How To Close A Scotiabank Account (2024): 5 Steps to Follow

Are you wondering how to close an old Scotiabank account? If so, then you’re in the right place.

While closing a bank account is a relatively simple process, there are several things that you should take care of beforehand to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

Here are the steps you should take to close a Scotiabank account:

  1. Switch your account’s debits & deposits to a new bank account
  2. Withdraw or transfer your Scotiabank funds
  3. Download your Scotiabank statements
  4. Visit a branch to close your Scotiabank account
  5. Destroy your Scotiabank debit cards & chequebooks

Below, I’ll review each of these steps in further detail and review the account closing fees charged by Scotiabank.

Does Scotiabank Charge Fees To Close Your Account?

The Bank of Nova Scotia (today known as Scotiabank) was founded in 1832. The nearly two-centuries-old bank is one of the “Big Five” banks in Canada and has established a reputation of trust and integrity.

While banking with a major bank has its share of benefits, the downside is that there are often more fees compared to today’s online fee-free banks.

Closing a Scotiabank account is free if the account in question has been open for more than 90 days.

However, if you close an account that’s been open for less than 90 days, Scotiabank imposes a $20 fee to close your account. An additional $20 fee is also charged if you need Scotiabank to transfer your funds to a new bank account.

No transfer fee will be imposed if you withdraw your Scotiabank funds in cash. However, depending on the amount in your account, this may be difficult as the bank may not be able to hand over all of your funds at once (thanks to fractional reserve banking).

Closing A Scotiabank Account
Closing a Scotiabank account that’s been open for 90 days or more$0 (no charges imposed)
Closing a Scotiabank account that’s been open for fewer than 90 days$20
Transferring your Scotiabank funds to another financial institution$20

How To Close A Scotiabank Account: Step-by-Step

Now that you’re aware of the fees associated with closing a Scotiabank account, here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how to close a Scotiabank account. The same steps apply whether you have a chequing account, savings account, business bank account, or even a joint bank account with a spouse or partner.

Step 1: Move Automatic Debits & Deposits To A New Bank Account

Permanently Close Your Old Bank Account

First things first – you need to make sure that your bills stay paid and that you avoid any overdraft fees charged by Scotiabank after an automatic withdrawal is made on an account with no money in it.

I recommend going through your last full month’s bank statement with a highlighter and taking note of any bills, subscriptions, or automated payments that have been taken out of the account.

At the same time, you’ll also want to make a note of any automated deposits to your account, such as direct deposits from an employer or invoice payments from a business client.

Before you begin the process of closing your Scotiabank account, you’ll need to move all of these automated debits and deposits over to your new bank account.

Here’s how to go about this process, depending on your unique situation:

Type of Deposits/WithdrawalsWhat To Do
Direct deposit from an employerNotify your employer that you’re changing bank accounts, and complete a new direct deposit authorization form with account details from your new account.
Automated invoice payment from a business clientNotify your client that you’re switching bank accounts, and ask them to pay via cheque until you get your new account set up. If you use an automated accounting/invoicing software like Quickbooks, you’ll need to enter your new business bank account information into the software so that your invoice payments end up in the right account.
Automated debits from bills/subscriptionsUpdate your subscription services with your new bank account or debit card details.

In addition to switching over the billing details of all of your automated deposits and withdrawals, you’ll also want to make sure that there are funds available in the new bank account to account for upcoming bills.

Step 2: Withdraw Or Transfer Funds Within Your Scotiabank Account

Withdraw Or Transfer Your Funds From Your Old Bank Account To Your New Account

You’ll now need to transfer your Scotiabank funds to your new bank account or withdraw your balance in cash.

Transferring your money digitally through Scotiabank is, by far, the smarter option. It’s safer, and the bank assumes all liability and responsibility for the money.

For one, taking out your money in cash opens the door for potential loss or theft. Additionally, banks may not have all of your funds immediately available (unless it’s a smaller sum of money).

Step 3: Download Past Bank Statements

Download Past Bank Statements

Once you fully deactivate your Scotiabank account, accessing your previous bank statements can be difficult and will require you to visit a branch in-person and speak to a banker. To avoid this complication, I recommend downloading all of your past year’s Scotiabank statements.

Often these statements may be necessary when:

  • Applying for a new apartment or housing unit
  • Applying for a small business or personal loan
  • Applying for a new credit card

If you download them before shutting your account down, you’ll be able to use them as proof of income or account activity if the documents are ever requested.

Step 4: Visit A Branch To Close Your Scotiabank Account

Step 4: Visit A Branch To Close Your Scotiabank Account

Unfortunately, you’ll need to visit a Scotiabank branch in-person to shut down your account. This policy is in place for two reasons:

  • It ensures that the account closing request is legitimate (in other words, you are who you say you are)
  • It gives Scotiabank the opportunity to pitch you on remaining a customer and/or allows them to ask how they could have better served you (feedback).

Most major banks and credit unions have the same policy. In fact, very few banks allow customers to close their accounts online or over the phone. The exception to this rule are online banks like Tangerine, which you can close virtually.

Step 5: Destroy Your Scotiabank Debit Cards & Chequebook

After deactivating your Scotiabank account, hold onto your debit cards and chequebook for 30 days to ensure the account closing process goes smoothly. After the account is fully closed, you can destroy your debit cards and any associated chequebooks.

Although they’re no longer a liability (as the account numbers are no longer valid), your personal information may still be printed on the cheques or cards.

Reasons to Close a Scotiabank Account

Make sure you are closing your account for the right reasons. Let’s delve into the main reasons to close a Scotiabank account:

  1. Multiple Accounts: Sometimes, in the spirit of diversifying one’s finances, you might end up with multiple bank accounts. Having numerous accounts can lead to difficulty in managing them. It’s often wise to consolidate and streamline your finances.
  2. Service Dissatisfaction: Not all banking experiences are equal. Customers might feel disappointed with the customer service, banking fees, or even the digital features offered by the bank.
  3. Shifting to Online Banks: With the rise of online banking, many Canadians are now gravitating towards digital-first banks, which often offer better interest rates and lower fees. Scotiabank, being a traditional bank, might not always match the perks offered by these digital institutions.
  4. Relocating: Moving to a new province or country where Scotiabank branches aren’t as prevalent might necessitate account closure.

Impact on Credit Score and Finances

Directly, the act of closing a bank account doesn’t impact one’s credit score. However, complications can arise. For instance, if the account had an outstanding negative balance upon closure, it might be forwarded to collections, and this action would negatively impact the credit score.

Also, make sure there are no pending transactions existing before shutting down the account. Overdrafts, which might result from transactions that process after the account’s closure, can also harm one’s credit score if they’re sent to collections.

FAQs About How To Close A Scotiabank Account

To finish, here are a few quick answers to some of the most common questions when people are looking up how to close a Scotiabank account.

Can You Close A Scotiabank Account Remotely?

Scotiabank accounts cannot be closed remotely via phone call or online. To close your account, you must visit a Scotiabank branch in person and speak with a banker or the bank manager.

During this process, you’ll be asked a few quick questions and be given an opportunity to remain a customer. If you decline, your account will be closed down as you requested.

What Happens To My Scotiabank Credit Cards After Closing My Account?

Any Scotiabank credit cards you may have been issued are separate from your Scotiabank chequing or savings account. As such, your credit cards won’t be affected. However, you may need to update your credit card billing information if you previously made your credit card payments using the Scotiabank account.

Can I close my Scotiabank account without a letter?

Yes, a formal letter isn’t a strict requirement for closing your account at Scotiabank. However, personal visitation to a branch is often necessary. By visiting in person, you can ensure clear communication and immediate feedback. It also gives the bank an opportunity to ensure the account closure request is legitimate, preventing potential fraud.

Conclusion – Scotiabank Accounts Must Be Closed In-Person

Although it may be inconvenient, Scotiabank accounts must be closed at a branch. As long as you follow the steps outlined above, though, the process should go smoothly.

Are you looking for a replacement bank account? Credit unions often offer better rates and a more personalized banking experience for customers. Keep on reading to see my list of the best credit unions in Canada next!

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Author Bio - Christopher Liew is a CFA Charterholder with 11 years of finance experience and the creator of Read about how he quit his 6-figure salary career to travel the world here.

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