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History: Home UK Divorce Forum
Joint bank account (10 Posts)
Started By:
25 August, 2017 07:52AM
Joint bank account
Dennis A - 25 August, 2017 07:52AM
Morning, any advice on following will be gratefully recieved.

When my wife and I married she joined my bank account with Lloyds. Late last year as a response to my wife's spendiing leaving the joint account continually overdrawn I stopped using that account. I opened my own account and had my income paid into that new account. I took responsibillity for all household bills. With the exception of gas/electricity. We are Now five months into divorce proceedings. I froze the joint account earlier this year when it was just short of its overdrawn limit. Since then I have paid the regular charges on the joint account.

I have been told by the bank both parties must agree to close the account and it must be in credit to close it. She has no interest in paying half the debt. It will be a real struggle for me to pay it all of. Is there any way I can at least avoid, for a period, having to pay the regular charges?

I discovered about 2 months ago the gas/electricity accounts are in debt to £1,200. I have been in touch with the supplier. Surprisingly they have told me they have no interest in me as debtor. My wife is the only name on the account and that is who they are pursuing!
Re: Joint bank account
oldenoughtoknowbetter - 25 August, 2017 11:09AM
If you still have a debit card attached to this account you can go into any branch and close the account without your wife's permission
Re: Joint bank account
Dennis A - 25 August, 2017 12:27PM
Bank say account must be in credit to close and her signature and mine are required to close.
Re: Joint bank account
Bubblegum - 25 August, 2017 08:25PM
Different banks may have different policies. Mine also said that the account has to be in credit. The forms to either remove a name or close account also required both signatures. But little can be done whilst the account is overdrawn
Re: Joint bank account
Dennis A - 26 August, 2017 08:28AM
Thanks for the reply. It confirms what I have been told by the bank. I suppose I was hoping that at least something could be done about the charges/interest I have to pay on the overdrawn amount. It does seem unfair where one name on the account refuse to accept responsibility and the other person has to meet the costs. Could this go on for years?
Re: Joint bank account
davidterry - 26 August, 2017 08:39AM
Do not accept this. Tell the bank in writing that your authority to operate the account is withdrawn and that the account is to be frozen immediately. Tell them that if they do not act upon your instructions you will take the matter up with the Banking Ombudsman.

Banks can refuse to close a joint account until it is in credit but that have no right to continue to operate it if the authority of one of the joint account holders is withdrawn. This is not ideal but it does at least limit the liability.
Re: Joint bank account
Bubblegum - 26 August, 2017 08:50AM
Unfortunately these are the terms you sign up to when you open a joint account. Your ex is liable for the utility bills that are in her name alone. Let the provider chase her for them. How much is your joint overdraft? Interest and charges on overdrafts and credit cards is notoriously high and should be avoided if possible. Have you spoken with the bank about debt consolidation, financial arrangement or a loan with lower interest? It might be worth getting some debt advice before you rack up ridiculous charges which just allow you to fall further into debt.
Re: Joint bank account
Dennis A - 26 August, 2017 09:13AM
Thanks for the advice David and Bubblegum. I will contact my bank next week and follow up your suggestions. Thanks for the confirmation re the utility bill. Reassuring to hear it from another source.
Re: Joint bank account
Bubblegum - 26 August, 2017 09:38AM
Sorry but isn't the account already frozen? You could also ask them to freeze the interest and charges because the account is in dispute.
Re: Joint bank account
Dennis A - 26 August, 2017 05:09PM
Yes already frozen. It is the interest and charges I am having to pay. If it gets over £900 overdrawn charges are applied. If it stays below it is the interest I have to pay. My ex refuses to contribute. So I have to monitor it ensure I keep it below the £900. I have offered to pay half the overdraft if she pays the other half. This would allow the account to be closed. But she is ignoring my suggestion. All I get from the bank is that both of us have to sign to close the account and the overdraft must be cleared.

I will have another go at the bank next week re charges/interest payments. Not hopeful though.

I guess I thought that as this situation cannot be the first time its happened the banks would have at least an answer to reduce the cost to the party willing to pay their half.
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