Are joint bank accounts going out of fashion among younger couples?

12th February 2014

A third of couples in the UK do not share a joint current account – and a further third of couples who do share a joint account revealed that at least one partner also continues to maintain their own account.

New research* from budgeting account provider thinkmoney has revealed that around two-thirds (64.37%) of couples keep their individual bank accounts, whether or not they also share a joint account.

More than a quarter (25.1%) of couples who responded revealed they have a joint account, but have also chosen – along with their partner – to keep using their own individual account, while nearly one in 10 (7.97%) said one person in their relationship still used their personal account.

Surprisingly, a third (31.3%) of all respondents in a relationship didn’t have a joint account at all, and instead the couple had made the decision to continue using their own accounts.

Joint bank accounts have not totally fallen out of favour, with 33.6% of couples revealing they share one with their partner, rather than having two single accounts. However, the fact that most couples have chosen to maintain one or both of their independent accounts too suggests a growing financial independence within relationships.

People in the UK are moving in together, buying homes, getting married and starting families later in life than their parents did, which may mean they are used to being financially-independent and happy to remain this way when they are one of a couple.

Couples aged over 55 years old were the most likely to share a joint account (47.3%) rather than have their own, while couples aged 25 to 34 years old were the least likely (23.8%%). Among this age group, keeping separate accounts rather than opening a joint one was the most popular option (32.4%), and this is the age when people are most likely to be moving in with their partner, sharing responsibility for bills or starting a family.

Thinkmoney spokesman Ian Williams says: “Increasingly, choosing to share your life with somebody doesn’t mean that you will share your finances with them too. There’s a lot to be said for maintaining financial independence, but having separate accounts can make budgeting and managing shared expenses such as rent or mortgage, childcare costs and household bills more complex.”

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 28th November and 2nd December 2013.

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