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I need to give someone else access to a bank account to easily manage shared expenses. That is, allowing them to log in into ebanking. I'm planning on using a bank account I already have under my name which I'm not using for anything else. I will remove all overdraft capabilities from this bank account.

Are there any dangers on doing this? Can the other person cause any damage (other than by the amount of money inside that account)?

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    Joint account ?? – DumbCoder Apr 2 '14 at 10:27
  • @DumbCoder for complicated reasons we don't want a joint account at this time. – pupeno Apr 2 '14 at 11:01
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    What exactly do you mean by "give access to" - give them the sort code and account number, give them online banking login details, ...? – Vicky Apr 2 '14 at 11:52
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    If this is an account in your name only, and you are doing this by giving the person your debit card and PIN, I think you might find that is in violation of your debit card agreement. – DJClayworth Apr 2 '14 at 20:10
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    OK, you will almost certainly find that doing this is in violation of the online banking Ts and Cs. This most likely removes any protection you would have had against fraud on the account. Think very carefully before doing this. – Vicky Apr 3 '14 at 11:38
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Allowing others to share access to your Bank Account; i.e. giving then the login id and password has its risks;

  1. Loose all the money, i.e. someone can withdraw without your notice.
  2. You have volidated your Online access agreement to keep the login id / password safe.
  3. The account can be mis-used for illegal activities and you would be responsible.
  4. Create more liabilities, Potentially request a check book and mis-use it or similar things.
  5. Potentially gain more information and use it to operate your other accounts.
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Generally speaking, granting rights to one bank account (e.g. making a joint account) does not extend rights to other accounts or otherwise let one joint owner create new obligations on the other owner (e.g. opening a line of credit that the other owner must pay for), except to the extent of the joint account. I assume there are no UK rules that would change this feature.

The other party can of course withdraw all the money without need for your approval. This also means that the joint account could be exposed to all the creditors of either party. If your account joint tenant has huge debts, the creditors could theoretically look to the joint account for satisfaction. At least, that would be an issue under US law.

Frankly, it may be simpler to get a separate account for the other person (if possible) and make transfers with online banking. It could also make sense to get a rechargeable banking card, if those are in the UK, which works like a debit card and can be reloaded through various means (sometimes a call, sometimes online deposits, sometimes in physical stores). There may be fees to getting such a card or a second account, of course. The benefit is that the cardholder has no access to your account and you control recharging. Such cards are widely available in the US to people who otherwise would not qualify for traditional bank accounts.

Note also the FATCA complication with adding a US person to your account. My understanding is that a number of non-US banks will simply close the accounts of Americans, rather than deal with FFI hassles under FATCA.

  • We are not looking into making a joint account at the moment. – pupeno Apr 3 '14 at 10:17

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