Growing numbers of Australians are shunning the traditional joint account and preferring to keep their finances separate.

The days when a shared bank account was the ultimate sign of being a twosome are over. Recent research suggests many couples like to keep their finances separate even when every other aspect of their lives in shared – and it may actually be prudent for them to do so.

Research carried out this year by CoreData for Choosi, found 69.6% of people in relationships feel it is important to have some separate financial resources in a relationship.

For financial institutions this may bring the windfall of a larger number of deposits accounts than may have be seen in the past. But for consumers, in particular women, there can be compelling reasons to hang onto a personal account even after committing to a long term relationship.

Women at risk of financial abuse

CoreData’s recent Female Financial Abuse research found three in five women in a relationship are leaving themselves vulnerable to the risk of financial abuse by not ensuring their own financial independence. Worryingly, the study found 60.5% of women in a relationship do not have any assets held separately from their partner in their own name. This is most common among women in Queensland (72.2%).

Despite the increasing independence of females in modern Australian society, the research suggests that the financial stability of many women remains linked to their partner – and finds that women who face up to reality and take control of their financial situation are less at risk of financial abuse.

Financial literacy – a role for the industry to play

Financial education plays a key role too. CoreData’s research found that while the vast majority (85.8%) of women worry to some extent about money and the future, more than half (53.2%) of women say they have no financial plan and only 10.5% feel they have very strong financial knowledge.

Clearly, there is a role to play by financial services companies in assisting women better educate themselves around their financial situation to make better choices and take control of their financial future.