How to use a joint current account

How to use a joint current account

A joint current account is very similar to use as a standard current account, except more than one person has access to it. Deciding whether you should get a joint account can depend on a number of factors, but people often open one when they live with a partner.

If you have chosen to open a joint account, we have answered the most common questions on how they work below.

How do I withdraw money?

Withdrawing money from a joint account is just the same as a standard account, along as you have permission to do so. You can withdraw money via:

  • A cash machine
  • Paying on your debit card
  • Setting up a Direct Debit or standing order
  • Writing a cheque
  • Withdrawing cash in a branch
  • Sending a bank transfer using online banking/app

Can we both withdraw money?

Yes, you can both withdraw money from a joint account. However, if you want to make the account more secure so that both or one person has more control, you can either opt for ‘either to sign’ or ‘both to sign’.

If you choose ‘either to sign’ then anyone named on the account can withdraw money or make changes. If you choose ‘both to sign’, then the permission of both/all account holders will be required before any money is withdrawn or changes are made.

Opening a joint account for bills

One of the main reasons a joint bank account can be useful is to pay for joint bills and rent. It can make it easier to keep it separate from your own money so you know what is yours to spend and what is for bills.

You can set up Direct Debits and standing orders from the shared household account, so that your bills and rent/mortgage can be paid on time.

Paying into a household account

A joint current account can be a simple solution to paying joint bills, either with your partner or housemates. It is advisable to agree on a set amount that everyone pays in monthly to cover the bills. However, issues can arise if you don’t all come to an agreement, especially if you get paid on different days or if one person gets paid weekly rather than monthly.

If you can’t agree or if someone misses paying in their share, this can cause missed bills and bank fees if you end up overdrawn.

How to manage your account

Joint account requirements can often involve a lead account holder who will have more control over the account. They will be able to perform more actions on the account without needing the permission from the other account holders, including withdrawing money and making payments etc.

This may not be suitable for everyone and some people may want all account holders to have the same amount of access. This may be something to consider when looking at joint account requirements.

How do I remove an account holder?

If you have separated from your partner, your housemate moves out, or there has been a bereavement, you can remove them from the joint account and just have it in your name. The account provider will need signed permission from anyone you wish to remove and they may also require identification.

If one account holder stops paying in their fair share when they should be and the trust is broken, you may want to remove them so they can no longer access the money. You can cancel the mandate on the account to freeze any access they have. However, if the situation is worse and one of the account holders has taken all the money, it is much trickier to resolve. The bank will assume that they have equal rights to the money and you may need to take it to court to get your money back.

How do I add an account holder to my account?

If you already have an account, you can add someone to it to turn it into a joint account rather than open a new one. To add someone to your account, all you need to do is:

1. Contact the bank/account provider

2. Provide signed permission from the existing account holder

3. Provide details of the new account holder, including name, address, and signature

4. Provide any identification documents required

Some banks may need the original account holder and the new one to visit the branch to show identification and finalise the paperwork.

How do I close a joint account?

Closing a joint account is just as easy as closing a standard current account, the only difference is that all account holders may need to provide permission to do so. Each bank or account provider will be different, but some may request you to close the account in branch or request the closure in writing.