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British bank accounts for expats

British bank accounts for expats

Old Sep 24th 2020, 9:39 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
To return to the subject, has anyone investigated the possibility of opening a sterling account with their French bank?
As I mentioned earlier, Britline offer a sterling account to its existing customers, but charge over 20 euro to receive or send sterling to another bank. In my case that would cost me around 240 euro per year so I'd still like to find a cheaper option.
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Old Sep 24th 2020, 9:43 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

This is Transferwise's statement on financial protection
https://transferwise.com/help/articl...tection-scheme

I wouldn't use TW for savings either, it would earn no interest. I use it for receiving payments and I have sometimes left money there for a few weeks until I decide whether to send it to my UK bank or my French bank. My plan going forward, if I lose my UK account, is to basically keep everything in my French bank and just move money from there into the TW sterling account when I need it to make purchases or meet direct debits or when I'm in the UK and need to withdraw cash. I can't see any reason why that wouldn't work but time will tell.

However I think that in the longer term, once the immediate panic over closing accounts has got resolved one way or another and the dust has settled it will become clear what the options are. There will be options because some although not all UK banks will obtain the necessary licences. Hopefully the banks that decide to continue to serve customers in the EU will be eager for new business to make it worth their while. But again, time will tell. Ulsterbank sounds a good option. FWIW, I have a lot of my savings invested through the Post Office in Bank of Ireland savings schemes, hopefully there won't be a problem there since it's an EU institution.
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Old Sep 24th 2020, 9:56 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Probably an overly simplistic guess, but I assume that any banks that can be bothered to jump through the regulation hoops will be the ones with enough existing EU resident customers to make it worth their while. Whether they could then attract those who have lost their UK accounts would depend on whether non resident UK citizens could be allowed to open UK accounts without a UK address. We did it with Britline using our UK address so it must be possible.
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Old Sep 24th 2020, 10:02 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

I just received this from Nationwide:Thank you for your message. This will not effect us, as we are a Building Society rather than a Bank this does not effect us. It will be business as usual.
I hope you have a lovely day and if there is anything else I can do please let me know and I will be happy to help.
Kind Regards
Steph
Service Consultant, Digital Services
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Old Sep 24th 2020, 10:29 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Update from gov.uk received last evening

Banking and financial services

Most people living in Europe should not see any change to their banking when the transition period ends (31 December 2020). Whether UK banks can service customers living in an EEA country is a matter of local law and regulation. Also banks are set up differently, and may have taken different actions to continue to serve their customers.

Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.
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Old Sep 24th 2020, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Originally Posted by Alianco View Post
I just received this from Nationwide:Thank you for your message. This will not effect us, as we are a Building Society rather than a Bank this does not effect us. It will be business as usual.
I hope you have a lovely day and if there is anything else I can do please let me know and I will be happy to help.
Kind Regards
Steph
Service Consultant, Digital Services
That’s reassuring Let’s just hope Steph’s knowledge of matters financial is better than her grammar.
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Old Sep 25th 2020, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Scrap my earlier suggestion re. Ulster Bank.
Turns out it’s only Ulster Bank in the ROI that’s wooing non-resident customers. And to open a sterling account, you have to already hold a business account with them.
Ulster Bank in the UK does not allow non-UK residents to open accounts with them.
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Old Sep 25th 2020, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Morning all

To return to the subject, has anyone investigated the possibility of opening a sterling account with their French bank?
From what I can gather, my bank, for example, the Société Générale, offers accounts in a range of currencies, including sterling.
I haven’t made any inquiries yet with my branch and among the points I would need to check are frais de gestion/tenue de compte, frais d’émission et de réception. I’m assuming the exchange rate would not be great so I’m wondering whether it would be possible to, say, use Transferwise to convert euros from my existing SG euro account into sterling and then transfer that sterling to the new SG sterling account. Or a sterling account with a different French bank.

I’ve used Transferwise very successfully to do transfers but I don’t have a Transferwise borderless account and would be very nervous about holding very large sterling sums there if they’re not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. I’m hoping to buy a house in England in the next few years and was planning to gradually build up a large amount of savings in sterling, doing transfers on those days when the exchange rate is particularly favorable.

Going back over a decade now, but I opened up an HSBC business account, personal account and also a sterling account all at the same time. I only used the sterling account about three times when I initially opened it, although I still have it today (most likely dormant), so I imagine you shouldn't have any problem. Just check there aren't any hidden bank charges in using it.
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Old Sep 29th 2020, 8:07 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

Well I gave Transferwise a whirl last night for the first time and I'm already beginning to regret it... opened the account, provided the details, all good. Made the payment, all the details were correct, copy pasted and triple checked (even confirmed it with an agent first), included the reference no. etc, and it went via faster payment instantly from my account. 10 hours later and the transferwise account still doesn't confirm receipt of it. I've had to provide further screenshots from my account and details so they can search for it manually and get back to me. Very frustrating. I don't think I'll be using them again.
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Old Sep 29th 2020, 9:25 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

You don't usually get confirmations of payments into your TW account. It either shows up or not. Give it 24 hours.
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Old Sep 29th 2020, 9:40 am
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Hi Malcolm, they have a page where they chart the progress. It states 'We should've received your money by now. Please check with your bank — they'll know what's holding things up.'
Problem is it did go through instantly. Faster payments works 24/7 all year long, and at most you might get a 2 hour delay. I'm waiting to hear back from their operational team, but I'm told there's no problems on their end, and unless they find it was a problem on their side of things, I could lose my guaranteed rate too.
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Old Sep 29th 2020, 12:19 pm
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You might be right Malcom - spoke to the bank and it seems faster payments should be renamed slower payments. 12 hours after payment it still hasn't been sent (despite showing debited), and will go out at some point before the end of the day, but I may have to wait until tomorrow morning to confirm. Hard to lock in a guaranteed rate with a currency broker when faster payments doesn't live up to its name.
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Old Sep 29th 2020, 2:17 pm
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G-J-B I hope you get things sorted out with your bank.
There was one occasion when it took a while for the money to appear in my UK account but there too, the problem lay with my bank. Not with Transferwise.
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Old Sep 29th 2020, 2:37 pm
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Thanks Helen, it got there in the end - faster payment in 16 hours! Thankfully not much difference in the exchange rate.
It looks like my bank is staying open after the 31st December, but if exchange rates feel bad now, I can't help feeling they won't be getting better any time soon.
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Old Sep 30th 2020, 9:14 am
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Default Re: British bank accounts for expats

A Transferwise account is not a bank account! You can't expect TW to give you the same level of updates on your money that a standard online bank account can give you. They might have received the money but it doesn't mean that you can see money coming in and out like with your standard bank.
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