A bank account is a deposit of money in the deposit bank through which the owner can direct deposit collections and payments, make transfers or withdraw money with a card. Currently, having one is practically essential to be able to carry out operations with money. In fact, European regulations recognize basic payment accounts to guarantee financial inclusion among those who cannot afford one.
Opening a bank account is simple and it will suffice to present the documentation requested by the bank. When choosing the account to open, the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) recommends opting for one “that does not charge you for the most frequent operations and that fits well with your profile.” And before contracting the account, the bank must provide us with detailed information about its main characteristics.
A person can have as many accounts as they want, but they must take into account the commissions that the bank may apply and which are detailed in the pre-contractual information. The Bank of Spain reminds that “the commissions charged by entities are free, except in cases in which they are legally limited.” Therefore, as long as the account is activated, it will be able to charge an import fee to its holders.
Account maintenance cost
In that sense, it is important to keep in mind that having the account at zero or inactive does not mean that it is closed. The BdE explains that “despite not being used, the bank can charge maintenance fees.” However, the entity has the obligation to inform the owner of the possible expenses and damages that come with keeping it open and not canceling it.
Specifically, each bank must comply with the obligation to send periodic information and settlements such as monthly statements, supporting documents for each settlement and the annual summary of commissions and interests, reporting the amounts owed. Furthermore, according to good banking practices, the bank cannot charge commissions and interest for overdrafts whose sole cause is the debiting of commissions to the account. That is, you will not be able to leave the account in the red due to non-payment of commissions.
How to close the bank account?
To cancel a bank account, it is necessary to give express instructions, in writing, to your bank, requesting the cancellation. It is not a complicated process and it is a procedure that can be carried out at any time. The owner can request its cancellation without prior notice and the entity must cancel it within 24 hours of the request.
The Bank of Spain informs that cancellation will be free “if the contract is of indefinite duration or if it has a term of more than six months and we want to close it once six months have elapsed.” Furthermore, if the contract includes the collection of commissions that have been charged periodically, when canceling the account, the owner must pay “the proportional part accrued, or if it had been paid in advance, the bank will have to reimburse us for the proportional part.”
Before requesting cancellation, it is important to check, first of all, if there are products associated with that account such as loans or cards, which must be canceled or diverted to another account. In addition, all the money will have to be withdrawn from the account through a transfer or obtaining it in cash.
With the account at zero, you can request cancellation, for which it is only necessary to deliver to the bank all the payment instruments associated with the account. Of course, it is possible that the bank account is in the name of several holders. In cases of joint ownership, the account closure request must be signed by all owners.