How To Divest from a Big Bank
Setup an account at another financial institution (the short list)
- Find another financial institution that has your values. You may wish to check out a community bank or a credit union in your area.
- Once you have found a new financial institution, open up your accounts (like the ones you will be closing at Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase or Wells Fargo).
- Order checks.
- Order your ATM/Debit Card. Note: Some institutions will give you a debit card upon opening your account.
- Set up automated payments (mortgage, cell phones, garbage, etc.…).
- Set up automatic deposits (as needed)
- Set up online banking (as needed)
- If you have automated banking, you may wish to log on at your earliest convenience to set up your bill payments that way. Log on to your Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase or Wells Fargo online banking account to get all your information about who you pay online. Setup your online banking payments.
- Report Moving Your Money - help track $1 billion moved off of Wall Street!
A more detailed guide to closing your account
Thanks to Fearless Revolution for this information
1. Go through previous big bank statements to see exactly which accounts you have. Be sure to check the names on each account. If you are closing a joint account with two holders, it makes a difference whether the word joining your names is "and" or "or." If the account in your name is in your name and someone else's, you will both need to go in and close the account. If the account is in your name or someone else's, either of you can close the account. Some big banks may vary on this policy, so it's best to call your big bank to find out exactly what you need to do prior to walking into your local branch.
2. If you have any loans with a big bank, look closely at your statements and paperwork you signed at the time of closing. There very well might be penalties that will trigger a higher interest rate if you close your checking account. Big banks excel at offering customers lower interest rates on mortgage and auto loans if you open a checking account and maintain a minimum balance. A primary checking account is a bank's ultimate goal to securing your, ahem, loyalty. A primary checking account also leads to, on average, the opening of three additional accounts with that financial institution. Decide whether or not you can or have the willingness to pay off the outstanding loan balance. If you do not pay off the loan balance, call your bank to ask about escalating fees or rate increases by closing your checking account before walking into your local branch to close the checking account.
3. Stop using your deposit accounts ASAP. You need to allow everything to clear the accounts completely before you close them. This clearing process takes about two weeks to complete. Keep close tabs online to see which transactions are still outstanding.
What To Do After You Have Closed Your Big Bank Deposit Accounts
Shred all remaining checks and debit cards. This is an essential step. If you mistakenly use the checks or debit cards, you will be going back to the big bank branch. Except this time it will be to clean up your mess.
Sync up your new deposit account information (ABA routing number and account number for checks, card number, expiration date, 3-digit security code for debit card) to any relevant accounts that require automatic payments. For example, if you automatically pay your car insurance on a monthly basis with your checking account, be sure to sync up your checking account with your car insurance company. You may also want provide your new account information for online products such as iTunes, eBay, and PayPal.