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How to Close a Bank Account in New Zealand

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Closing your bank account in new Zealand and from overseas.

The devastating time has come to leave New Zealand, but it’s not all bad. Now you can have one less bank account to worry about by closing your New Zealand bank account. While many people prefer to wait until they have left New Zealand to close their bank account, we recommend closing your account before you leave! Not only is closing your New Zealand bank account easier and quicker while you are in New Zealand, you don’t have to worry about any ongoing fees that might be happening while you are not using it! All in all, it’s best to close a bank account in New Zealand once and for all if you no longer intend to use it. You don’t even need it to receive a tax refund, if you have worked in New Zealand.

Nevertheless, if New Zealand is long behind you, you are now overseas and moved onto your next adventure, never fear. You can still close a New Zealand bank account from overseas. It’s just not as easy. We’ll go through it all in the guide to closing a New Zealand bank account below!

Before you close your New Zealand bank account…

There are a few things you should consider before closing your New Zealand bank account.

  • Download any statements or documents you may need from your online banking
  • Delete or edit any automatic payments
  • Pay any over-drawn amounts
  • Take your money out of your account so that your balance is zero (more details below).
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Make sure the account has zero balance

Not only does having a bank account with zero balance makes things go a lot smoother when closing your bank account, but we guess you will actually want the money from your New Zealand bank account, right? Either way, closing a New Zealand bank account goes a lot smoother if the balance is at zero – that means there is no money in it and no overdraft.

Transferring money from your New Zealand bank account overseas

Withdraw the cash out from the bank or, if it is an amount of money you would rather not carry around with you, transfer the money to your overseas bank account i.e. the bank account you use at home. There are a few different methods of doing this, some more efficient and cheaper than others. For instance, you can:

  • Make an international telegraphic transfer
  • Use an international bank draft
  • Use an online foreign exchange broker like XE Money.

Check out How to Send Money Overseas from a New Zealand Bank Account for a complete guide.

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Closing your bank account from New Zealand

The easiest way to close your New Zealand bank account is by visiting one of your bank’s branches and closing your account in person. Book an appointment with your bank to make this process as quick as possible.

When you go to your appointment to close your New Zealand bank account, take your passport and any debit/credit cards with that bank with you. In the case of ASB, you will need to bring two forms of ID. Your banker will go through a few steps, make sure there are no overdrafts in your account, then boom! You’ve closed your bank account. The process should take no longer than 20 minutes.

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Closing your New Zealand bank account from overseas

How easy it is to close your New Zealand bank account from overseas depends on who you are banking with. While banks like Kiwibank allow you to close your bank account by sending a “securemail” through their online banking portal, other banks usually require your to close your account over the phone and/or send some proof of identification.

To close your New Zealand bank account from overseas, you must:

  • Transfer any remaining balance to another bank account. (XE Money is an easy option from overseas if you have your bank account number number. Otherwise, you may need to contact your bank to write you an international bank draft).
  • Have your passport number, bank account number and any access codes on hand
  • Contact your bank at their overseas phone number (be aware that come banks require you to contact the specific branch that you opened your bank account)

Once you have gone through the identification process over the phone, in most cases, you will be able to close your bank account over the phone. Additionally, you might be asked to mail or email an identification document (i.e. your passport or New Zealand driver license).

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Getting your tax return

Don’t forget! If you have worked in New Zealand, you can claim your tax return even when you have left New Zealand! With companies like Taxback, you can request the tax return payment to be made into a chosen bank account – not necessarily your New Zealand bank account, so you can still get a tax refund after you have closed your New Zealand bank account.

Find out more at How to Get Your Tax Refund in New Zealand.

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