What are the requirements for opening a children’s bank account?

Teach your kids how to manage money with their own account.

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Opening a bank account for a child can help them learn how to save money and budget for big purchases. But they will need a parent or guardian as a joint account holder.

What is a children’s bank account?

A children’s bank account works pretty much the same as an adult’s bank account, but a parent will need to be listed as a joint account owner. Your child can make deposits and withdrawals into and from their account, and they can earn interest on money kept in a savings account. If they’re opening a current account, they’ll likely have a much lower spending limit on their debit card, and some banks will allow you to track their purchases online.

Children’s bank accounts generally won’t charge any ongoing monthly fees, but you should always check with your bank to make sure.

How to open a children’s bank account

Standard children’s current accounts can be opened for kids from 11 to 18 years old. Specific steps vary by institution, but this is generally how you can open one:

  1. Compare accounts at various banks and building societies until you find the one you that’s right for you and the child.
  2. Gather your financial documents, including your driver’s licence and passport, so they’re readily available when you go to apply.
  3. Apply for the account either in person, online or over the phone. Most children’s bank accounts require you to visit a local a branch to get started, but a handful of institutions let you apply online.
  4. Fund your account by making your initial deposit.
  5. Activate the child’s debit card when it comes in the mail.

Documentation needed to open a children’s bank account

Opening a bank account for your child is easy, but you will need to supply a couple of important pieces of documentation before your kid can start making deposits. What documents you’ll need may vary from bank to bank, but will likely include some combination of:

  • Your driver’s licence
  • Your passport details
  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Proof of address

What are the age requirements to open a children’s bank account?

Generally, the child must be under the age of 18 to have a children’s bank account, but this can vary.

Also, different banks offer different ways to open accounts depending on age – for example, the Santander 123 Mini Current Account, must be opened in a branch and managed by an adult for children aged 12 and under, but kids aged 13-18 can apply online to open the account themselves. Meanwhile the Revolut Junior account is aimed at children aged from seven to 17, and needs to be opened by a parent who must already have their own Revolut bank account.

Can I open a children’s bank account online?

It depends on the bank. While some banks will let you open an account online, others will require you to visit your nearest branch in person to prove your identity. If you’re able to open an account online, you may be asked to upload photos proving yours and your child’s identity.

Can parents withdraw money from their child’s bank account?

Even though a kids bank account is in the child’s name, the parent has full access to the account as a joint owner. This means that they can deposit and withdraw funds as they wish. The only exception is if the bank account is jointly owned by another family member, such as a grandparent or aunt or uncle.

Are there any tax implications to opening a children’s bank account?

In most cases, children don’t need to pay taxes on the interest they earn on their savings accounts, because they don’t earn any money. However, taxes will apply if:

  • They earn more than their personal allowance, say, from a fund in their name. The personal tax allowance for 2020-21 is £12,500.
  • They earn more than £100 a year in interest from money given by their parents or legal guardians. The thinking behind this is to stop parents using their children as a tax-free extra allowance. This rule does not apply if the money is given by another relative or a friend.

There are several factors you should consider when comparing children’s bank accounts, including:

  • The minimum age
  • What happens to the account when your child turns 18
  • The interest rate
  • Ongoing account-keeping fees
  • Withdrawal fees and any other hidden fees
  • Whether a debit card is provided
  • Minimum and maximum balance requirements

What kind of children’s bank accounts are available?

There are both savings and current accounts available for children. Many banks offer savings accounts for children of any age, though current accounts tend to have a higher minimum age.

Compare debit cards for kids

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Age Monthly fee Savings goals Set chores
RoosterMoney Card
£2.08 (1 month free trial)
gohenry - with free custom card and one month free
Revolut Junior
£0 (parent needs Revolut account)
Starling Kite
£2.49 (1 month free trial)
£2.50 (1 month free trial)

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Children’s bank accounts are offered by a range of UK banks and building societies. Opening an account with your current financial institution can help save time, but it’s worth shopping around to see which account offers the best interest rates and features. Compare savings and current accounts to find one that’s the right fit.

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