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Bank Account Woes

Bank Account Woes

Old Apr 11th 2014, 6:12 am
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Unhappy Bank Account Woes

Hi all,

I've been in Hungary for about three years now. Recently I inherited a substantial amount of money which now sits in my grandmothers UK bank. She wants to transfer the amount to a bank account of my choice.

Because of the dire exchange rate I don't want it transferred to my Hungarian bank account.

I would like to open a current account in the UK and transfer the amount until I decide what to to with. It's important that I have access to online banking.

I went to Barclay's today and they said they were unable to open an account for a 'Hungarian resident' (I'm British).

I'm now stuck as to what to do. I would like to have a British account with online access, somewhere I could leave a little money for instant access and where the rest would eventually be invested/saved.

I'm very new to all this and would appreciate any and all advice from my fellow forum members.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Could you not have a Sterling account over here and then just transfer over to your Hungarian Account when exchange rate is good?
I have a Euro account plus a HUF account over here thats what I do.
I also have a UK account with a UK address but you do need some proof ie utilities or something in your name.
Hope this helps I'm sure other's on here will have some advise as well.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:08 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Hi
I have recently had problems with a UK International account with Barclays, see http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=829306

Bottom line Barclays don't want customers in Hungary, and none of the high street banks will give you an account unless you are resident in the UK however........

If you go to the UK you can open an account with an address in the UK and whilst the banks want to see a utilities bill with your name on it apparently if you say you don't have one because you are returning to the UK and staying with relatives for the time being and you use a passport to prove identity then this will suffice. The utilities bill is not so much as to prove your address rather as one of the 2 ways to prove your identity. I was told that 2 documents are needed to prove identity (typically a utilities bill and a driving licence) OR a UK passport on its own. Once you have your account then online banking will be available and you can also have a mailing address that is different to your 'account address'. But don't set up the mailing address until after you have the account or they might smell a rat. But you will have to go to the UK to set this up. (Perhaps use your Grandmothers address and her bank??) Then when transferring money to Hungary you can use one of the money transfer companies, it will depend upon how much you transfer as to which is the better deal but they are all better than the banks. (The UK ones are regulated by the FCA).

Some of the other high street bank are still dealing with Hungarian residents on their International accounts (I think) but they require a substantial annual income or a significant maintained deposit plus a monthly fee so these are not as good as a UK based account.

An alternative is to have a sterling foreign currency account attached to your Hungarian account but this won't be as easy for investments but will keep the money in GBP until you want it, but you won't be able to use the UK based money transfer companies without incurring Hungarian bank money transfer charges.

My problems are not yet resolved and are a bit different to yours but it looks like I will have to open an account when I am next in the UK.

From discussions with others it would appear that if you have a UK account and move abroad then you can keep your account but you can't open an account after you move - hence the cheat outlined above.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:30 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

You will find it increasingly difficult due to UK banks, not just Barclays, tightening up on requirements due to money laundering activity.

Peter, either things have changed recently or it must depend on the individual Barclays branch as I know of an account opened end of last year and they insisted on a utility bill, property purchase contract or tenancy agreement to prove residency. It's a similar case with HSBC.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Hi RH
I spoke to a Barclays UK branch on the 'phone explaining that I was returning to the UK and staying with relatives until I was settled so could not produce a utilities bill. They told me that If I had a UK passport on its own this would be sufficient. I hope that they were correct in their information!!!
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 7:48 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
Hi RH
I spoke to a Barclays UK branch on the 'phone explaining that I was returning to the UK and staying with relatives until I was settled so could not produce a utilities bill. They told me that If I had a UK passport on its own this would be sufficient. I hope that they were correct in their information!!!
I've just PM'd you.
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Old Apr 14th 2014, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Originally Posted by Budpest
Hi all,

I've been in Hungary for about three years now. Recently I inherited a substantial amount of money which now sits in my grandmothers UK bank. She wants to transfer the amount to a bank account of my choice.

Because of the dire exchange rate I don't want it transferred to my Hungarian bank account.

I would like to open a current account in the UK and transfer the amount until I decide what to to with. It's important that I have access to online banking.

I went to Barclay's today and they said they were unable to open an account for a 'Hungarian resident' (I'm British).

I'm now stuck as to what to do. I would like to have a British account with online access, somewhere I could leave a little money for instant access and where the rest would eventually be invested/saved.

I'm very new to all this and would appreciate any and all advice from my fellow forum members.

Thanks in advance.
Hello! I know it may seem a daft question, but if you are British and have only been in Hungary for 3 years...did you not originally have a UK bank account? Perhaps you have one laying dormant somewhere you have forgotten about? Also, the exchange rate isn't that bad...surely you would have more Hungarian forint to spend? Hope you find a solution soon
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Old Apr 23rd 2014, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

"From discussions with others it would appear that if you have a UK account and move abroad then you can keep your account"

Useful tip, we must keep some old UK accounts going (probably on line) or could be left with none - all seems very unhelpful and against the aims of the EU.
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Old Apr 23rd 2014, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

I have spoken to Santander IOM and they do a savers account that has a minimum opening balance of 1 GBP and allows non resident expats to open this account.
key features

unlimited deposits and withdrawals.
instant access - in branch, cash machine, phone or via Online Banking
online banking transfers free to/from UK mainland bank accounts
Stirling only.
down side

no debit or credit card
no direct debits capability (so for me my UK based credit card would need to be managed manually - fought with forgetfulness)
interest rate pathetic - 0.5% but would give as close to a current account as I can find and would hold instantly needed cash whilst larger sums could be elsewhere (earning a not quite so pathetic interest)

This is the best I can find to the facilities of a current account without cheating about a UK address.
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Doesn't eventually moving a large sum of cash to a Hungarian Bank account leave you open to taxation in Hungary?
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Old Apr 27th 2014, 9:38 am
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I believe the interest tax is about 20%
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Old Sep 11th 2014, 12:41 pm
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Default Re: Bank Account Woes

Originally Posted by Mitzyboy
Doesn't eventually moving a large sum of cash to a Hungarian Bank account leave you open to taxation in Hungary?
Apologies if this has been raised in another thread...but I cannot find it. I was just thinking about the issue of moving sums of money to a Hungarian account (for house purchases or just foreign income) and I wondered what the tax position of this was. I know there is a 20% tax charge on interest, but how this works or what this is applied to I am not 100% sure.

How do the NAV know that payments being made to a Hungarian bank are UK pension payments and thus not subject to tax? I have been asked this last question by a Brit pensioner and I am not sure of the answer.

Many thanks for any guidance.
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