Accounts That Allow More Than Two Joint Holders

Understand the risks and benefits of a savings account that allows access for multiple people.

Joint savings accounts are common for couples who have the same goals to work for. In some instances, having more than two joint holders will make managing the account even easier.

There are few reasons why you might want a joint account:
  • You want to share an account with your child or
  • You want a business account where multiple employees can make deposits and withdrawals.

Before you start to consider who should have access to your savings though, make sure that you understand the risks.

Rates last updated September 22nd, 2017
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
ME Business Online Savings Account
1.75%
1.75%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Earn a competitive interest rate on your business savings.
BankSA Business Access Saver
0.60%
0.60%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.60% p.a. when you link to a business transaction account. Available on the entire balance.
Bank of Melbourne Business Access Saver
0.60%
0.60%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.60% p.a. when you link to one of the Bank of Melbourne’s eligible business transaction accounts. Available on the entire balance.
ANZ Business Online Saver
0.50%
0.50%
0.00%
$0
$5,000 / $0
Ongoing, variable rate of 0.50% p.a. on balances more than $5,000.
AMP Bank Business Saver Account
2.05%
2.05%
0.00%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.05% p.a. when you link to a transaction account in the same name. Available on balances of $2,000 or more.
Commonwealth Bank Business Online Saver
0.60%
0.60%
0.00%
$0
$10,000 / $0
Ongoing, variable 0.60% p.a. when you link to Commonwealth Bank Premium Business Cheque Account or Business Transaction Account and maintain a balance of $10,000 or more.
Citibank Ultimate Business Saver
1.65%
1.65%
0.00%
$0
$10,000 / $0
An at-call savings account that offers a competitive interest on business savings. Can be opened for trust funds or a DIY Super Fund.
ING Business Optimiser
2.40%
1.50%
0.90%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.40% p.a. for 6 months, reverting to a rate of 1.50% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.

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How does a joint savings account work?

Joint savings accounts are typically opened by couples, business partners, or for young children. This allows both parties access to the account, and also holds both responsible except for in the case with juvenile accounts.

The need for more than two joint account holders most often arises in business situations, where partners, treasurers and other bookkeepers all need to be able to move money in and out of the account. In that case, you will either add them as signatories, or make them additional account holders.

In the case of youth accounts, it is not uncommon to find both parents listed as account holders as well as the child. This ensures that in the event that one parent is absent, the account is still accessible.

How do I compare savings accounts that allow more than two joint holders?

Giving access to your savings is not an easy decision to come by. When you are looking into accounts that allow more than two joint holders, make sure that you are checking the following closely:

  • Account operating authority. For a typical savings account, there is only need for you to sign for any transaction. If you are allowing for multiple people to have access to the account, you might want to consider one where at least two signatures are required by account holders for all transactions. When opening a business savings account, some banks will require that you fill out an account operating authority form which will outline your specifications for which joint holders are allowed what type of access, and who is required to have an additional signature.
  • No fees. Look to see if you are going to be charged any fees for having multiple account holders on your savings account.
  • Signatories. You may want to look at the availability of signatories rather than extra account holders. This allows them to make transactions without them being an owner of the account.
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What are the pros and cons to opening a joint account?

Pros

  • Easier money management. By authorising a third party to make your deposits and withdrawals for a business savings account, you can save yourself the time of having to make trips to the bank on your own.
  • Added security. Having a system of checks, where a signatory is required for transactions, can help to ensure that your employees are being honest with their transactions.
  • In the event of emergency. With more than two joint holders, there should always be a way to access the account even if one were to become unavailable for any reason.

Cons

  • Security. With others having access to your funds, you put yourself and your savings at risk for fraudulent activity.
  • Management. With multiple individuals making deposits and withdrawals into your account you may find it difficult to keep track of the balance.
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What are the risks?

With a savings account that allows for more than two joint holders, you need to be monitoring the activity on the account carefully. Avoid the following to ensure that your savings stays safe:

  • Assigning a signatory you don’t trust. Giving signatory permission to an individual you don’t know or trust could cause you to lose all or part of your savings.

Frequently asked questions?

Having a savings account with more than two joint holders will allow the other account holder to still have access to the money in the event of the death of one of the partners.

No, this is a special feature usually reserved for business savings accounts or juvenile accounts. With your typical savings account only one joint holder is usually allowed.

You will be asked to complete a form detailing your requirements for accessing the account. For example, Commbank asks that you fill out an account operating authority, where you name all signatories and their method of operation. This would include who is authorised to make transactions on their own and who needs to obtain a second signature.

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Standard Variable Rate

1.30
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2.85

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6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MelissaJuly 30, 2017

    We are owners of a residential unit that has a Body Corporate. We are looking for a suitable account for our Body Corporate to handle the finances with. We would like an online access account with no monthly fees or minimum deposits. Also we would like all four unit owners to have access to the online account, to have a visual on what goes on, but to nominate only the treasure, for example, to be able to make withdrawals. Can you advise on the best product for us to search for? Plus any other tips? THanks

    • Staff
      LiezlJuly 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for your question.

      While we are unable to recommend a particular product or bank, you may check this page for the list of banks who offer accounts for non-profit organisations. Moreover, the banks listed on this page might be able to set-up a savings account for you. Although I’m unable to give personal advise, you might find those body corporate banking articles I sent on your email helpful.

      I hope this will help.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  2. Default Gravatar
    KittykaosMarch 16, 2016

    My partner Is so bad with money that we need an account where I can pay rent etc out of it before he can have access to any of it each pay day. What would you suggest?

    • Staff
      ShirleyMarch 16, 2016Staff

      Hi Kittykaos,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can opt for a joint account that requires both of the account holders to sign before a withdrawal is made. You can also have your partner only deposit the rent into this account and leave the spare funds in his individual bank account.

      This is a common feature among joint accounts – just let the bank know this is an option you want.

  3. Default Gravatar
    RobertJanuary 4, 2016

    What is needed for a person who is not yet an Australian permanent residence to obtain a joint bank account with her husband who is an Australian by birth IE the 100 points She has passport from her country of birth, she has a telephone account in hers and her husbands name showing there place of residence, she has a library card, are these sufficient? If she needs more points could you please suggest what else would suffice.

    • Staff
      ShirleyJanuary 4, 2016Staff

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for your question.

      Any other forms of identification with her photograph will assist. Also, in this case, it would be best to open a joint account within a branch as it makes the process a lot easier.

      Hope this helps,
      Shirley

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