TD Bank Survey Finds Many Couples Maintain Separate Bank Accounts

Independence, Convenience and Emergencies Cited as Top Reasons Why Individuals in Relationships Keep Separate Accounts in Addition to Joint Accounts

Mar 24, 2014, 09:00 ET from TD Bank

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).

"Couples should be sure to do their research and find an account that is aligned with their current circumstances," said Sacknoff. "Sixty-five percent of joint account holders use their account to pay their rent or mortgage, and some banks, like TD, offer account holders valuable benefits like rate reductions on mortgages and home equity loans that could save customers hundreds of dollars a year."

Joint Account Usage Follows Generational Lines

When it comes how couples use their joint accounts, age plays a significant role, according to TD Bank's survey:

  • Eighty-four percent of Millennials in relationships use their joint bank accounts for savings, whereas only 66 percent of those ages 35-54 and 68 percent of those 55 and older do the same.
  • Sixty-two percent of individuals 55 and older in relationships use their joint bank accounts for tax payments, whereas only 47 percent of Millennials and 52 percent of those ages 35-54 do the same.
  • Fifty-nine percent of Millennials in relationships use their joint bank accounts for car payments, whereas only 43 percent of those ages 35-54 and 38 percent of those 55 and older do the same.
  • While both Gen-Xers (35-54) and Millennials (18-34) in relationships ranked independence as their top reason for maintaining individual accounts, runner-up reasons differed by generation. Gen-Xers' No. 2 reason was personal spending/emergencies, while Millennials' No. 2 reason was convenience.

About Angus Reid Public Opinion
Angus Reid Public Opinion is the Public Affairs practice of Vision Critical—a global research company. Vision Critical is a leader in the use of the Internet and rich media technology to collect high-quality, in-depth insights for a wide array of clients.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit