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Old Dec 27th 2017, 2:18 pm   #1
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Default Banking and home-buying - BC

Hi,

Our family will be moving at some point in late-2018 to Vancouver Island (Preferably). I'm Canadian, so are the kids. My partner is British.

I'm trying to work out the logistics.

What is the best method of setting up a Canadian Bank account and transferring funds, bearing in mind exchange rates etc?

Do you physically relocate first, set your accounts up and then transfer the funds later? If so, can you close your British accounts from a distance?

We will be in a good position to buy a place when we land, but are aware that our credit will not necessarily follow us.

I'm from Vancouver Island so am very familiar with the areas that we would be looking to live in.

Is there a recommended method of being able to land and buying a home within a short time-frame?

Any advice from a seasoned contributor, or more, is welcome.

Thanks
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Old Dec 27th 2017, 2:32 pm   #2
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

You can set up an account BEFORE you land with RBC. We made a recce trip back in September 2017 and opened a Bank check and savings account with TD. We use Transferwise to transfer funds to our TD account whenever the rate of the £ is > $1.70 . We plan to move in May 2018 and rent for a year while we figure out where in Ontario we want to live. If you wait until you move to transfer funds,then you take the risk on the prevailing exchange rate. Horses for courses. At the moment the £ is weak due to all the uncertainty with BrExit. Personally, I thing the £ will only rise against the $ when BrExit is resolved....which could take until the end of 2020.

Buying a house may take 60 days to close, assuming you find something straight away. What will you do in the meantime?

Closing a UK account is simple. Just withdraw all the money and leave the Bank with the hassle of managing an account with £0. Just make sure you have no Debit/Credit cards due for renewal within the next 12 months. It is always good to keep a UK account open and change the correspondence address.

Last edited by glendem4; Dec 27th 2017 at 2:37 pm.
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Old Dec 27th 2017, 2:38 pm   #3
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

Thanks glendem4 - good to know. I use Transferwise or HiFx already for various transfers so that makes sense.

Hoping they wrap up the Brexit negotiations soon, as you say, the £ is taking a beating - expect it to rise following Brexit, too.

Just to clarify, you keep your British accounts open and transfer funds as needed? That sounds reasonable, I'll consider that option.
Of course, we will need to have an address in the UK to do that, which shouldn't be too difficult to do with family here.
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Old Dec 27th 2017, 3:57 pm   #4
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

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Originally Posted by HerMadge View Post
Thanks glendem4 - good to know. I use Transferwise or HiFx already for various transfers so that makes sense.

Hoping they wrap up the Brexit negotiations soon, as you say, the £ is taking a beating - expect it to rise following Brexit, too.

Just to clarify, you keep your British accounts open and transfer funds as needed? That sounds reasonable, I'll consider that option.
Of course, we will need to have an address in the UK to do that, which shouldn't be too difficult to do with family here.
We’ve been here in Canada for 7 years and kept our accounts in the UK, although we did rationalize them and close some down - we still have a property there so it made sense. Most institutions are happy to work with your Canadian address - certainly the ones we use are, although I seem to remember there was a thread a while ago where it seemed the occasional bank didn’t like a foreign address. And sometimes banks don’t like an account that is never used - we have online access to ours and check/ move money occasionally.
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Old Dec 27th 2017, 5:12 pm   #5
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

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Originally Posted by glendem4 View Post

Buying a house may take 60 days to close, assuming you find something straight away. What will you do in the meantime?
This is an arbitrary number - if the seller want a long closing date, you work with that, if there's an option to close quickly that's possible too. The first property I purchased here was closed/purchased/transferred into my name in a single working day.

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Originally Posted by glendem4 View Post
Closing a UK account is simple. Just withdraw all the money and leave the Bank with the hassle of managing an account with £0. Just make sure you have no Debit/Credit cards due for renewal within the next 12 months. It is always good to keep a UK account open and change the correspondence address.
I went into a branch of Barclays Bank and handed over bank and credit cards, cleared accounts of funds and signed a form to close them. Over 12 months later (when in Canada) I had calls from bailiffs demanding money owed to Barclays for overdraft and account fees from accounts they'd assured me were closed. It took a long time to get the situation resolved.
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 8:40 am   #6
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

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Originally Posted by R I C H View Post
This is an arbitrary number - if the seller want a long closing date, you work with that, if there's an option to close quickly that's possible too. The first property I purchased here was closed/purchased/transferred into my name in a single working day.
Ok that's good to know, there are ways and means of doing things a little quicker.

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Originally Posted by R I C H View Post
I went into a branch of Barclays Bank and handed over bank and credit cards, cleared accounts of funds and signed a form to close them. Over 12 months later (when in Canada) I had calls from bailiffs demanding money owed to Barclays for overdraft and account fees from accounts they'd assured me were closed. It took a long time to get the situation resolved.
that's insane; what an awful situation to deal with. Especially from such a distance.
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 1:27 pm   #7
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

Earlier this year, we bought a house in Canada while still living in the UK. We had previously opened a Canadian bank account and already had about half of the funds for the house in this Canadian account.

When we put into motion the logistics of moving the money to our Canadian lawyer to buy the house, moving the money from the Canadian account to the lawyer was proving a nightmare as they are geared to you 'popping in' to the bank branch to get a cashiers cheque! In the end we went through major hoops to get the Canadian money moved but found it WAAAAAYYYYY easier to move the balance direct from the UK via Transferwise direct to the lawyers escrow account!
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Old Dec 28th 2017, 3:17 pm   #8
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Default Re: Banking and home-buying - BC

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Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
...In the end we went through major hoops to get the Canadian money moved but found it WAAAAAYYYYY easier to move the balance direct from the UK via Transferwise direct to the lawyers escrow account!
Good heavens, you're the only one I've ever seen on BE who did it much the same as me.
Transferwise didn't exist back then (2005) so I just did a swift transfer from my UK bank to the lawyer's account, having estimated the amount due (with new exchange rate) the fees and deposit subtraction and carried a bit of cash to give the lawyer for any balance due on the completion day. Cost me all of £12 each time.
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