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Old Nov 28th 2017, 6:52 am   #1
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Default How do we get a UK bank account?

Hi Everyone,

I'm Australian and my wife is English, though now also an Australian citizen. We live in Australia now though.

We are retiring however and we'd like to spend 6 months or so every year in the UK. We plan to buy a narrowboat and cruise the canal system in the UK.

We are trying to open a UK bank account with very little success. We need one as we have UK pounds in HSBC but it's HSBC Australia and we cannot use this account in the UK. We need a UK account both to transfer the funds to so that we can pay for any boat we buy, as well as the usual day to day living expenses.

I have contacted HSBC international but they tell me that to do open a local account I have to show at least 500 pounds a month, every month, flowing through the account. We can do this when we are there but obviously we can't spend money in the UK when we aren't there.

I've contacted Barclays but they tell me to open an account there I need $1/4 million income each year and $2.5 million in assets, otherwise forget it. Lloyds are no better.

Can anyone tell me how I open a bank account in the UK without a UK address please? We're seriously stuck here getting this done. I have an Australian passport and she has a UK passport.

All ideas welcome, thanks.
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 8:10 am   #2
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

This has cropped up before. It is almost impossible to open a UK account without a UK address, council tax bill etc. However, as you know HSBC will open a UK account for you - others just transfer the minimum amount each month then withdraw it, then the next month repeat. This meets the need for a monthly payment into the account apparently.
Basically the £500 goes on a "money go round" each month! Maybe someone who does this will come along with further advice.
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 10:25 am   #3
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

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Originally Posted by quiltman View Post
This has cropped up before. It is almost impossible to open a UK account without a UK address, council tax bill etc. However, as you know HSBC will open a UK account for you - others just transfer the minimum amount each month then withdraw it, then the next month repeat. This meets the need for a monthly payment into the account apparently.
Basically the £500 goes on a "money go round" each month! Maybe someone who does this will come along with further advice.
Thanks @Quiltman that's not a bad idea really, just put it in then take it out again. If anyone has any experience doing that I'd love to hear about it.

Cheers

Last edited by petercr; Nov 28th 2017 at 10:40 am.
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Old Nov 28th 2017, 10:40 am   #4
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

Quote:
Originally Posted by petercr View Post
Hi Everyone,

I'm Australian and my wife is English, though now also an Australian citizen. We live in Australia now though.

We are retiring however and we'd like to spend 6 months or so every year in the UK. We plan to buy a narrowboat and cruise the canal system in the UK.

We are trying to open a UK bank account with very little success. We need one as we have UK pounds in HSBC but it's HSBC Australia and we cannot use this account in the UK. We need a UK account both to transfer the funds to so that we can pay for any boat we buy, as well as the usual day to day living expenses.

I have contacted HSBC international but they tell me that to do open a local account I have to show at least 500 pounds a month, every month, flowing through the account. We can do this when we are there but obviously we can't spend money in the UK when we aren't there.

I've contacted Barclays but they tell me to open an account there I need $1/4 million income each year and $2.5 million in assets, otherwise forget it. Lloyds are no better.

Can anyone tell me how I open a bank account in the UK without a UK address please? We're seriously stuck here getting this done. I have an Australian passport and she has a UK passport.

All ideas welcome, thanks.
Something that worked for my Brit husband and I (Australian). On a visit to the UK, my husband visited a bank and asked about opening an account, as we were planning to move to the UK in the future (which we have now done).

He showed his British and Australian passports, and was asked where he lived currently. He told them Australia, and after a little confab with her manager, the customer service officer then asked my husband if he had any relatives living in the area. He did, his brother, and the bank advised him that they could set up and account if he used his brother's address. When he said again that he lives in Australia, the bank officer said 'I didn't hear that'....

All of which led me to believe that the bank really shouldn't have allowed my husband to do this, unless they had an internal procedure I don't know about. Anyway, it worked for my husband, but if you wanted to give it a go it's a long way to come on the off-chance! The bank was Halifax.
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Old Dec 2nd 2017, 12:28 am   #5
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

We left our two FD accounts open wben we moved over. A few years later I closed mine. A few years later we tried to add me to my husband's account but weren't allowed. If we can nust 'edit' an account from overseas I don't fancy your chances of opening one unfortunately.
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Old Dec 2nd 2017, 7:28 am   #6
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

You can open an offshore GBP account but not a standard one.

I can’t even change accounts at my existing bank to get better interest as it is classed as a new account!

New rules that don’t really stop the dodgy practices just make things difficult for ordinary people.
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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 12:23 am   #7
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

Yes I've got an offshore GBP account with HSBC but I can't use the money in the UK!
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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 12:33 am   #8
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

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Originally Posted by petercr View Post
Thanks @Quiltman that's not a bad idea really, just put it in then take it out again. If anyone has any experience doing that I'd love to hear about it.

Cheers
There are prepaid cards in UK that function like a bank account in that one gets a sort code, account number, and can do standing orders/payments etc etc.- yet they do ask for an address as well, but less bothersome to open- might be an option before someone gets a "permanent" address.

Kind of crazy situation all this. Have no idea what all this bother achieves.
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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 12:46 am   #9
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

Try Lloyds International in the Isle of Man, which operates as a British bank even though it is technically "off shore". I am not sure what the minimum deposit is, and the last time I heard they have a £7/mth account fee.
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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 12:50 am   #10
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

Just a thought, do you have a very trustworthy relation who lives in the UK? Can they open an account in their name and you put some money in it, maybe draw up a legal document stating it's your money. Then when you're over there open an account in your name with your UK address and transfer the money from the other account over? Does that work in any way?????
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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 10:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

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Kind of crazy situation all this. Have no idea what all this bother achieves.

This is why I left my UK account and credit card open and running - I use them a bit through the year in a money-go-round style - Mostly for shopping when I am overseas or when I am back home.


S
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Old Dec 3rd 2017, 11:02 pm   #12
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

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This is why I left my UK account and credit card open and running - I use them a bit through the year in a money-go-round style - Mostly for shopping when I am overseas or when I am back home.


S
Seems such a challenge in many countries now to open a bank account. I know in some Latin American countries very typical an accountant letter certifying source of funds can be required in addition to utility bills etc etc.

Funny it doesn't seem to have made a dent on world drug trade or terrorism, just made everyone else go through these procedures.

UK it seems key is some document showing address is an absolute necessity unless a very helpful banker.
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Old Dec 5th 2017, 3:15 am   #13
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Default Re: How do we get a UK bank account?

https://www.santanderinternational.c...onal-customers

Consider also Santander International in the CIs.

Best regards.
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