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Best Bank for AML + leading financial institutions

Best Bank for AML + leading financial institutions

Old Jan 31st 2021, 1:20 pm
  #1  
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Default Best Bank for AML + leading financial institutions

Hi all,

Just landed back in the UK after a decade working in the US. I am about to start transferring money across (likely through transferwise). My question is about which bank gives the best customer service. Primarily because I will be moving a reasonable sum of money (~£500k - likely not in one go) so I know there will be considerable AML checks. I have all my documentation in order - W2 + pay-slips all in a digital folder ready to go. I would like to speak to a bank rep where I can give them access to all the documents even before I initiate the transfer so they are aware and can request anything else they need from me. The two banks that have come up are HSBC (given they see many such transfers) and NatWest (seen many people talk highly of their customer service).

Would love any recommendations or suggestions on how I should go about this process (also any feedback on Transferwise is appreciated).

Outside of a regular bank I wanted to throw out my initial thoughts on other accounts I was considering opening. The one piece I will miss about the US is Charles Schwab which was able to hold my checking, savings, IRA, GIA and 401k in one place with a nicely designed app. I like the consolidation but unfortunately doesn't look like theres a similar provider here.
  • Everyday bank - Starling - keeping low amounts of money that I need access to day to day (I like what seems a very sleek experience)
  • Backup savings bank - HSBC/Natwest - really just a holding bank for funds that are transferred from the US
  • S&S ISA + SIPP - Freetrade - I am okay paying the monthly fee. Not very happy with the FX, however I have been impressed by their communication during the GME issues recently. The older brokers I don't believe are a good fit as I will be actively trading stocks (given there are no capital gains taxes to worry about) and trade fee's will be prohibitive.
  • LISA - Nutmeg - honestly there doesn't seem like much choice here but Nutmeg looks straightforward and clean.
  • GIA - Vanguard - The rest of my funds I anticipate placing in index funds so Vanguard seems the logical choice. These will be set it and forget it investments - so the lower fees are helpful.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts


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Old Feb 1st 2021, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Best Bank for AML + leading financial institutions

I can only speak as to my experience with HSBC in moving large sums over (to buy a house) and they were very easy to deal with. The money came from my US Vanguard account and they were quite accepting of pdf copies of the Vanguard transfer of money to my HSBC US account, before transfer to the UK branch. The lawyers dealing with the cash purchase of the house also needed proof of the source of the funds and also accepted pdf copies of our Vanguard statement and transaction transferring the money.

I suggest that you ensure that you are no longer a “US Person” and have no need to file a US tax return before investing in UK Vanguard funds otherwise you may be hit with PFIC taxes. ie officially give up your Green Card

https://www.taxesforexpats.com/expat...n-for-irs.html

Last edited by durham_lad; Feb 1st 2021 at 3:10 pm.
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Old Feb 1st 2021, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Best Bank for AML + leading financial institutions

Thanks for the response. Yes I have abandoned my Green card as of last week.

Was it HSBC US that asked for data or HSBC UK? Anything in addition to the Vanguard transfer of accounts? I had assumed they wanted more granular detail on wages / bonuses etc

As an HSBC account holder do they give you access to a relationship manager to discuss these types of things with?
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Old Feb 1st 2021, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Best Bank for AML + leading financial institutions

Originally Posted by CournalCrunch View Post
Thanks for the response. Yes I have abandoned my Green card as of last week.

Was it HSBC US that asked for data or HSBC UK? Anything in addition to the Vanguard transfer of accounts? I had assumed they wanted more granular detail on wages / bonuses etc

As an HSBC account holder do they give you access to a relationship manager to discuss these types of things with?
It was HSBC UK that asked the money laundering questions. No detail needed or asked for. Even the lawyers when I bought the house for cash didn’t ask for proof of sale of our house in the USA.

£50k in HSBC accounts gets you a relationship manager. We have 1 year left of a £50k HSBC bond paying 2% interest then we’ll have to look around for somewhere else to keep the emergency funds. As USCs we can’t invest in funds in the UK. A nice advantage to the “Premier” account has been free travel insurance, and up until last year we traveled extensively.

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