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How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Old Mar 22nd 2014, 11:30 am
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Default How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

I have just been given notice by Barclays Bank International that they are going to unilaterally close my current account. To quote their letter "to close accounts for those clients who fall outside our new marketing strategy" i.e. accounts for those customers they consider small and in any event even if you do have considerable sums then they do not want new clients who live in Hungary (their web site says so if you try to open a new account!!). I've banked with them for over 40 years and yes I am p***ed off. Rant over

I still have business interests and family in the UK and need a UK current account. Of the banks I have looked at they all seem to require UK residency to open an account.

How do others get a UK current account / banking services when resident in Hungary?
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Old Mar 22nd 2014, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
I have just been given notice by Barclays Bank International that they are going to unilaterally close my current account. To quote their letter "to close accounts for those clients who fall outside our new marketing strategy" i.e. accounts for those customers they consider small and in any event even if you do have considerable sums then they do not want new clients who live in Hungary (their web site says so if you try to open a new account!!). I've banked with them for over 40 years and yes I am p***ed off. Rant over
I don't blame you for being angry; that is terrible customer service! I suppose many people here still have a UK address they use for such circumstances. What about HSBC?....I thought they were supposed to be the 'world bank'. Perhaps crypto currency is the way forward...!
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Old Mar 22nd 2014, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

How do others get a UK current account / banking services when resident in Hungary?

The simple answer is that you can't get a current account unless you have a UK property for which you can produce utility bills. I was told its something to do with money laundering, but don't know how true that is.

I've been non resident in the UK for the past 30 years. I bank with the Halifax as they have several different types of accounts suitable for non residents. Mine is set up so if I want to pay a UK bill I just email them. I'm very happy with the service I get which I find super effecient.

Hope that helps.
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Old Mar 22nd 2014, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Nationwide International (IoM-based) may be another possibility.
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Old Mar 22nd 2014, 5:28 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Islamic Bank of Britain are quite cooperative ! Seriously !
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 7:19 am
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

I have accounts with Clydesdale, Santander and Nationwide. I had them already before I moved to Hungary but they all send statements to me here. I do still have a house in UK but I don't think that made any difference. I certainly opened a bank account here in Hungary before I had a house here but I don't suppose I could have done that without being physically present in the bank.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 7:42 am
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

We are the same as fidobsa our banks and credit cards seem quite happy for us to have a Hungarian address and send statements both electronically and by post.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Hi Peter,
I have an ordinary bank account with Barclays (into which my pension is paid), this is on my Hungarian address. to which they send all mail etc. to date I have not heard from them regarding an issue with this.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
I have just been given notice by Barclays Bank International that they are going to unilaterally close my current account. To quote their letter "to close accounts for those clients who fall outside our new marketing strategy" i.e. accounts for those customers they consider small and in any event even if you do have considerable sums then they do not want new clients who live in Hungary (their web site says so if you try to open a new account!!). I've banked with them for over 40 years
How did you get to be with Barclays International in the first place? The onshore U.K. banks of Barclays are not unilaterally closing accounts held by non-residents, at least there is no evidence of this up to now.

Have you asked Barclays if they would switch your account to a U.K. branch?


I still have business interests and family in the UK and need a UK current account. Of the banks I have looked at they all seem to require UK residency to open an account.

How do others get a UK current account / banking services when resident in Hungary?
Most U.K. banks will let someone keep an existing account when they move outside the country, but many will not accept new customers who are non-resident. There's no reason under the law why they can't, but they just don't want to. There may be exceptions.

Options can include:

1. Find another offshore bank account, in the Isle of Man or Channel Islands, however options are much fewer than was the case a few years ago.

2. There are a few U.K. banks who may accept new non-resident customer applications (you would have to ask further). Such as the Bank of Baroda GB: https://www.bankofbarodauk.com/retail-banking/

3. If you are spending time in the the United Kingdom anyway, you may have more luck if you visit a bank with proof of your ID and address. For example, there's nothing (at least nothing obvious) on Lloyds Bank website currently that says that their current account is for U.K. residents only.
http://www.lloydsbank.com/current-ac...ic-account.asp

There's a U.K. banking forum at:
http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/

Last edited by JAJ; Mar 23rd 2014 at 5:59 pm.
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Old Mar 23rd 2014, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Hi all who have responded - thanks.
I have sent of for applications for the banks mentioned, we will see what happens.

As JAJ says, if you move out then they will allow you to keep your account - but it seems to be a bit of a non-return valve.

Hi JAJ
Thanks for your response. I got to Barclays International 20 years ago when we moved to Hungary. We moved from a mainland account for reasons that were correct at the time, life has now changed, a bit of historical baggage. I have asked if they will move the account back to the mainland, but frankly I think I would prefer to change banks now!

If you view Barclays web site you will find that in order to open an account with the International section you need to keep 25k GBP in one or more accounts with them - I don't so I guess this is why they are closing the account. Also if you try to open an account from Hungary you get the message that they don't accept new business from Hungary (Hmmm)

I checked out the Lloyds Bank site and found in their conditions of application
"You need to be aged 18 years or over, a UK resident and either an EU national or have permission to stay in the UK for at least 12 months."
So I guess they are the same as the rest of the high street banks

I'll have a look at the UK banking forum

Thanks all.-
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 10:56 am
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Today's update
Following an email to Lloyds yesterday, this morning I received a reply stating

" ...........As a consequence we are reviewing the number of countries in which we operate and have temporarily ceased accepting new business from clients who reside within some core countries pending the conclusion of our review..........Please be assured that we do hold your details on record and should the situation with Hungary change, we will contact you. "

So that is now Barclays and Lloyds that can afford to turn away new business
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 11:20 am
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

I think it's to do with money laundering Peter, as I believe somebody mentioned previously.
Won't go into details on here but there is a noticeable increase....
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 5:29 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

You don't mean a shadow cabinet minister with multiple passports and numbered bank accounts........do you.....
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Old Mar 24th 2014, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Originally Posted by Peter_in_Hungary
You don't mean a shadow cabinet minister with multiple passports and numbered bank accounts........do you.....
In these instances they weren't African....... Have they released the cause of Welsz's death ?
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Old Jun 28th 2014, 9:13 am
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Default Re: How do you get a UK bank current account when resident abroad

Hi Peter
I live in Turkey and have just had the same letter as you- Have you found a Uk bank to transfer your barclays account to? I'd really appreciate any help. I have DDrs that need to to paid every month. Thanks.
Bev Ç
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