Need for mother's signature unaffected by name change

Children's accounts,
David and Sarah opened an account for their daughter when she was a baby. The account was in the child’s name, but the signatures of both parents were needed to operate it. Years later they separated, and Sarah became known as Tani.
October 2014

When the daughter turned 18, she tried to access the account but was told only her parents could do that. David contacted the bank and was told he and Tani would need to sign documents to change the account’s authorised signatories.

David replied that his former wife was no longer a signatory because she had changed her name. He demanded that the bank release the funds to his daughter on his instruction. The bank refused. Eventually, the parents completed the necessary forms, but David remained angry that the bank had insisted on his ex-wife’s involvement. He complained to us.

Our investigation

We thought the bank acted reasonably in requiring Tani (formerly Sarah) to authorise changes because she was an operator of the account regardless of what name she was now known by. The bank simply needed to be satisfied she was the person previously known as Sarah, which it was.


We did not uphold the complaint.

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