A joint account is a bank account that can be opened in more than one person's name.

Most joint bank accounts are held by couples who live together, but you can open one with family, friends or a housemate. Typically, they're opened by two people but you can have more people on a joint account if you like.

All account holders can pay into or withdraw money from the same account. You can set up direct debits to pay rent, mortgage, council tax and utility bills. Each account holder can also all have a bank card.

Having a joint account can make it easier to track your spending, plus it can be a transparent way to manage your finances together.

What is the best joint bank account you can get?

Just like any current account, the best joint accounts come with different offers and benefits. You should look at these to help you find the best joint current account for you and your partner, family or friends.

The best joint account for you will depend on your situation. For example, it might be one with an arranged overdraft so there's always enough money in the account when direct debits are due. This could provide added protection in case one of you is late to pay their share of the mortgage or rent.

Compare features and find the best joint bank account that meets your specific needs. You can find out about the different features and types of current account here:

Here's some guidance on how to get the best joint current account for you.

How to open a joint bank account

Setting up a joint bank account can be done in person by visiting your chosen bank's branch. Alternatively, you can do it online, but you'll need to supply scanned copies of legal documents which things like your address, age and identity.

All account holders will need to have a permanent UK address. Some banks may also require all applicants to be at least 18 years old.

When you apply for a joint bank account you'll need to:

  • Decide who can make withdrawals. Some banks let you restrict transactions, so they have to be authorised by nominated joint account holders.

  • Submit documents for each applicant's proof of name. This can be something like a passport or driving licence.

  • Provide each applicant's proof of permanent address. Even if you all live at the same address, you'll need to show a utility bill, bank statement or something similar with each name on it.

When you open your joint bank account, you'll usually get access to online banking or an app. Each joint account holder will be able access the bank account in this way.

Read more on how to open a joint bank account

Can a joint bank account affect your credit rating?

When you open a joint bank account, your financial history becomes linked with the other account holders. That means it's important to think about what this could mean for your personal credit rating.

If you apply for credit in the future, lenders may also look at the credit report of the people you share a joint current account with.

So, if someone you share a bank account with has a poor credit history, you could be rejected for a credit card or loan, due to your association with them.

How to switch your joint bank account

You could move your joint account to a new bank using the Current Account Switch Service (CASS), which only takes seven working days.

Your new account has to be held in the same names as the old one if you're using the CASS. This means if you have a joint account with your partner, it could only be switched to another joint current account with them.

If you're ready to compare and find the best joint bank accounts for you, use the comparison table on this page.

What happens if you need to close a joint account?

If for some reason you no longer want to keep the joint account, you can close it. To do this, you'll need all account holders to agree - in writing - how the money in the account will be disbursed.

You can also choose to remove an account holder and turn it into a regular current account under a single name. This, too, requires all account holders to agree in writing.

What happens if you need to divide the money held in a joint bank account?

To split the money in an account, you'll need to all agree in writing on how the split should work.

If you're going through an acrimonious split from the other account holder(s), such as a divorce, some banks may freeze the account so that nobody can use it. The account is only unfrozen when an agreement is reached.

If the account holders can't come to an agreement, the matter has to be settled in court.

The courts would take into account your relationship and where you live. For example, if you're married or in a civil partnership, and you live in England or Wales, the funds would be shared equally. In contrast, if share the account with your housemates or a sibling, it's more likely that the funds would be divided up based on how much you contributed.

How to remove a joint holder

You can remove one or more people from a joint account and leave it in the name of the remaining account holders.

For example:

  • If you have an account with your partner, you could transfer it into just their name or yours

  • If you have an account with three housemates and one moves out, you could remove them from the account.

Banks need signed permission from everyone on the account to remove some. Some banks might ask for identification documents or for you to visit a branch to make the change.

Can I have a current account for myself, and a joint current account, with the same bank?

Yes, your bank will be happy for you to have two current accounts with them - one for yourself, and one joint account.

But, if you do, the bank can legally transfer money from your personal account to your joint one, to cover a debt in the joint account. They can only make the transfer from a personal account to a joint one, and not from a joint account to a personal one.

It's not something that happens often - it's only likely to happen if you've repeatedly ignored contact from your bank about the outstanding debt.

They'd give you 14 days' notice and they can only do it if it won't leave you in hardship.

What are the pros and cons of having a joint bank account?

As with most things, opening a joint bank account comes with pros and cons.

Some of the benefits of a joint account include:

  • Managing shared finances can be a lot easier if it's all in one bank account

  • You could earn more interest as you're likely to have more money in the account

  • You might think more carefully about how you spend 'spare' money in the account

  • You can use the joint account for all your necessary outgoings such as your mortgage or rent, bills and food. Then you can keep the rest of your wages for yourself and it's clearer how much is left to have fun with

  • It's a good way to avoid arguments and constant calculations about who owes what.

Some of the downsides - or risks - of having a joint account include:

  • They're a big commitment

  • All account holders have as much right to the money as each other - you can't really control or restrict access

  • If one of the account holders has a poor credit rating, this can impact your own credit rating

  • If the account went overdrawn because of the actions of one of the account holders, you'd all be liable

  • If things turned sour between the account holders, one person could withdraw the money if the account wasn't frozen quickly enough

  • If you and the other account holder(s) have a different attitude to money and spending style, this could lead to disagreements.

You can mitigate some of the risks in some instances, by setting up a restriction on the account. This could stipulate that all account holders have to give their permission for any spending. Not all accounts allow this, so talk to the bank about your options.

Does a joint account come with any financial protection?

Yes, money in a joint account is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The scheme offers protection on savings of up to £85,000, or £170,000 for a couple, per banking licence.

If you share your bank with more than one other person, you might get more cover. Check this carefully with your bank.

Joint bank account FAQs


Can I get an overdraft on a joint bank account?


Yes, joint accounts can come with overdrafts as long as the bank is willing to offer one to all who apply.


Do I have to be married to get a joint account?


No, couples can take out a joint account whether they are married or not. You could also open an account with a friend or relative.


Can we each have our own debit card?


Yes, if an account offers features like a debit card or internet banking login, you will each get your own.


Can we get a joint account if we live at different addresses?


Yes, most banks let you to open a joint bank account with someone who does not live with you.


Can I have my own separate bank account?


Yes, if you already have your own bank account or want to open one in your own name, you can have this alongside your joint bank account.


Could we get a joint savings account?


Yes, savings accounts can also be opened in joint names. You can compare savings accounts here.

About our current accounts comparison


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Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from providers regulated by the†Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about†How our website works.


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Last updated: 12 May, 2021