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Old 01.10.2014, 23:37
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Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Does anyone have any experience with opening an UK account, who is not English from the EU, CH, or the USA, but living here? I did a Google search on the subject, and Barclays sprang up and it looks like it is possible. Would it be more advisable to do it from here, or in the UK? Any advice on the matter would be helpful.
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Old 01.10.2014, 23:41
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Could be wise to look offshore - Channel Is., IoM.
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Old 01.10.2014, 23:42
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Have you considered 'International' accounts from Lloyds, Nationwide or Barclays?

They're pretty decent and you get a UK sort code/acc number, same as a normal account. They're based in Isle of Man, Gibraltar etc so think about tax liabilities and deposit protection.
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Old 01.10.2014, 23:42
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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Does anyone have any experience with opening an UK account, who is not English from the EU, CH, or the USA, but living here? I did a Google search on the subject, and Barclays sprang up and it looks like it is possible. Would it be more advisable to do it from here, or in the UK? Any advice on the matter would be helpful.
I have several times had letters from Barclays saying it is against their policy to have non-resident account holders but they never closed my account.
In fact I will close it this year but for other personal reasons.
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Old 01.10.2014, 23:47
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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I have several times had letters from Barclays saying it is against their policy to have non-resident account holders but they never closed my account.
In fact I will close it this year but for other personal reasons.
Well it was the first to pop up. As I am not an UK resident, I don't know what I should be expecting from the process. In the US, it was easy for me to open a Canadian account for cross border transactions. Opening an UK account would simplify some issues for me.
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Old 01.10.2014, 23:52
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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Well it was the first to pop up. As I am not an UK resident, I don't know what I should be expecting from the process. In the US, it was easy for me to open a Canadian account for cross border transactions. Opening an UK account would simplify some issues for me.
Good suggestion about the International arms of these banks.
Barclays did suggest switching me to one of these but their interest faded away for unknown reasons; I think they have minimum deposit levels

Also be careful about IoMan banks and deposit protection; a friend lost a lot of money in a dodgy IoM bank.
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Old 02.10.2014, 04:32
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Ordinary high street bank NatWest will give you a simple current account. You need your passport and a recent utility bill, or a Swiss credit card statement, or a Swiss electricity bill, to prove your address.
(they ask for a translation to English, but why not try it with a Swiss original statement in English?)
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Old 02.10.2014, 07:08
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

If it's just for making regular payments in Sterling have you thought about a Sterling account linked to your Swiss account over here? We have one linked to our UBS business account for paying UK suppliers.
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Old 02.10.2014, 07:25
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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If it's just for making regular payments in Sterling have you thought about a Sterling account linked to your Swiss account over here? We have one linked to our UBS business account for paying UK suppliers.
How does that work? Is there international bank transfer fees on each transaction?
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Old 02.10.2014, 07:36
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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I have several times had letters from Barclays saying it is against their policy to have non-resident account holders but they never closed my account.
In fact I will close it this year but for other personal reasons.
I've never had any letters, but we can't switch to any of their newer accounts so are stuck with our original ones which are over 20 years old now. The savings ones don't earn any interest these days so I emptied them into the current account.

I have an account with NatWest too, but I don't use it much so can't say if their policy is the same nowadays. Sbrinz, when did you ask them about it?
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Old 02.10.2014, 13:48
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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Sbrinz, when did you ask them about it?
I know 2 people that are ex UK, now Swiss, and both have opened Natwest accounts in the UK.
I asked earlier this year at Natwest in Bridgnorth, but I didn't have the proof of Swiss residence with me then.
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Old 02.10.2014, 16:03
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

HSBC insisted that I had to be a UK resident for a current account but would open a savings account for me, how nice of them!
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Old 29.10.2014, 12:15
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Confloozed, did you manage to open current account for UK bank payments or no?

I tried few years ago but didn't succeed. I really need one now again, I am non EU citizen. All UK banks wanted me to be UK citizen, whether living the the UK or no.
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Old 29.10.2014, 12:21
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

We were told it was not possible to open an account if you live abroad, but it is ok to keep an account if you live abroad, as long as you have a valid address in the UK. I've still got my HSBC acc and OH his Nat West- declared and tax paid here.
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Old 29.10.2014, 15:40
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

I am an EU-citizen, live in Switzerland, and managed to open a UK-account during one of my my last visits to the UK.

I wrote a summary in German >>here<<.

In essence, it´s a matter of luck and largely depends on the clerk you happen to deal with.

I also used the help of a friend in the UK, whose address I used to open the account. It seems that standard "UK-resident-accounts" are free by default, while other scenarios sometimes attract fees - it doesn´t seem quite consistent to me.

If you need a UK-address, it might be possible to use www.boatmail.co.uk or similar (there are many mail-forwarding-services out there).

Good luck!
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Old 29.10.2014, 15:56
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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I am an EU-citizen, live in Switzerland, and managed to open a UK-account during one of my my last visits to the UK.

I wrote a summary in German >>here<<.

In essence, it´s a matter of luck and largely depends on the clerk you happen to deal with.

I also used the help of a friend in the UK, whose address I used to open the account. It seems that standard "UK-resident-accounts" are free by default, while other scenarios sometimes attract fees - it doesn´t seem quite consistent to me.

If you need a UK-address, it might be possible to use www.boatmail.co.uk or similar (there are many mail-forwarding-services out there).

Good luck!
Just because you managed to open it it doesnt mean you haven't violated their Terms & Conditions if they don't allow non residents.

Also, by involving your friend you might make him a 'financial associate' in the eyes of credit agencies as you'll be sharing addresses.

Just saying, this is not the best way to do this. TSB, Natiowide and First Direct all let you open a UK current account and let you keep it if you move abroad but not open it without a current UK address. For that, you need an international off-shore account which is easy to get and gives you a proper UK bank account and sort code same as you'd have with any current account.
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Old 29.10.2014, 16:05
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

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...gives you a proper UK bank account and sort code same as you'd have with any current account.
Unfortunately, those are not usually free of charge.

I did this for fun, really. More like a "proof-of-concept" than anything else.

I use the UK account for occasional GBP payments (online and when in the UK). Only with an own UK account is it possible to use currencybrokers (such as currencyfair) to exchange CHF to GBP, which can then be used for local payments when in the UK.

I also declared the account in my Swiss tax-declaration (even if there are only a few hundreds parked there).

But I see your point - I wouldn´t use the account for any major matters, such as saving. For that I would also prefer 100% proper accounts w/o any "tricks".

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 29.10.2014 at 16:33.
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Old 19.09.2016, 14:30
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

BTW just had letters from both HSBC and Nat West requesting that we send certified proof that we are resident in Switzerland, including for tax purposes.
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Old 19.09.2016, 19:01
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Avoid NatWest, if you can. Bar stewards refuse to communicate with you by phone or email, if you don't live in the UK. There was a suspicious transfer done on-line, so they rejected it and sent us a letter (arrived 8 days after letter date) to tell us.

So we called and assured them it was OK, and did it again online. They rejected it again and sent us another letter.

Barstewards.
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Old 19.09.2016, 19:42
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Re: Opening an UK Bank Account for non UK residents

Santander do expat mortgages for UK properties so perhaps they might do accounts too? I have no idea, purely guessing.
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