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I have a savings account (ISA) and current account in the UK, from when I used to live there. I now live in the US. The current account has a small overdraft line of credit and the ISA has an annual charge. I have a US bank account and all the account information for both the US and UK accounts.

The balance on the UK account is rather large from the sale of my UK home. While I understand that it is not the best exchange rate, I am happy making a wire transfer directly from my UK account to my US account. How do I close my UK accounts? I could not find any information on the external bank website or the internet banking portal.

  • Does the bank's website provide information about this? – Steve Melnikoff Jan 20 '16 at 22:49
  • @SteveMelnikoff see edit. I did not see anything. – StrongBad Jan 20 '16 at 22:51
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Calling the bank should be enough to find out how to close the account.

If all else fails, once the account has a zero balance, write a letter to the bank telling them to close the account.

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    Note that if the ISA pays interest annually, as most do, you may get this paid in next April even if the account has been empty for months. It would be worth checking what will happen to this payment if the account has since closed. – Andrew Jan 20 '16 at 22:55
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If you have a substantial amount of money on the account and want to transfer it to another currency, you want to optimise the exchange rate/commission.

One good option would probably be to use Transferwise or other similar services which minimise the amount of commission and fees paid (remember it's often on the order of 3% for exchange, plus fees for the transfer if you do it using the bank's services).

Do that for the bulk of the balance on the account. Then ask to close the account, and they should be able to give you instructions and transfer any remaining funds to any account. Transferring to an account held abroad may be a little bit more difficult for some banks, but they should be able to do it.

Note however that given the difficulty to open a bank account abroad nowadays, you may want to keep the account open with a symbolic amount on it, just in case you need it for some reason.

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