Authorisation of Direct Debits from Joint accounts

I’ve set up a (Starling) joint account with my wife, for paying bills, but when contacting companies to change over the Direct Debits from our personal accounts to the joint account, it seems that due to it being a joint account this can never be done over the phone or online, and we have to print out a paper copy of the Direct Debit mandate, so that we can both sign it, which is a pain.

My question is whether this is actually required? What would happen if I just pretended the joint account wasn’t a joint account and just gave them the joint account details and my own name, so that I could submit the details online? Does anyone have any experience of this? Does it come down to the bank?

I’m assuming you are answering the “Is more than one person required to authorise Direct Debits?” question with “Yes?”

For a “normal” joint account you don’t need to do that - either one of you can authorise Direct Debits on your own. So you don’t need to pretend anything.

As for what happened if authorisation of multiple people was required and you incorrectly answered the above question with “No” (again: This won’t apply to you, if you got a standard Starling JOINT account): AFAIK nothing much. AFAIK the mandate will be set up correctly. These mostly applies to business, trust, and similar accounts, and you might find yourself the target of some lawsuit and/or loose your job if you did that. Or you might not…


Ah ha, perfect, that answers my question. Thank you!

I have a joint account with my partner with Metro bank. The authorisation mandate on account is “either” of signatories can authorise any payment. So for that matter, we set up direct debits with no paper stuff or confirmation from the second account holder.
And for the names when filling names I just put my names only if it is me filling then put the joint account number and sort code.
I have done this with Talktalk, Vanguard, Sky, Tesco insurance, Domestic and general, Barclays loan with nonissue at all. Some sites ask if you require authorisation from second person for joint accounts, I tick no.
I guess it is something to do with the mandate on account.


Ah ha, thanks. I went digging, and found this in the “Account Schedule” for the Starling “Joint Current Account”:

So that answers it then, cheers!

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It’s true - all signatures required is quite uncommon unless you’ve instructed it

However I’ve set DD’s up before where an & symbol is rejected - and setting it up just in my name resulted in a DD setup fail - I’ve had this once or twice - the merchant said ‘it needed to be a signed copy by both parties for them’


Yes, very uncommon for personal joint accounts.

Business accounts very often require two (or more) signatories, who can usually be any two from a pool of several authorised personnel.

In the case of personal accounts, there is usually a process where an account can have a dispute marker put against it in cases where one account holder thinks the other may have abused the account. This then freezes the account until both account holders agree to unfreeze it. Because the ability to do this exists, the account can be operated “normally” by either/or account holder, unless and until a dispute arises. This sets an appropriate balance between making transactions easy and ensuring nobody is being taken advantage of.