09 Jan 2014

Think only the Bernie Madoffs of the world keep secret bank accounts? Think again. A new study has found that 300,000 wedded and de facto couples in Australia admit to having millions stashed away from their partners

The research conducted by TAL Life Insurance found that while 66 per cent of couples have joint bank accounts, a large percentage also have their own independent finances with many having so-called “secret stashes”.

A total of 45 per cent of married/de facto people have a bank account to which their partner has no access, and 3 per cent have accounts that their partners are not even aware of.

It said that Baby Boomers (those aged over 50 years) are more likely to be keeping their secret stash “in case something happens”.

While the average amount held in these secret accounts is $30,000 — $37,700 for males and $22,300 for females — 11 per cent have more than $100,000, 13 per cent contain between $50,000 and $99,999, one in four have $50,000, and for 39 per cent the amount is less than $5,000.

TAL Group chief executive Jim Minto said he was surprised so many people had secret accounts, with one in five people saying they maintained these covert accounts as a safety-net “in case something happened”.

Written by Vish Teckchandani for the Asia Pacific Banking and Finance Journal.

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