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UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Old Feb 2nd 2019, 12:09 am
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Default UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

I wasn't sure which board would be best to post this in, but here seems the most appropriate so here goes.

Does anyone have any suggestions for UK-based bank accounts for expats that are easy to operate remotely? I have maintained my original bank account I've had for many years and it's become increasingly painful to use transferring funds between the US and UK as it's clear they don't like me being a non-resident, even though I have a UK address too. The amount of red tape surrounding making transfers is also a headache.

Ideally I'm looking for some form of international banking from a major bank with support for multi-currency accounts and bankers that understand the needs of global customers.

HSBC seems to offer something like this, but I've heard some very bad reports from HSBC customers.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
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Old Feb 2nd 2019, 2:02 am
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Plenty of off shore banks with fees, but if the issue is mainly transferring between USA and UK, have you tried Transferwise? Loads of threads about them.
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Old Feb 4th 2019, 12:47 pm
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Thumbs up Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by brian_birch View Post
I wasn't sure which board would be best to post this in, but here seems the most appropriate so here goes.

Does anyone have any suggestions for UK-based bank accounts for expats that are easy to operate remotely? I have maintained my original bank account I've had for many years and it's become increasingly painful to use transferring funds between the US and UK as it's clear they don't like me being a non-resident, even though I have a UK address too. The amount of red tape surrounding making transfers is also a headache.

Ideally I'm looking for some form of international banking from a major bank with support for multi-currency accounts and bankers that understand the needs of global customers.

HSBC seems to offer something like this, but I've heard some very bad reports from HSBC customers.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
BristolUK is right that banks have higher fees. You can check TransferWise or other online money transfers. Transferring or sending money can be done remotely.
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Old Feb 21st 2019, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by brian_birch View Post
I wasn't sure which board would be best to post this in, but here seems the most appropriate so here goes.

Does anyone have any suggestions for UK-based bank accounts for expats that are easy to operate remotely? I have maintained my original bank account I've had for many years and it's become increasingly painful to use transferring funds between the US and UK as it's clear they don't like me being a non-resident, even though I have a UK address too. The amount of red tape surrounding making transfers is also a headache.

Ideally I'm looking for some form of international banking from a major bank with support for multi-currency accounts and bankers that understand the needs of global customers.

HSBC seems to offer something like this, but I've heard some very bad reports from HSBC customers.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
I'm in a similar situation to you. I've been non resident for many years and I still have an investment portfolio with Barclays Wealth (since 1988) and a Current Account (since 1965) with Barclays UK, the latter being used to receive 4 small UK pensions. I received a phone call this month from my portfolio manager advising that Barclays will no longer deal with Brazilian residents (not clear if this applies to other countries) and there is a letter in the post giving me 6 months notice to zero my portfolio. She didn't know if this restriction will also apply to my current account.
So I started researching on the Internet and see that for expats there are no new options for current accounts with true UK banks and I will have to move to Barclays International or HSBC International. Both seem to require leaving a significant value with them. If I lose my UK bank account and have to pay the charges for 4 international transfers on a monthly basis this will take a big chunk out of the pension value.
If there is a better option I'd also like to know about it.
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Old Feb 21st 2019, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by miketsp
I will have to move to Barclays International or HSBC International. Both seem to require leaving a significant value with them. If I lose my UK bank account and have to pay the charges for 4 international transfers on a monthly basis this will take a big chunk out of the pension value.
If there is a better option I'd also like to know about it
The link I posted upthread shows minimum balances required. Some are low, some high.

I seem to recall Lloyds-TSB international had a low requirement.
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Old Feb 21st 2019, 11:18 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by miketsp View Post
I'm in a similar situation to you. I've been non resident for many years and I still have an investment portfolio with Barclays Wealth (since 1988) and a Current Account (since 1965) with Barclays UK, the latter being used to receive 4 small UK pensions. I received a phone call this month from my portfolio manager advising that Barclays will no longer deal with Brazilian residents (not clear if this applies to other countries) and there is a letter in the post giving me 6 months notice to zero my portfolio. She didn't know if this restriction will also apply to my current account.
So I started researching on the Internet and see that for expats there are no new options for current accounts with true UK banks and I will have to move to Barclays International or HSBC International. Both seem to require leaving a significant value with them. If I lose my UK bank account and have to pay the charges for 4 international transfers on a monthly basis this will take a big chunk out of the pension value.
If there is a better option I'd also like to know about it.
If your UK bank account is closed there may not be a perfect solution for you - meaning what you would like to do may not be something that is actually possible. So if fees on offshore accounts are a stumbling block, then getting pensions paid directly to you in the US, and accepting that you don't have a GBP account, may be an alternative for you to consider even if that isn't your preferred choice.
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Old Feb 22nd 2019, 2:33 am
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by miketsp View Post
I'm in a similar situation to you. I've been non resident for many years and I still have an investment portfolio with Barclays Wealth (since 1988) and a Current Account (since 1965) with Barclays UK, the latter being used to receive 4 small UK pensions. I received a phone call this month from my portfolio manager advising that Barclays will no longer deal with Brazilian residents (not clear if this applies to other countries) and there is a letter in the post giving me 6 months notice to zero my portfolio. She didn't know if this restriction will also apply to my current account.
So I started researching on the Internet and see that for expats there are no new options for current accounts with true UK banks and I will have to move to Barclays International or HSBC International. Both seem to require leaving a significant value with them. If I lose my UK bank account and have to pay the charges for 4 international transfers on a monthly basis this will take a big chunk out of the pension value.
If there is a better option I'd also like to know about it.
I'm sorry to hear that, it sounds annoyingly frustrating. I would be interested to hear if you find any other good options though as for account options. Have you looked at NatWest's International options at all? I noticed they have something but the website wasn't too informative when I looked. I'm hopeful there are other options.
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by brian_birch View Post
I'm sorry to hear that, it sounds annoyingly frustrating. I would be interested to hear if you find any other good options though as for account options. Have you looked at NatWest's International options at all? I noticed they have something but the website wasn't too informative when I looked. I'm hopeful there are other options.
So we moved Barclays Cambridge to Barclays Jersey 50 years ago,for just depositing or pension,Now Barclays (J) wants 25K minimum otherwise fees up to 40GBP per month. Opening a BAnk acc in UK require Citizenship for 6-9 months.
On line banking like Monzo,Monese also require you to be in UK to open an account,
HBC in Canada can accept transfer but too many Limitation on taking the money out.
Barclay(J) has only sonorous repetition of what they want.
One suggestion was open an account with a relative...after all its UK Pesion not....
Has Anyone any alternative suggestions?
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Transferwise Borderless Account may be worth a look.
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by Kisse13 View Post
So we moved Barclays Cambridge to Barclays Jersey 50 years ago,for just depositing or pension,Now Barclays (J) wants 25K minimum otherwise fees up to 40GBP per month. Opening a BAnk acc in UK require Citizenship for 6-9 months.
On line banking like Monzo,Monese also require you to be in UK to open an account,
HBC in Canada can accept transfer but too many Limitation on taking the money out.
Barclay(J) has only sonorous repetition of what they want.
One suggestion was open an account with a relative...after all its UK Pesion not....
Has Anyone any alternative suggestions?
Where do you live? What are you trying to achieve/ what do you need the account for? .....I could make a number of suggestions but without knowing a little more about your circumstances I am not sure which direction to point you.
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Where do you live? What are you trying to achieve/ what do you need the account for? .....I could make a number of suggestions but without knowing a little more about your circumstances I am not sure which direction to point you.
We live in Canada,we wish Our pension kept in GBP in Uk,for use in GBP in UK...
However the Best suggestion we have had so far is from MidAtlantic for a Borderless account...However it cannot be a joint account ,so we end up with separate account! Still interest in you input!
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by Kisse13 View Post
We live in Canada,we wish Our pension kept in GBP in Uk,for use in GBP in UK...
However the Best suggestion we have had so far is from MidAtlantic for a Borderless account...However it cannot be a joint account ,so we end up with separate account! Still interest in you input!
Have you had an account in the UK at any time in the past decade or so? Some banks will reopen long dormant, or even closed accounts quite readily.

If I was you I would look into the requirements to open an account using a relative's address - what documents would a bank need, and how easy would it be to get them on the assumption that you "have decided to move back to the UK"? ..... There's no law against you changing your mind and returning to Canada a few weeks later.

I am sure that someone will be along to advice me that what I am suggesting is "improper", but remember that the reasons that banks don't like non-resident customers is for legal reasons related to the bank, not the customer. In other words you create extra paperwork for them if they know/ notice that you're non-resident, but so long as you make the required disclosures to your own taxing authorities (in your case in Canada), and pay any taxes due, you have done nothing wrong by opening a foreign bank account, and so long as you don't start funneling £'000's of narco-cash through the account, or wiring money in support of ISIS, the bank is never going to pay any attention to you receiving your pension in to the account and making occasional withdrawals.
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

We had a UK acc But the Bankers insist on our presence.
I am aware of the using the address acc...we do have a house where our relatives now live
but the Bank...well we will see when return for our annual visit.
Meanwhile what your take on Borderless Account..I have been looking at Timeless
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by Kisse13 View Post
.... Meanwhile what your take on Borderless Account.....
Personally I wouldn't recommend it as anything other than a very quick in-out transaction account as Transferwise is not a bank and so if they go t!ts-up, so will your money as they are not covered by deposit protection insurance.
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Old Jan 17th 2020, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: UK Based Banking For Expats / Global Banking

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Personally I wouldn't recommend it as anything other than a very quick in-out transaction account as Transferwise is not a bank and so if they go t!ts-up, so will your money as they are not covered by deposit protection insurance.
It's protected by something else
https://transferwise.com/help/11/get...tection-scheme
We're required by law to protect your money by storing it in a low-risk financial institution (in Europe this is in our UK Barclays bank accounts).

That means that, in the unlikely event that TransferWise became insolvent, your money would be unaffected and should be refunded to you in full.
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