Current account cash going to waste on 'coy couples'

06 October 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
Couples who do not pool their current account cash by opening a joint account are missing out on earning higher interest rates, new research from Lloyds TSB has found.

More than a quarter of couples do not have a joint bank account, the study discovered, but if they didn't shy away from pooling their money they could be making it work a lot harder, bringing better returns than in their separate accounts.

Of the 28 per cent of couples who do not have joint current accounts, 39 per cent said that it's either because they don't trust their partners to spend responsibly, or they do not want their partners to know how much they earn or what they spend their money on.

And those that do have a joint account said that they decided to do so because it's more practical; nearly all said that it helps them to manage household bills and expenses, while 88 per cent said they did it because they believe in the notion of 'what's mine is yours' and think that couples should share their money.

More than half of respondents said that having a joint account helps them to stash more money away in savings accounts, by discouraging spending on frivolous things because the other person can see where the money's going.

"In these testing financial times, it's never been more important to make your money work as hard as it can for you. But, up until now, there has been no real financial incentive for couples to pool their current account cash." said Catherine McGrath, director of current accounts, Lloyds TSB.

Some current accounts, such as the Vantage account from Lloyds, offer higher rates of interest when the balance goes above certain thresholds. Many people are obviously unaware of this, as half of couples that do not currently share an account said that they would do so in return for higher interest rates.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd