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What is a joint bank account?

A joint account works like a regular savings or transaction account. The only difference is that more than one person can access it.

All the account holders will have the same banking privileges, such as making deposits and withdrawing money.

If you're looking to open a joint bank account, it doesn't need to be a complicated process. But first, you need to decide which type of account you'd like to open. 

Explore different types of joint accounts

'Both to sign'

With this account, both account holders need to okay any use of the funds in the account. This is much safer, but less convenient, as any transaction will require the permission of both parties.

'Either to sign'

Each account holder has full access to the money in the account. You and your fellow account holder will each receive debit cards and full control of the account. Each of you will also be able to see any account activity, no matter who makes the transaction. This is more convenient than the 'Both to sign' joint account, but it can be less secure.

'Either to sign' is usually for people you have the utmost trust in.

Establish whether a joint account is right for you

Joint bank accounts aren't just for couples. Typically, you want a joint account when you're working towards the same goal or sharing the same responsibilities. For example:

  • You and your partner might have different incomes, but you share household expenses as well as the cost of trips and big-ticket purchases. By opening a joint account, you can each contribute to the account which can then be used to pay for necessities.
  • Perhaps you and your siblings are sharing the responsibility of looking after an elder relative. A joint account would let you access funds to cover these expenses even if the primary caregiver is out of town. It also adds a layer of transparency – each account holder will receive detailed statements about all the money coming in and going out of the account.
If you share an HSBC joint account with someone, you can open another one with them online.

Ask yourself if the trust is there

With the 'Both to sign' option your partner will not be able to empty your account, but if the relationship goes sour your money could still be tied up for a long time. Closing a joint account is a little more complicated than closing a regular account, because all of the account holders need to agree on closing the account.

This means you probably wouldn't want to start a joint account with your new flat mate just to be able to take turns paying the water bill. Generally, people who open a joint account have a long history, and expect to have a long future, together.

Do joint accounts have the same card number?

The joint bank account number will be the same but the debit cards will have unique numbers. With HSBC, you can have up to 2 cards linked to your joint bank account. Daily limits apply to the account, and not the account holder.

Can you convert your account to a joint account?

No. But opening up a new joint account is not a complicated process. If you prefer to just keep your original account, you could consider applying for a supplementary card for your partner. This will offer many of the same conveniences as a joint account, but it's important to know that it is not the same thing.

How to open a joint bank account

If you think a joint account is right for you, then the next step is determining what kind of account you want. You can use any of our transaction and savings accounts, from HSBC Premier[@article-eligibility-hsbc-premier] and Everyday Global to HSBC Everyday Savings as a joint account. And if you're opening your new account online, just be sure to check the 'Joint' option in the first step of your application.

If you prefer to open your new account by phone or in the branch, simply let us know and our staff will help you get started.

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