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How a separation could affect your finances

About this guide

The breakdown of any relationship can be difficult, especially if you have joint finances, such as bank accounts, loans and mortgages, or insurance policies that need to be sorted out. This guide aims to help you through this stressful time in your life by answering some of your financial questions about separating from your partner.

Please note that we can only give general information here, so do speak to us if you need more details about any financial arrangements you have with HSBC. You may also want to speak to a lawyer to see how these items will affect your particular situation.

Help and support with your HSBC joint accounts and products

If you and your former partner have any joint finances in HSBC, you are free to continue operating the accounts or keep the products as normal as long as you both agree for the arrangement to continue. Another option is for you both to decide to close the accounts and separate your finances.

You can also instruct us to freeze your joint accounts if you and your former partner are in dispute, or have not reached an agreement on how the joint finances will be handled. Until the dispute has been resolved, some payments or withdrawals can only be made if both parties sign and give us the instructions jointly.


Please bear in mind that if a joint account is frozen:

  • HSBC will require instructions from both account holders to make bill payments, telegraphic transfers or international payments from the account.
  • No further cheques should be written if you or your former partner has a cheque book, as cheques will not be paid or processed. As well, neither of you will be able to make any transactions from the account via Online Banking, Phone Banking, Mobile Banking or ATM. The available balance of the account will be zero.
  • Direct debits such as autopay or standing instructions will be rejected.
  • Both account holders are required to agree on the closure of the joint account.


If you or your former partner decide to continue to use the joint account, we will need instructions from both of you agreeing to unfreeze it.

Make sure your personal information is up to date

You'll need to inform us if there is any change to your address, or any other personal details, such as your contact details or name. We are best able to protect you against financial crime when we have your most up-to-date information.

  • You can update your address and contact details via Online Banking, Phone Banking or by visiting one of our HSBC branches.
  • To update your title or name, please visit an HSBC branch. You'll need to bring some valid ID such as your HKID or passport.


The above information only applies to HSBC accounts. If you hold any joint products with the subsidiaries of HSBC, you may need to contact them directly to update your records with them.

General advice and support for divorce or separation

If you need help coping with your separation or divorce, or require more specific information around a certain area, there are several professional organisations that can help:


You can save the Separation Guide to your device, or you can print a copy of it.

Did you find this guide useful? Send us a message at to let us know.


The information in this guide is up to date at the time of publication. It is for general awareness only and should not be regarded as legal or financial advice. You should contact your own advisers for advice on any particular issue relating to your personal circumstances. Please refer to the fact sheets for our banking products and services to see all the applicable terms and conditions.

In case of any discrepancies or inconsistencies between the English and Chinese versions of this guide, the English version shall apply and prevail.



HSBC Life (International) Limited, incorporated in Bermuda with limited liability ("HSBC Life")