Usually, the expats in the UAE are suggested to close the relations with banks or financial institutions before leaving the country. But there can be times the expats rush back to their home countries without getting the time to close the bank accounts in the UAE. In such cases, if the account holder cannot come back to UAE, then they have to close the account online.
The expat population in the UAE is large and the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the expats when they had to return to the Emirates due to lockdown, visa rejections, etc. If you don’t see yourself coming back to the UAE in the near future anytime then you can close the account. It is always required to visit the bank and provide the account closure request but if you are abroad then you can talk to your banks and solve this issue.
When there are activities on the account like no incoming or outgoing transaction happening for more than a certain time limit, the account will be frozen by the banks. Most of the banks in the UAE freezes an account that is inactive for 6 months. Once the account is frozen, they check the fees and charges levied on the account and request the account holder to pay the fee to close or restart the account.
Steps to close your UAE bank account from abroad
1. Send a request to the bank
The account holder is expected to visit the bank to perform certain activities on the account. But if you can’t visit UAE then you can contact the bank officials to explain to them your situation and why you can’t visit UAE. If the reason is valid they might accept your request. The account holder needs to send an official email from the registered email address to the bank official email id mentioning your account name, account number and bank branch details.
If not email, some banks might ask you to send a signed letter through fax as well. Or you can also check if any of your friends or family can deliver them a signed letter from you.
Also, Check: Is it a good idea to close unused Credit Cards?
2. Clear the dues
Once your account closure request is processed, check if there are any charges levied. Some banks charge a maintenance fee on the account or a fee for non-maintenance of minimum balance. Check the amount and ask the bank about the ways to pay these fees. Usually, you are supposed to transfer these to your bank account and the amount of the fees will be debited accordingly.
Also, some banks charge a minimal fee if you are closing the account within a year of account opening. Overall, check all the fees and make the payment however it is possible for you as per the bank’s guidance.
3. Get the account closure letter
After the dues are cleared the bank will process your closure request. Usually, the account holder needs to submit the debit cards, unused cheque book, to the bank at the time of account closure. But if you fail to hand these over to them, the bank will deactivate them and you can’t use them further for any purpose.
It takes 3-5 working days for banks to process the account closure application and close it. Once the account is closed, you will get an official confirmation from the bank through a text message or email regarding the closure. If you don’t get any message from the bank contact them to get the status of your account. Also, get an account closure letter for future references.
Things to keep in mind while closing a bank account
- Ensure you are not sharing any passwords in the account closure request letter as it has nothing to do with your account closure.
- Get a clear official confirmation from the bank regarding the account closure and save it. It can be a reference for the future.
- Make sure you have cleared all the dues before closing the account and get an official confirmation for the same once the dues are cleared.
- Though your debit cards and cheque books will be deactivated, it is recommended to destroy the cards and cheques.
- Before closing the account, make sure you have not given cheques to anyone that are yet to be cleared. If you have issued a cheque to someone and your account is closed before the clearance, then you might be booked under a cheque bounce case.
- Before the account closure, withdraw all the money in the account but leave some for fees (if any)
- Attach your ID proof to the account closure email
The account closure process can be simple and easy at some banks while it can be a complicated process. It totally depends upon the policies of the bank. Whatever it is, be honest with your bank about your situation without getting into any legal troubles.