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Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Old Oct 19th 2020, 9:06 pm
  #1  
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Default Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Hi,

My wife tried to open an account with Santander who said because she's been living in the UK less than 12 months, she's only eligible for a certain account which requires her proving her UK residence, nationality, proof of address and proof of employment.

She is employed by an online Chinese company teaching English so she's not eligible as it's not a UK-registered company (confirmed by Santander).

How else can my wife open an account here? Even just to pay bills and use contactless payments? Accounts we've looked at seem to require proof of employment and/or residence - of which she doesn't have. We've registered with a GP and are in the process of applying for her National Insurance number.

Any experience shared from those who have managed to open UK bank accounts after moving to the UK would be appreciated.

Thank you!!
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 1:25 pm
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Default Re: Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Originally Posted by 95ElTee95 View Post
Hi,

My wife tried to open an account with Santander who said because she's been living in the UK less than 12 months, she's only eligible for a certain account which requires her proving her UK residence, nationality, proof of address and proof of employment.

She is employed by an online Chinese company teaching English so she's not eligible as it's not a UK-registered company (confirmed by Santander).

How else can my wife open an account here? Even just to pay bills and use contactless payments? Accounts we've looked at seem to require proof of employment and/or residence - of which she doesn't have. We've registered with a GP and are in the process of applying for her National Insurance number.

Any experience shared from those who have managed to open UK bank accounts after moving to the UK would be appreciated.

Thank you!!
Why can’t she provide proof of residence? You can’t expect a bank to open an account if you don’t have proof of residence to show them.

When I returned to the UK in 2015, I waited a year, and then opened a current account with M&S Bank. I provided proof of residence (correspondence about Council Tax,) and proof of identity (British and US passports.) Up till that point, I used my Isle of Man based account with Lloyds Bank. (I would have opened a UK account with Lloyds, but they turned me down, despite having had the IoM account for many years.)
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 1:50 pm
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Default Re: Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Originally Posted by 95ElTee95 View Post
Hi,

My wife tried to open an account with Santander who said because she's been living in the UK less than 12 months, she's only eligible for a certain account which requires her proving her UK residence, nationality, proof of address and proof of employment.

She is employed by an online Chinese company teaching English so she's not eligible as it's not a UK-registered company (confirmed by Santander).

How else can my wife open an account here? Even just to pay bills and use contactless payments? Accounts we've looked at seem to require proof of employment and/or residence - of which she doesn't have. We've registered with a GP and are in the process of applying for her National Insurance number.

Any experience shared from those who have managed to open UK bank accounts after moving to the UK would be appreciated.

Thank you!!
You've probably already thought of this, but as (I assume) you as the UK citizen have a bank account, your wife could be added to that. Even if it's just as an additional cardholder for now rather than it being a full joint account, at least it would enable her to use contactless payments, pay bills etc.

Different UK banks must have different rules. When I arrived in 2015 with my brand new spouse visa/BRP in hand, his bank (Halifax) added me to his account as a joint account holder.

By the way, congratulations on your wife's visa! I missed your news in the immi forum when you spoke about it last month.
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

When our son moved back the bank accepted a signed letter from us stating that he was living with us while he looked to buy his own place.

You can also get your wife’s name added to your Council tax or Utility bills.
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 10:11 pm
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Default Re: Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

These people are OK. Formerly "The Islamic Bank of Britain". No need to be one of the faithful !

https://www.alrayanbank.co.uk
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Old Oct 20th 2020, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
Why can’t she provide proof of residence? You can’t expect a bank to open an account if you don’t have proof of residence to show them.

When I returned to the UK in 2015, I waited a year, and then opened a current account with M&S Bank. I provided proof of residence (correspondence about Council Tax,) and proof of identity (British and US passports.) Up till that point, I used my Isle of Man based account with Lloyds Bank. (I would have opened a UK account with Lloyds, but they turned me down, despite having had the IoM account for many years.)
Oh sorry, I just meant she wasn't able to provide proof of working as she's working for a Chinese company - I just worded it very poorly. She has some documentation in her name that they can accept as proof of residence, but nothing to satisfy their requirement that she needs to be working for a UK company.

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
You've probably already thought of this, but as (I assume) you as the UK citizen have a bank account, your wife could be added to that. Even if it's just as an additional cardholder for now rather than it being a full joint account, at least it would enable her to use contactless payments, pay bills etc.

Different UK banks must have different rules. When I arrived in 2015 with my brand new spouse visa/BRP in hand, his bank (Halifax) added me to his account as a joint account holder.

By the way, congratulations on your wife's visa! I missed your news in the immi forum when you spoke about it last month.
I actually hadn't thought of that! I will give it a go as it seems the best way to proceed while she works on getting employment with a UK-based company.

And thanks! She arrived just over a month ago!!
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Old Oct 21st 2020, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Bank account for US citizen living in UK? (Santander)

Originally Posted by 95ElTee95 View Post


I actually hadn't thought of that! I will give it a go as it seems the best way to proceed while she works on getting employment with a UK-based company.

And thanks! She arrived just over a month ago!!
It's such a relief when that visa's granted
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