Joint bank accounts falling out of favor


The majority of Australian couples are no longer feeling the love for shared bank accounts, according to a new survey by ME.

According to the 2,000 Australian banking customers, of those in a relationship only 49% hold a joint transaction account, 48% hold a joint credit card and 39% hold a joint online savings account.

ME’s study shows a generational shift when merging money. Baby boomer couples were the most likely to hold a joint transaction account (60%), compared to Gen X (48%) and Gen Y (33%) couples.

ME’s customer data also shows that joint transaction accounts are slowly losing their appeal, dropping by 7% over the past 3 years.

ME Head of Deposits and Transactional Banking, Nic Emery said he was surprised the propensity to share accounts was falling.

“The trend contrasts against other relationship traditions such as how the majority of women still take their husband’s name,” he said

“The decline could be fueled by younger generations seeking greater financial independence, particularly women; and people being set in the ways around money.”

“Our data also shows 77% of couples opened their individual transaction account before they entered into a relationship with their partner, which suggests that many have become accustomed to managing their money a certain way.”

When couples preferring to keep things separate were asked why they didn’t want a joint account, over half (54%) said they simply ‘had no need for one’ while 32% said they ‘preferred to remain financially independent’.

Only 5% of those said their ‘partner's bad saving habits’ was the main reason they wouldn't open a joint account.

Couples were more likely open a joint account when triggered by a major event such as marriage (60%), deciding they were in a ‘long-term committed relationship’ (15%) or moving in together (10%).

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Editor note
Survey conducted via RFi Group in July 2016 using an online survey method. Survey completed by 2,000 transaction account holders.