Quinn McDonald cautions people about losing access to their online banking records when they close their bank accounts and flee across town for a better deal, or in her case, better customer service.
I haven’t changed banks since the online banking and bill-pay boom began, and frankly, I never thought about this issue. Not being able to determine which checks cleared, what your latest deposits were, and whether you had paid a bill or not would be frustrating. And perhaps costly.
So how would I handle it?
I wouldn’t bother asking the bank about it–no bank is going to give you access to your data after you close your account, simply for security and privacy reasons.
Before closing my account at Bank A, I’d open one at Bank B and start using their services, especially their bill pay. When the last transactions at Bank A are posted, I’d run the various online reports and/or download my Bank A transactions into Quicken or Excel format (which almost all online banking applications allow you to do). That way if there’s a question later, you have your records at Bank A handy.
Besides, I’ve noticed I get pretty good customer service when I handle issues myself.
Read McDonald’s article, On-Line Banking: Ask Before You Choose.