Can I open a joint account online in the UK?

Zorica Lončar

The majority of UK banks now let you open a new current account online, or at least start the process. It’s made things much quicker, easier and more convenient.

But what about joint accounts? The good news is that you can open them online, just the same as individual current accounts. However, the process may be slightly different.

In this guide, we’ll run through how to open a joint account online, including the details and documents needed for both applicants. We’ll also cover how long it takes to get your new account up and running.

Plus, we’ll show you how to link your new joint bank account with Wise, so you can use it to fund all of your international transactions.

How to open a joint account online - a step-by-step guide

The exact process for opening a joint account online in the UK will vary from bank to bank. But it’ll be broadly like this:¹

  1. Find the account you’d like to apply for, and check that it’s available as a joint account (as not all current accounts are)
  2. Click ‘apply now’ to start the application process
  3. Select ‘Joint account’ when prompted
  4. Follow the on-screen steps, providing the personal details of both applicants along with your supporting documents. We’ll look at what you’re likely to need next.
  5. Once your application is complete, the bank will confirm the successful opening of your account. You’re likely to receive a confirmation email, followed by a welcome pack (and your debit cards, PINs and other security information) in the post.

In some cases, the bank may require you to open a current account in just your name first. Then, you’ll need to add a second account holder to turn it into a joint account.²

What documents do we need to open a joint account?

Here’s what you’ll need to have ready (for each applicant) before starting your online application for a joint bank account:³

  • Valid passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • Recent utility bill, council tax bill, mortgage statement or rent agreement.

Some banks may also ask you for proof of income and your expenses. Examples of the documents you might be asked for include:³

  • Recent payslip or P60
  • Recent bank statement
  • A letter from your employer
  • Your most recent tax return (if you're self-employed).

You might also need details of your addresses for the last few years, so that a credit check can be carried out.

How long does it take to open a joint account online in the UK?

It varies depending on the bank, but you should be able to complete the online application process for a joint account in just a few minutes.⁴ To speed things up, make sure you have all the required information and documents to hand.

Once your application has been submitted, it may be processed and approved right away. Or if further details or checks are needed, it could take a little longer. You should get a confirmation email right away, but you’ll need to wait a few days for your debit cards and other documents to arrive in the post.

The exception to this is online-only banks, which may have your new account (and perhaps even a virtual debit card) ready to use instantly.

How to use your new joint account with Wise

Interested in using the Wise multi-currency account for international transfers and spending overseas? It’s a good idea, as Wise offers low, transparent fees along with great exchange rates. Although not a bank, Wise could be a cost-effective alternative if you’re specifically looking to manage your money internationally.

You can’t open one in joint names, but you can link your joint bank account directly to your Wise account. This means that you can use it to seamlessly fund any of your overseas transfers or payments. It’s quick and easy to do - find out more here.

Join Wise today

Please see the Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise fees & pricing for the most up-to-date information on pricing and fees.

Sources used:

  1. Virgin Money - Joint Bank Account
  2. NatWest - Joint Account
  3. HSBC - How to open a joint bank account
  4. Barclays - How do I open a joint current account?

Sources last checked on date: 15-May-2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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