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TD Bank Survey Finds Many Couples Maintain Separate Bank Accounts

CHERRY HILL, N.J., March 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Forty-two percent of those in relationships who have joint bank accounts also maintain individual accounts, according to research released today by TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank ® . The study, which is an extension of the TD Bank Checking Experience Index, surveyed more than 1,000 Americans who are either married or living with a significant other to explore how couples of all ages structure their bank accounts.   

The survey revealed that couples who maintain individual accounts do so for a variety of reasons, ranging from independence to convenience to emergencies. The survey also identified generational distinctions including the fact that Millennials (ages 18-34) are more likely to merge finances before marriage relative to their older counterparts.

"When merging finances, it's a good idea stop by your local bank and have a conversation about what account options are the best fit for you and your partner's specific needs," said Lindsay Sacknoff, Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Deposit Products, TD Bank. "Maintaining multiple accounts may offer better interest rates and combining incomes in a joint account could mean access to premium benefits like reimbursement for out of network ATM costs." 

Why Maintain Separate Accounts?

The TD Bank survey indicated that:

  • Thirty-eight percent of individuals in relationships who maintain separate accounts said they do so for independence, making it the top reason for holding individual accounts.
  • Forty-three percent of women ranked independence as their top reason for keeping separate accounts, while only 34 percent of men said the same.
  • Twenty percent of respondents kept separate accounts to ensure they had funds available for individual needs like emergencies and personal spending.
  • Sixteen percent of the total population noted convenience and ease of budgeting and paying bills as a reason to have separate accounts. Men were 38 percent more likely than woman to cite convenience as a reason for keeping separate accounts.
  • Only seven percent of respondents cited privacy as a reason to retain an individual account.

Millennials are Moving Quickly

Marriage is less likely to be the trigger for opening a joint account with Millennials than with older populations. Only 70 percent of Millennial couples waited until marriage to start a joint account, vs. 88 percent of couples 55 and older, according to the TD Bank survey. Twenty-six percent of Millennials opened their first account when they were living with their partner (vs. 9 percent of 55 and older) and 19 percent merged finances after being engaged (vs. 6 percent of 55 and older).

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