Many people will put themselves as a joint account holder on someone’s bank account as a way of helping them. They might want to help them keep an eye on their balance, access cash machines, or make sure bill payments are made on time, for example. This can work very well for many people. But it can turn into a problem if things go wrong.

Joint account holders have joint liability. So, if one person builds up debt, both joint account holders are liable for that debt. This means that the bank has recourse to recover debt from both parties.

If one of the account holders takes money out of the joint account, there are no option for getting it back. If the account becomes overdrawn, each joint account holder is responsible for the whole amount owed. Whether your name is on a joint account because you want to get support or give it, you could end up being responsible for paying the other person’s debts. The bank will assume that both parties are happy to cover the joint liability.

Joint accounts are really only meant for couples who need to share their income and pay bills together. They were never meant as a way of offering financial oversight to your parents or children.

If what you need is simply to share a view of the transactions on a bank account, there is a better way.

Family Connect is a service that allows you to see another person’s bank account without having access to it, or sharing any liability.

With Family Connect, the person receiving the support is in full control of their account. Their supporter can’t make payments from the account, or stop them, so neither party risks having to deal with financial losses created by the other. As Family Connect is a secure service registered with the FCA, no-one has to share their bank security details with anyone else – even us. Account information can be provided automatically – saving you the trouble of even needing to inform the bank.

Ready to get started? Register with Family Connect now.