Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Joint bank accounts are becoming 'obsolete', survey suggests

Joint bank accounts are becoming ‘obsolete’ as younger couples marry later in life and turn to online services to split shared finances, survey finds

  • Just 32 per cent of people aged 25 to 34 share joint account today, survey found
  • Among those aged between 18 and 24, only 11 per cent share a bank account 
  • Most common reason for not wanting a joint account was to retain control 

Joint bank accounts are becoming ‘obsolete’ as younger couples marry later in life and turn to online services to split shared finances, a survey suggests.

Just 32 per cent of people aged 25 to 34 share a joint account today compared to almost half of over 65s, according to the market data firm Consumer Intelligence.

Among those aged between 18 and 24, only 11 per cent share a bank account, the survey of 1,511 people showed.

Just 32 per cent of people aged 25 to 34 share a joint account today compared to almost half of over 65s, according to the market data firm Consumer Intelligence. File photo 

An insider at one major bank confirmed to Money Mail that it had also seen a decline in joint account applications over the past five years.

The most common reason for individuals not wanting a joint account was to retain control of their finances and independence.

Others worried about what would happen if their relationship ended.

Many also said they feared a joint account may cause tension if one of them was spending too much or checking up on what the other was buying.

Some 39 per cent of people currently have a joint account, most with their partner.

Of those who have or have previously had a joint account, one in ten said it had caused problems in their relationship, and of those who do not currently have a joint account, nearly a third surveyed said they would never consider opening one.

A joint account allows couples to share their money equally and keep track of household spending.

But in the age of online banking, couples are increasingly finding they don’t need to open a joint account because they can transfer money to each other in seconds.

Some 39 per cent of people currently have a joint account, most with their partner. File photo 

There are also a host of smartphone apps now available that can help couples split bills and track spending.

Rachel Springall, from data firm Moneyfacts, said: ‘Joint bank accounts are becoming more obsolete in this day and age. Couples could have a joint mortgage but it doesn’t mean they have or need a joint bank account. Some may find it more efficient to transfer cash using a banking app, so it isn’t surprising to see joint bank accounts become outdated.

Maike Currie, from investment firm Fidelity, said: ‘Millennials are getting married later in life, or choosing just to live together, so they’re used to having personal control over their finances. Their money is their own and they like to keep it that way.

‘Young women are far more tuned in to being and remaining independent, particularly financial, than previous generations.

‘Remember, this is a generation who grew up in homes where their parents probably had a joint account, and their dads managed the money – making them acutely aware of easily women can lose control of their finances when circumstances changes. It’s not about trust or a lack thereof, it’s about independence.’ 

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