Banking FAQ’s

You may be asked some of these questions by young people during sessions. MyBnk doesn’t give money advice but it can be helpful to have an idea of the answers to some of the common FAQ’s.

How do I close a bank account?

  • You can close most bank accounts whenever you like without being charged or paying a penalty – although, if you’re overdrawn you’ll have to pay off what you owe.
  • If your bank imposes a penalty for closing an account – such as a savings account before a specific date – it needs to have made this clear to you before you opened the account.

How do I switch bank accounts?

Banks and building societies all now offer a free seven-day Current Account Switch Service. It’s backed by a guarantee that means you’ll be refunded any interest and charges on your old and new accounts if anything goes wrong.

Here’s how the switching service works:

  • Once you’ve chosen a new account, the new bank or building society will ask you to fill in two forms: a current account switch agreement and an instruction to close your old account.
  • You pick a date when you want the switch to happen. This has to be at least seven working days after your new account is opened.
  • Your new bank will arrange for all your incoming and outgoing payments to be moved to your new account.
  • You can carry on using your old account until the day of the switch. Your old account will then be closed.
  • Any payments into or out of your old account will be automatically redirected to your new account for 13 months.

What happens if my bank wants to close my account?

If your bank decides to close your current or instant access savings account, it must give you two months’ notice.

For other accounts, it must give you ‘reasonable notice’, so that you can make alternative arrangements. The bank can delay the closure if you have made payments that have not yet been taken from your account, for example a cheque or card payment.

Your bank or building society should not close your account just because you make a complaint or a claim for compensation against it.

How do I send money overseas?

There are three main options: international money transfer using your bank or building society account, an online or high street money transfer firm, or a foreign exchange broker (Forex). The option that you go with will depend on how much you want to transfer, when it needs to arrive and how often you need to make the transaction. All of these services cost different amounts, and safety should also be a consideration – check out the Money Advice website for more help. 

How do I keep my money safe?

You should keep your PIN secret and always shield it when using an ATM. If you’re doing banking on the phone then make sure you’re talking to the right person before revealing personal details. Don’t make things easy for criminals- remember to shred statements and anything with identifying details before throwing them away. If you’re banking online then always check that the website is safe by looking for a padlock in the top right hand corner. Finally, always check your bank statements and report anything that seems unusual so that it can be investigated. 

You should also be aware of money transfer scams where fraudsters claim to be the bank investigating a security breach and ask the victim to transfer money to a ‘safe’ account, where it is stolen. 

You should know that the bank will never ask for your full PIN number or banking passwords over phone or via email, will never send someone to your home, will never email a link to an online banking login page, will never call to advise on diamond, land or commodity purchases and will never use non-official banking apps.