Bank of America has announced that they will put an end to zombie accounts: the bank will no longer allow electronic deposits or debits to reopen a closed checking account. This follows recommendations outlined in Consumers Union’s report, Trapped At The Bank, which detailed the challenges that banks create making it harder for consumers to easily switch bank accounts and shop around.
From The Huffington Post:
For banks, electronic payments serve another purpose: customer retention. Untangling from a complicated web of automatic payments and deposits can be a major obstacle for consumers to switch banks. Nearly one in five customers said they considered switching banks in the last year, according to a recent survey from Consumers Union, but 63 percent said they did not switch because of automatic payments.In a report earlier this year, Consumer Union published recommendations for banks to help consumers move accounts. Among the suggestions was that a bank should be responsible for transferring automatic credits and debits from old to new accounts, rather than a consumer.
Kudos for Bank of America for taking this step to prevent the zombie account apocalypse. Hopefully, any other banks engaged in this practice will follow suit in the war against the undead.