A joint account is a bank account shared by two or more individuals. Any individual who is a member of the joint account can withdraw from the account and deposit to it. Usually, joint accounts are shared between close relatives, married couples or business partners. In this article, we will show you how to open a joint bank account in the UK and the the European Economic Area (EEA).
In principle, a joint bank account works like a regular bank account. One of the main reasons for having a joint bank account is when you share financial commitment with another person/s. Sometimes a temporary joint account is opened by two parties entering into a transaction where one party needs some form of security. However, European banks are not very keen on offering temporary joint accounts. There are specialized parties or companies taking care of such accounts as trustees.
You can open a joint bank account with most banking institutions. You can do it online or by physically visiting the bank. The potential joint bank account holders need to provide neccessary documents based on the bank’s requirements. A joint account is controlled by a document called a mandate (authorisation). The document stipulates the power and privileges of the account holders. It must be signed by each account holder.
There are several advantages that would make two or more people open a joint bank account in EEA or the UK. Some of them are:
- A joint bank account is ideal for saving or budgeting by withdrawing funds from your personal account into the joint account.
- Account holders can see all transaction details and share the same right of access. This can keep spending habits in check.
- It’s a convenient banking feature for splitting bills or any other recurring payments.
- A joint account promotes a sense of security and trust for business partners
By sharing your bank account with another person/s, you face the following disadvantages:
- You do not have full control of the money in the account.
- If your joint account has an overdraft facility, you are both liable for the debt, even if the money was spent without your consent.
- The person you are opening the account with may end up being untrustworthy. You may end up losing your money.
- If your joint account holder’s credit score turns negative, it may also affect your score.
Open a joint account with someone who you know very well and is trustworthy. Make sure that you have a lot in common when it comes to financial management.
When opening a joing bank account, you will need to consider the following issues:
- How the joint account holders and the bank will deal with overdrafts .
- If permission is needed for for a single account holder to withdraw funds from the joint account.
- How to handle disputes related to the joint bank account.
- The closure of the joint bank account.
Some bank allow you to decide who can make withdrawals. Transaction will be authorised by nominated joint account holders.
The European Economic Area (EEA), which was established via the EEA Agreement in 1992, is an international agreement which enables the extension of the European Union’s single market to non-EU member parties.
The banking sector in the EEA is highly developed. Therefore, you may wish to open a joint bank account in EEA. Opening a joint bank account in EEA is not much different from opening an ordinary account. However, each bank has its own rules so you need to check with your bank of choice. Usually, the most common documents required are ID, proof of residence such as utility bills or tenancy agreement and a signed mandate (authority).
Remember all EEA banks have to comply with anti-money laundering laws so documents such as proof of income may be needed.
EU and EEA countries are under the Single Euro Payment System (SEPA). SEPA is a payment system that makes it easy for banks to transfer money from one European country to another.
Also read: A Full List of SEPA Countries 2020
As we pointed out above, most banks in EEA have a joint account facility for its customers. Some of the banks offering this option are the following.
N26 is one of the most convenient banks in Europe because everything can be done online without having to visit a bank and sign many papers to open an account. The bank has a sub-account feature called “space” that allows up to 10 people to manage their funds collectively.
This bank is available in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.
Following the UK leaving the EU, N26 has left the UK market and closed and closing all accounts.
Bunq is a a virtual bank that is active in the EEA. You can create and share a joint bank account with your partner(s) without having to visit Bunq branch and no official partnership documentation needed. For a joint bank account with the bank, you will need to pay 9.99 euros a month (shared by 2+ people).
Bunq is available in the following countries: Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden.
Also read: N26 vs Bunq Review: How Do They Compare?
The bank currently supports legal residents in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
In most cases, opening a joint bank account in the UK you will need the following:
- ID for each applicants, which may be a passport or driving licence.
- Proof of address for ach applicant’s proof of address such as a utility bill or a bank statement.
- Some bank will require you to first open a regular bank account.
There are many banks in the UK that offer a joint account service. Here are some of the banks you can choose to open your joint bank account in the UK.
Monese joint accounts are currently only available in the UK and is not available in other European countries, but the service will be available soon.
Also read: Monese Review: Virtual Bank Account Europe
Monzo offers a virtual joint bank account that serves the United Kingdom. You will both need a regular Monzo account first. Thereafter, you can take a few minutes to open your joint bank account. Since you will already have a regular account with the bank, no new ID checks are needed. You will just have to go to the settings on your account tab to get started.
Monzo allows your to switch an existing joint account in another bank over to Monzo in a few steps using the Current Account Switch Service.
If both of you have got a personal account with Starling bank, you can open a joint bank account using the bank’s apps then you will instantly be able to add money to your joint bank account, spend and use the app’s features to keep track of the account.
Joint account holders will need to sign account closure form. You will need to pay off any overdraft as well as communicate to the bank on the status and steps to be taken regarding standing orders or direct debits.
When an account holder dies, the money in the joint account automatically passes to the surviving account holder. However, under Scottish law, surviving account holder will continue to have access to the account but the share of the account holder who passed on will not automatically be available to the surviving account holder.
As we have said before, it is possible to open a joint bank account with most banks in EEA and the UK. With your joint account, you will be able to manage funds with your spouse, roommate, family member or business partner.
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