Joint Bank Account
Verified 06 November 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)
What is a joint bank account ? This is a bank account opened by at least 2 people (called joint holders) to facilitate the management of common expenditure. Type of account, how to open, use and close: here is the information you need to know about the joint bank account.
The attached account is an account opened by at least 2 people, with or without family ties.
Each co-holder can operate the account (e.g. deposit or withdraw money, write a check) with only his signature.
Every means of payment can be used by any co-holder, except bank cards that are personal.
On a undivided account, any withdrawal or deposit must be validated by all joint holders.
The accounts that can be opened as attachments are:
You must be at least 2 to open the account.
All future co-owners must be present. You sign a deposit account agreement. You must also choose a common address for receiving mail from the bank.
the bank may fix a maximum number of joint holders.
Verification of identity
To apply for an account, you must present official identification with a photograph:
- National identity card
- EU residence card
- Other residence permit
A driver's license may be accepted if the photo leaves no doubt about your identity.
You must be majeur to be a joint account holder.
Proof of domicile
You must also prove your domicile by providing, for example, one of the following documents:
- Tax Notice
- Rent receipt
- Water or electricity bill
- Proof of address for service if you do not have a stable home
If you are hosted, the bank may also ask you to provide a proof of accommodation. A template is available:
Deposit of signature
You must deposit your signature which will be registered by the bank.
If you give a power of attorney on the account, the person concerned will have to deposit his signature.
Decision of the Bank
If it's of a current account, you then sign the bank account agreement. It contains the rules for opening, operating and closing your account.
If it is another account (savings account, title account, etc.), you sign a specific contract.
Refusal to open
The bank may refuse to open the account, without having to justify its decision.
It must inform you of the possibility to contact the Banque de France to exercise your right to account.
Who shall I contact
The statements of account, the letters, the checkbooks bear the names of the joint holders linked together by an or.
The account title may be, for example: M. or Mrs. , Mrs. or Ms, X or Y or Z.
If you are married, you can choose to open the account to your surname or your common name (your wife's name, your husband's name, or a double name). The bank will verify that your username is on your ID.
if you are a single customer, the bank cannot impose the use of Miss.
In guardianship or guardianship, the mention under the guardianship (or guardianship) of, followed by the name of the guardian or curator, is added.
Account opening is free.
The bank may charge you a fee for managing your account. These are the account keeping costs.
Details of these charges must be included in the pricing information, made available to you.
The joint account holders are jointly and severally liable. This means that in case payment incident, the bank may contact any of the joint proprietors to regularize the situation. For this purpose, the bank does not take into account the person responsible for the debt or the payment incident.
in the event of a check being rejected for lack of provision, the banking ban may be pronounced against each joint holder on all their accounts (joint or individual).
However, you can designate, at the time of opening the account, a single person responsible for the banking ban.
In this case, the prohibition on issuing checks will apply only to the accounts of the designated person responsible.
A template for a single manager designation letter is available:
A joint bank account may be closed at the initiative of the bank or at your initiative.
Closure at the initiative of the bank
The account can be closed at the initiative of the bank. To do so, it must respect a 2-month notice. The bank does not have to give reasons for its decision.
Closing at your initiative
All co-owners must apply for closure. The joint account cannot be converted to an individual account.
If one of the joint holders does not wish to close the account, the joint account can be converted to undivided account.
the divorce or separation of spouses or cohabiting partners shall not have the effect of closing the joint account. You have to apply to the bank.
The process of closing the joint account is the same as that of an individual account.
The account agreement indicates the closing conditions of the account at your request.
In practice, you send a request for cancelation by registered mail with notice of receipt.
A sample letter is available:
Remember to keep enough money in your account. This will enable the bank to settle transactions in progress (checks issued in particular) and thus avoid payment incidents.
You must return or destroy all means of payment made available to you.
The transfer or direct debit orders are canceled on the date of receipt of the termination letter.
The bank is closing the account within 30 days maximum from your closing request and the return of means of payment. In practice, this period is generally 10 days.
in case of a change of bank, you can ask to benefit from the free mobility assistance service.
Within 5 days of the request to close the account, the bank offers you a summary of the automatic transactions that have been made in the last 13 months. For direct debit payments, creditors have 10 days to take into account your new bank details.
the withdrawal of the deposited funds does not close the account. The account is closed but not closed, which may result in inactive account charges.
In case of death of a co-proprietor, the account agreement specifies what happens to the account.
The joint account can be converted to undivided account by all the joint holders or by a single joint holder.
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By all co-owners
You must send the bank a signed decoupling letter from all.
An email template is available:
All management actions must subsequently be carried out with the signature of all joint holders.
The transfer orders or direct debit authorizations previous permanent jobs are canceled.
Other means of payment must be returned to the bank.
Who can help me?
Find who can answer your questions in your region
- Monetary and Financial Code: Articles R312-1 to R312-4-4Account Entitlement
- Civil Code: Articles 1310 to 1319Solidarity between debtors
- General Tax Code: Articles 751 to 755Transfer duties on inheritance
- Monetary and Financial Code: Articles L131-69 to L131-87Payment incidents and penalties
- Individual bank accountService-Public.fr
- Undivided bank accountService-Public.fr
- Opening a bank accountSupervisory and Resolution Authority (ACPR)
- How the bank account worksNational Institute of Consumer Affairs (INC)
- Differences between individual account, joint account and undivided accountMinistry of Economy
- The joint account (PDF - 177.6 KB)French Banking Federation
- Account closure and bank mobilitySupervisory and Resolution Authority (ACPR)