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Halifax Reward Current Account - how to get a joint account?
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# 1
Old 04-03-2012, 1:07 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 433
Default Halifax Reward Current Account - how to get a joint account?

Background facts:
  • I have a Halifax Current Reward Account, in my name only, opened online
  • Spouse has the same as above, in his name only
  • We use the above as backup current accounts (for gift spending only, mainly use them to cycle 1000/month for the free 5 each)
  • Currently living in Glasgow (temporary - home is in England), so not possible to get to a local English Halifax branch (only BoS)
Yesterday I tried to open a Joint Current Reward Account online, whilst logged into my own online banking access. I plan to use this for a couple of non-essential direct debits, but it would be best if we could both use the account (makes things easier to administrate if there's an issue).

Unfortunately, by the time I realised they were never going to ask me for the second account holder's details (my spouse's), it had submitted the form and said my application for a Current Reward Account would be assessed within 5 working days. I'd assumed there would be a final confirmation / 'review your details' stage to the process, but unfortunately not.

So, I phoned Halifax online banking and explained that the application I'd just submitted wasn't intended as another single account for me, but that it was supposed to be a Joint application. Could they "either cancel my single application, or (ideally) upgrade the application in their system to being a Joint application"?

(The reason for this is that I know from reading on here that you are allowed 1 single account and 1 joint account for the 5 reward.)

But online banking couldn't help; guy said that the dept to deal with it was in New Accounts and I'd have to phone back when they were open.

I duly did this, this morning.

The lady I spoke to said that you can't apply for the Halifax Reward accounts as joint online, and I'd have to go into a Halifax branch. I explained there wasn't any near me, only Bank of Scotlands. She looked on her branch finder and apparently there's one I could get to a few miles away (later I looked online and she's wrong, it's actually branded as a Bank of Scotland, as I'd told her).

I explained that I'd rather not go into a branch, since we're both already customers, and it's a bit of a faff. Could she at least confirm whether my single application would just get declined? Or how else could I upgrade to a joint account, perhaps via the phone?

In the end I was left with the situation that:
  • The Halifax customer service rep has "no idea" whether my single application will get declined due to me already having one in my name.
  • There's no way to upgrade my application to a Joint one without going into a Halifax-branded branch. (Yet the one she found for me is actually a BoS.)
  • She said there will "probably" be a credit search even if my single application is declined.
  • There was no way to let the applications team know in advance that I'd intended it to be a Joint app... I basically have to just "wait and see" what happens to my application by this time next week.
In summary, I was left with the impression that the rep's help, basically, could be summed up as "don't know anything". She was perfectly polite, but I'd rather deal with someone rude and effective than lovely but useless

Anyway, has anyone any advice on this situation?

I'm assuming that my application will be declined since I already have an account in my name... but how the heck do I open a Joint one once that decline occurs? Short of waiting a few weeks until I am able to literally get inside the door of a Halifax branch... what are customers supposed to do here?
jfh7gwa is offline
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# 2
Old 04-03-2012, 1:30 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 215

Hi OP,

I bank with Halifax so I just had a look on my banking options, when you look on the RH side at the options and click 'OPEN A CURRENT ACCOUNT' and then you can see a box on the next page that says 'MAKE IT A JOINT ACCOUNT' it also says in this box 'SIMPLY OPEN THE ACCOUNT IN YOUR NAME AND ADD ANOTHER PERSON TO THE ACCOUNT AT YOUR LOCAL BRANCH' does this sound like the process you went through? I don't think there is an option to set up the joint account online, odds are the account you have set up will get set up but you might not beable to use it properly until you go into branch and add the second person. Don't really know what to suggest as a remedy sorry.

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# 3
Old 04-03-2012, 1:35 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by GemBlueTopaz1984 View Post
look on the RH side at the options and click 'OPEN A CURRENT ACCOUNT' and then you can see a box on the next page that says 'MAKE IT A JOINT ACCOUNT' it also says in this box 'SIMPLY OPEN THE ACCOUNT IN YOUR NAME AND ADD ANOTHER PERSON TO THE ACCOUNT AT YOUR LOCAL BRANCH' does this sound like the process you went through?
That's it exactly - I'd missed the bit on the right side of the page pointing out that you couldn't do Joint applications. My bad, perhaps - but I still thought there would be a final "check your submission" step before sending off my application - you know, like when buying something online or applying for a brand new credit card... woops.

No worries -one idea that I had from another thread was to upgrade my (own, single) account to a Joint tomorrow (at a Bank of Scotland here in Glasgow).

Then use the application I'd submitted as a single account for me, if it gets accepted.

Seems a bit of a faff but I can't see any other way around this... problem with this workaround is that it makes the situation more complicated, and since Halifax were so unhelpful with the straightforward issue described above, I'm loathe to introduce more detail into the problem.

I do wish Halifax were slightly more helpful on this score - seems ironic that now I'm trying to open a real account to use (rather than just for the 5 reward alone) with bill payments and direct debits it's a real pain.

I'll update what happens, maybe it'll help someone in future anyway.

Last edited by jfh7gwa; 04-03-2012 at 1:38 PM.
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# 4
Old 04-03-2012, 7:40 PM
MoneySaving Convert
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 18

I too tried to open a joint account when they had the 100 offer, and I too was told I could use a BOS to go through the Halifax application, I have since been told that was wrong, this was a thread I put up

just out of a matter of interest did you give your temporary scottish address?

I don't know how you find the operatives but I found they don't even know their own T&Cs and everyone of them gave me a different answer.
Shona6540 is offline
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# 5
Old 08-03-2012, 10:09 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 433

Shona, no I gave my normal address in England (as that's my main residence e.g. I'm on the electoral roll there and so on, all my financial stuff is tied to my home address, not up here).

Small update though - I got a reject letter through the post stating that the application was declined specifically because I can't have more than one a sole Reward account and a joint one.

This was despite me calling HBOS customer services and the lady placing a small marker on my file explaining that the new account applied for was intended to be a joint account (she mentioned they may agree to open it if I filled in a joint application form (addition of account holder) and returned it, basically opened it but paused it until they also get paperwork to make it into a joint one).

Soooo.... looks like I'll have to do the stupid thing of upgrading my actual account to the joint, then apply for another single account in my name. I may not bother with the second step though.

What a stupid faff / system it is - I cannot believe that there's basically a total "nothing we can do" attitude here from staff, no actual ability to use common sense and actually follow through with working with a customer who's explained what they want, the bank can provide it (what I'm asking for is within their terms and conditions), yet I'm having to "play" their accounts system like this.

It's absolute madness.

I'll judge how they handle direct debits etc on the new "joint" account, but I have to say that so far I've been totally unimpressed with the way my interactions with HBOS have been so far.
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# 6
Old 09-03-2012, 5:05 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 433

So..... another update.

I received the joint account upgrade form in the post from the call centre woman. Filled it in with my account details, new account holder (who is already a HBOS customer, remember), signed it, returned to my local BoS branch as the lady call centre advisor told me to, so they could just post it to a processing centre to get the account upgraded.

"You can't do that", the lady in the BOS told me, "without an appointment".


Cue a few minutes of her refusing to take the damn form (as I'd been instructed) because they only "allow" accounts to be upgraded with a new account holder by appointment.

Explaining that this was YET ANOTHER faff and YET ANOTHER thing that staff are contradicting themselves on, she agreed to take it... but only once I'd managed to find the letter from the call centre as I stood my ground and explained I wasn't prepared to go back in on yet another day with my spouse to do this bit of admin work.

**** me, I think if they lose the form I'll not even bother chasing it up. There's no WAY i would trust HBOS to know how to handle my main bank account after this crap.
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