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Trust essential for those looking at joint accounts, says BBA

It is essential that anyone who is looking at opening a joint bank account has the "utmost trust" in their partner, a spokesperson for the British Bankers' Association (BBA) has warned.Brian Capon, head of media relations at the BBA said that joint accounts are still a popular choice for couples and are useful for paying bills and saving money, but urged people to speak to their banks to find out their rights and responsibilities.Research carried out by Abbey found that 93 per cent of people with a joint bank account used it to pay for household bills such as gas and mortgage repayments, 83 per cent used it to pay for shopping, while 75 per cent used it for costs associated with their homes and 72 per cent used it to pay for holidays. Mr Capon said: "If you open a joint account you have got to have the utmost trust in the person that you open the account with because, regardless of who pays the money in, if it is an account which allows either to sign, either of those people can draw money out and there is nothing to stop them drawing it all out or potentially running up an overdraft."Whichever party to the account who makes the withdrawal, which in turn takes the account overdrawn, the other party would still be liable. Both people are liable jointly for any borrowing and also what's called 'severally', which means that you are also liable individually for the full amount."

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