Married and maiden names on your bank accounts – can you do this?

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If you’re married and you want to keep your maiden name for, for example, work, but use your married name the rest of the time, how easy is it to get bank accounts in both your names? The answer is that it depends on the bank you’re with.

Married and maiden names on bank accounts
First of all, there’s nothing in any regulations that says someone can’t have one bank account in their maiden name and another in their married name. The practical problem may be proving your identity for your maiden name (especially if you married some time ago).

Here’s a rundown of what the main banks say:

Barclays:
If you’re an existing Barclays customer and you have one or more accounts in your maiden name, you can choose which accounts to keep in your maiden name and which to put in your married name.

If you’re not already an existing Barclays customer, you can’t open an account in your married name and then ask for another account to be put in your maiden name. Once you’re married, if you’ve taken your husband (or wife’s) name, you couldn’t then open another account in your maiden name.

HSBC:
You can have an account in your maiden and married name as long as you have ID documents to verify the names on both accounts.

Lloyds Banking Group: (includes Lloyds bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax bank)
As long as you have ID documents that provide evidence of your maiden name, you would be able to hold accounts in different names.

M&S Bank:
You can’t currently have bank accounts in both your maiden and married names.

Nationwide:
As long as you have ID documents that provide evidence of your maiden name, you would be able to hold accounts in different names.

SAVVY TIP: Nationwide pointed out that there could be practical difficulties in having two accounts. For example, if you were to lose one of the cards associated with your account in your maiden name, the longer the time gap between you getting married and losing your card, the harder it may be to prove your identity in your maiden name.

NatWest/RBS:
You can open an account in your maiden name and then come in to open an additional account in your married name.

SAVVY TIP: The bank says that you would be given two different customer identification numbers (CIN) – one for your maiden name, one for your married name.

Santander:
You can have an account in your maiden and married name as long as you have ID documents to verify the names on both accounts (although an article in The Guardian featured someone who’d been told she couldn’t have two accounts in different names).

TSB:
You can have an account in your maiden and married name as long as you have ID documents to verify the names on both accounts.

Your experiences:
Thanks for all your emails on this subject. This is a selection of your experiences:

Christina: When I got married, I kept my maiden name for professional purposes but also took my husband’s name. I simply added the new married name to my maiden name (no hyphen) on my current account. I’ve kept the same arrangement with my new bank.

I’ve never had any problems paying in cheques written in my maiden name, and all my salary or other direct professional payments go in with only my maiden name on them. Although I use only the married name elsewhere (credit card, passport, voter registration, etc.), my bank debit card and cheque book carry both.

Jean: I had my old bank account from the early 70’s to the present day in my maiden name. I opened a ISA with them but when I wanted to transfer that to an ISA with another bank, that I’d opened in my married name, the only way to do it was change my name with the original bank. As a result, I lost my current account in my maiden name. However, I still have a credit card with them in my maiden name.

Sarah: When I married, I kept my maiden name and kept my own current account which I’d had for over 20 years, with my building society.

But, when it came to the mortgage, which was with the same building society, I couldn’t have it in my married name. So the mortgage was in my husband’s name and my maiden name.

Again, we could not have a joint account in my married name so that too was in my maiden name.

The excuse the building society gave us was that, due to money laundering rules, only one name could be used for any number of accounts, not a maiden and/or married name. I have always used and kept my maiden name. I have nothing in my married name as it seemed to be too complicated for a lot of companies.

Related articles:

What your bank should do if you have a joint account and split up – and why it may not

VIDEO: How to protect your finances if you have joint accounts and split with your partner

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