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Expat banking in Saudi

Expat banking in Saudi

Old Dec 6th 2023, 6:57 am
  #1  
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Default Expat banking in Saudi

Hello everyone

Im starting this thread for those, like me, who are trying to navigate the world of opening bank accounts to maximise the benefit of being able to save, invest, transfer money.

Can anyone recommend a good bank and account for those of us who are in the UK moving to Saudi. Im thinking of opening a dollar account with low/no fees that allows me to transfer money back how when exchange rate is good.

any advice gratefully received.

Thanks in advance
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Old Dec 6th 2023, 7:54 pm
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

Originally Posted by NaughtiousMaximus
Hello everyone

Im starting this thread for those, like me, who are trying to navigate the world of opening bank accounts to maximise the benefit of being able to save, invest, transfer money.

Can anyone recommend a good bank and account for those of us who are in the UK moving to Saudi. Im thinking of opening a dollar account with low/no fees that allows me to transfer money back how when exchange rate is good.

any advice gratefully received.

Thanks in advance
Any of the large UK banks who offer a USD account should be fine. Or consider HSBC Expat (offshore account based in Jersey). If you're looking to open a USD account in UK then there won't be any fees/exchange rate to consider since you'll be sending USD to USD (SAR is fixed rate to dollar).

If you have a HSBC and SAB account, you can use their Global Transfer feature for instant transfer of USD with no fees. For currency exchange people use various services including their banks. Typically will get a much better rate by using an exchange services like Wise, CurrencyTransfer, Western Union, MoneyTransfers, Revolut.

Transfer limits on Saudi accounts are quite reasonable at around 50-150k SAR per day depending on your account type, and can request increases.

Hope that helps.
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Old Dec 6th 2023, 8:51 pm
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

Originally Posted by HelpfulExpat
Any of the large UK banks who offer a USD account should be fine. Or consider HSBC Expat (offshore account based in Jersey). If you're looking to open a USD account in UK then there won't be any fees/exchange rate to consider since you'll be sending USD to USD (SAR is fixed rate to dollar).

If you have a HSBC and SAB account, you can use their Global Transfer feature for instant transfer of USD with no fees. For currency exchange people use various services including their banks. Typically will get a much better rate by using an exchange services like Wise, CurrencyTransfer, Western Union, MoneyTransfers, Revolut.

Transfer limits on Saudi accounts are quite reasonable at around 50-150k SAR per day depending on your account type, and can request increases.

Hope that helps.
very helpful, thank you.

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Old Dec 9th 2023, 6:45 am
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

Search for the "Banking In KSA" thread. There's a good explanation from someone who routes his funds from SAB to HSBC USD currency account, then to HSBC Global Money and then out to wherever you want for the FX transaction. The best part is that this routing has zero transaction costs, no interbank fees, etc. Also, transferring SAB to HSBC is instant, no SWIFT nonsense.
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Old Dec 9th 2023, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

How do you transfer SAR to USD within SAB? Do you need to have a separate USD account?
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 9:11 am
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

Originally Posted by ZeroCool_HTP
How do you transfer SAR to USD within SAB? Do you need to have a separate USD account?
You would need a separate USD account in SAB if you wanted to hold USD in SAB. But I presume thaat's not what you want to because sinceSAR is pegged to the USD, you are effectively holding USD already.

As mentioned previously, if you use SAB's Global Transfer option, that's where you'll see the USD option. You type in the amount of SAR to transfer to your HSBC USD Currency Account and you will immediately see the corresponding USD amount. Click send and then it's done. By the time you log into your HSBC account, the funds will already be there!
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

As an expat has anyone got experience of the options available to invest in Saudi stock market or other saudi stock options available to expats? thanks
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Old Dec 10th 2023, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

Originally Posted by NaughtiousMaximus
As an expat has anyone got experience of the options available to invest in Saudi stock market or other saudi stock options available to expats? thanks
The large banks provide investment accounts and seperate trading app/website. This allows you to trade on the Saudi exchange, Tadawul.

it's a pretty simple process to open an account since all linked electronically to your bank account and government profile through Iqama number.
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Old Dec 14th 2023, 5:46 am
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

If leaving a money trail behind is something anyone is concerned about then offshore banking is the way. There are a lot of big players in that space so you just have to find the right bank that serves your needs.
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Old Dec 19th 2023, 12:44 am
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Default Re: Expat banking in Saudi

hey I had a question: if you eventually want to hold gbp, is it best to do the below Sab to HSBC usd route and then let hsbc convert it to gbp vs transferring USD to Revolut and then let them convert it to gbp?
who’s gonna give the better usd to gbp rate, hsbc or revolut?


Originally Posted by HelpfulExpat
Any of the large UK banks who offer a USD account should be fine. Or consider HSBC Expat (offshore account based in Jersey). If you're looking to open a USD account in UK then there won't be any fees/exchange rate to consider since you'll be sending USD to USD (SAR is fixed rate to dollar).

If you have a HSBC and SAB account, you can use their Global Transfer feature for instant transfer of USD with no fees. For currency exchange people use various services including their banks. Typically will get a much better rate by using an exchange services like Wise, CurrencyTransfer, Western Union, MoneyTransfers, Revolut.

Transfer limits on Saudi accounts are quite reasonable at around 50-150k SAR per day depending on your account type, and can request increases.

Hope that helps.
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