver's license and a social security card.
Once you provide the required identification, the bank will close the account and issue you a check for the remaining balance. The other account holders don't need to be present; however, the bank will ask you to notify them.
Deal with Outstanding Checks
Before closing a joint bank account, make sure all outstanding checks have been cashed. If you still have outstanding checks and need to close the account immediately, have the bank place a "stop payment" on the outstanding checks.
The fee to stop payment varies, but usually costs about £19 per check. Also, make sure to send out new checks (with your new bank account) to the creditors and notify them of the stop payments.
Also, don't forget to change direct deposits and auto debits from the joint account. This can include payroll deposits and monthly bills (like gym memberships or other expenses).