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Nov 23, 2021

How to Close Your PNC or BBVA Account

An important part of everyone’s climate journey is changing to a sustainable bank. Most traditional banks around the globe use customers’ deposits to fund carbon-intensive industries and businesses that force a heavy carbon burden on your money. 

If you were a BBVA customer, you were recently acquired by PNC. Yep, you were acquired, though you may not want to keep your money with your new bank.

As of 12/31/20, PNC had committed more than $10 billion in aggregate to the oil & gas industry, accounting for nearly 5% of their loan portfolio! Plus, there is certainly far more supporting fossil fuels and other dirty sectors that aren't being disclosed.* That’s your money funding climate change!

More and more people are realizing that big banks aren’t the way to go when it comes to making the most of your money, especially when it comes to making an impactful change on the climate. More than just impact, emerging neobank options are offering fee-free banking so that more of your money stays yours.

It’s time to cut the cord, and we’ll show you how to do it.

While it sounds like a pain, switching your bank is far easier than you might think. And by choosing one of various new digital offerings, you'll likely find that you’ll save more money and gain in other conveniences and features too!

Before Closing Your PNC or BBVA Account

There are a couple of things you should do before closing your PNC or BBVA account. Don’t jump the gun by closing your PNC account too soon. Make sure you take these necessary steps so that important things don’t fall through the cracks.

1. Open your new account at a climate-positive bank

The first thing you’ll want to do is identify your new financial institution. Whether it’s banking on climate with Atmos or supporting your local economy (credit union or community bank), there are lots of options out there to support your values. 

Once you have identified your new financial institution, open that account. Opening a bank account has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. While many credit unions may still require paper applications and joining an affiliated association of some sort, many newer digital offerings are designed for your convenience and usually enable new checking and savings accounts in just a few minutes. Look for an option with no monthly maintenance or service fees.

2. Fund your new account 

You don’t need to close your PNC or BBVA account before using your new account! Funding your new account allows you to order your debit cards and start using your new account immediately.  

The important thing to remember is to leave some money in that old PNC account for a short while to keep covering those recurring bills before you transfer them over. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to cut ties completely soon enough! Unless your new financial institution has an ATM on every street corner or an ATM finder easily accessible, you may want to keep that account for easy ATM or cash deposit access until you get used to your new setup.

3. Transfer recurring bills and deposits

You probably have some recurring bills attached to your old PNC checking account or subscriptions that auto-deduct from it. Take a look at a recent bank statement to see what subscriptions are auto-deducting and make a list. 

Pro Tip:  It might also be a good time to look at your credit card statement if you have one of those too! For many people, it’s great practice to review these statements regularly to ensure you’re not paying for services you aren’t using anymore.

Once you have your list, start moving those recurring bills over to your new account. You don’t need to do this all at once if it’s a drag, or better yet, pop on a Ted Lasso in the background. Chances are you’ll be able to get through this step before the credits roll. 

Remember to make sure you have enough in your new account to cover the expenses.  

Pro tip:  Using a feature like a digital debit card is a great way to manage those subscriptions in the future too! If you lose or misplace your physical debit card (and we’ve all been there!) you can cancel it and have a new card sent without needing to worry about any of those recurring subscriptions. Digital debit cards have a different customized card number than a physical debit card so your information and ongoing payments are never at risk. 

4. Move your money

Once your new account is open, you’ve started to use it as your primary source of payment and you’ve moved over all of your automatic debits and credits, it’s time to move the rest of your money. This is the last step you’ll need to take before closing that old fossil-fuel funding PNC or BBVA account. 

Moving your money is easy in the new age of digital banking. You can send your account balance to your new account with an ACH. Many new digital banking options offer ACH transfers for free!

Closing a PNC or BBVA Account

Congratulations, you’re nearly there! Now that you have moved your money and have set up your recurring debits and credits in your new account, you can finally move to permanently close your PNC account. With a zero balance and no recent account activity, closing your account will be a breeze. 

Customer service representatives may try to incentivize you to keep your account open. Too little, too late, no thanks! Here are a few ways to close your account.

Closing Your PNC or BBVA Account Online

If you decide to close your account online, log into your account via their online banking portal. You may need to send an email to request an account closure, and then you might have to wait for a couple of business days for a reply. When you receive the follow-up email, there should be a step-by-step guide on how to finish off the closing process. 

If you just don’t want to wait a couple of days or suffer through an automated decision tree (and we understand!), you can always close your account immediately over the phone or in a branch.

Closing Your PNC or BBVA Account Over the Phone

PNC has customer service representatives working from 7am to 10pm ET Monday – Friday and from 8am to 5pm on weekends, which makes closing your account by phone an easy option. Call PNC’s customer service number (1-888-762-2265) to connect with a service agent. Inform the agent that you wish to close your account with them. 

Closing your PNC or BBVA Account at a Branch

If you’re feeling spicy and prefer to close your account in-person, head over to your local branch during business hours or schedule an appointment directly using their online appointment booking service. Make sure you bring a valid government-issued ID, and remember to zero out your account balance before you head in. If you’re not sure where to go, you can find the closest branch to you by using their branch locator tool.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to close an account?

It doesn’t cost anything to close a PNC or BBVA account, but it might cost you money to keep that account if they’re charging you monthly maintenance or ATM surcharge fees. You can transfer money out of your account by way of ACH. Consider a new option that offers free ACH transfers and no monthly service fees.

Will closing my PNC or BBVA account affect my credit score?

Rest assured that closing a bank account will not affect your credit score in any way. 

Conclusion

Saying goodbye to big banks can be quite liberating and save you a bundle of cash. While you’re closing that account, consider using an eco-friendly banking provider that can help to reduce your carbon footprint. Atmos is building the most climate-positive banking option on the planet. With Atmos, you can maximize your positive environmental and social impact while benefiting from higher returns, rewards and leading technology.

* Footnote

PNC didn’t disclose its direct support of other nasty industries (E.g. plastics, chemicals, mining, etc.) other than to say that “[they] have chosen to limit new originations in sectors that are no longer consistent with our strategic direction, such as mountain-top removal coal mining and private prison.” I think we can all applaud the decision to refrain from mountain-top removal, but this doesn’t address their extensive support of other coal operations nor other carbon-intensive industries. Finally, PNC doesn’t disclose its participation in bond or equity issuance for these dirty sectors. PNC is one of the worst offenders with extensive exposure to industries and companies that create environmental harm.

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