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Can You Have More Than One Current Account in the UK?

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated November, 25, 2022

Current accounts are bank accounts where you can make daily deposits and withdrawals. Can you have more than one current account in the UK? What are the benefits and drawbacks of multiple current accounts? Will it affect your credit score?

Read on to find all the answers and if it is worth it.

Can You Have More Than One Current Account?

Opening multiple current accounts in your name is allowed in the United Kingdom. In fact, there is no limit on the number of current accounts you can hold in different financial institutions if you meet their requirements. In addition, many British banks have appealing promotions and offer features like bonuses, cashback, or even offer money to open an account with them.

But can you have more than one current account with the same bank? Unfortunately, there could be certain restrictions for having multiple bank accounts in one bank, and they will depend on the provider’s internal policies and regulations.

Before You Open a Second Current Account

You should check your credit score before you start the process of opening a second current account. Almost every bank in the UK looks into the customer’s credit score before approving a new account.

Furthermore, it’s important to read the conditions for opening a second bank account and assess if you are financially capable of holding multiple accounts. For example, some banks will require you to make regular monthly transactions above the threshold or a predetermined number of direct debits from the account to keep it. Additionally, you should be prepared to cover the monthly maintenance charges.

And lastly, if you have your documentation ready, the process will be straightforward and won’t take much of your time.

When Should You Get Multiple Current Accounts?

Many Brits open a second bank account to split their money and achieve better budgeting. For instance, you can separate your earnings into different accounts for spending, bills, and holidays. And as the average savings per person in the United Kingdom is £9,633, having a savings account is equally important.

But easier budgeting and building savings are just some of the reasons you should consider opening multiple accounts. Here are the other advantages of having more than one current account.

Earn Interest

Who doesn’t want to earn money from depositing in the bank? Depending on the type of account, you can get high interest on your in-credit balance. Usually, banks cap the amount you earn interest on. So you can split your income into multiple accounts and earn higher interest.

Comparing Banks

If you are considering changing your current bank, you can open a second bank account with another financial institution and see if they have better conditions and services. Then, you can try using the new bank account while keeping your old one until you are entirely sure you want to switch banks.

FSCS Protection

In the United Kingdom, regardless of the financial institution, you put your money into, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will protect your first £85,000. However, having more than the FSCS-protected limit will mean your cash is unsafe if the bank declares bankruptcy.  

Thus, it is recommended to open a second bank account with another institution and benefit from the FSCS protection.

You might be interested: How to open a bank account without ID?

Different Income Streams

When it is time to deal with HMRC about your tax, it will be a lot of help if you receive all your income streams in different current accounts. For instance, separating the income from employment in one account and putting the earnings from letting a property in another will be highly beneficial.

We also suggest having a second bank account if you run a business and keeping your business income and costs aside from your personal expenses.

Account Alternative

There might be times when the bank will freeze your current account if they suspect card theft or other types of fraud. In cases like this, you can use your second current account and avoid being in situations when you don’t have access to your finances.

Spending Abroad

With a foreign currency account, you will be able to withdraw money from an ATM abroad without paying sky-rocketing transaction fees. Additionally, you can transfer money from your current account without paying the usual fees.

How Can You Manage Multiple Current Accounts?

To get the most out of the perks of multiple current accounts, you must manage them successfully. To do so, you should follow these tips: 

  • Keep track of your money.
  • Use tools to manage your finances, like spreadsheets or apps for budgeting.
  • Set up standing orders to meet the bank’s criteria for the account.
  • Limit the transactions between the accounts.
  • Use online banking or open an account with a mobile-only bank.
  • Regularly pay the account fees and make direct debits.
  • Meet the interest rate requirements if your savings account has them.
  • Take advantage of rewards and bonuses.

Final Verdict: Should You Open Multiple Current Accounts?

Before you rush into opening a new account, you must consider if you need them. While it can be hard to resist the many advantages of opening a second current account, you must be sure you can meet the monthly requirements for having an account. With the current inflation, you can quickly start defaulting, which negatively impacts your credit score.

That’s why you should only have more than one current account if you really need it and can manage it.

Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

How many bank accounts can you have UK?

From a legal perspective, there is no limit on how many bank accounts you can open, supposing you meet the requirements set by the financial institution. However, you must ensure you can manage them without defaulting.

Is there a downside to having multiple bank accounts?

Yes, there are a few, and some of the disadvantages are the risks of fraud and paying multiple account fees. Furthermore, opening a second bank account might affect your credit score, and it can require a lot of work to keep track of your finances.

Is it a good idea to have different bank accounts for spending and saving?

In most cases, it is worth having separate accounts for spending and saving. Having two accounts is an effective way to control your money while keeping up with your savings plan.

My name is Marija, and I'm a financial writer at DontDisappointMe. Although finance might not be everyone's cup of tea, my 10+ years of working in one of the biggest banks in my country, and my interest in extensive research on everything finance/investment-related, have made me somewhat of an expert in the field (if I do say so myself). No longer having the passion to work in a corporate setting, I decided that I couldn't let all of this knowledge go to waste so I started writing. And, here I am! Today I try to share my knowledge with my audience in the hopes of making this topic as simple and interesting as possible. In my leisure time, I like spending time with my family and travelling to new locations.