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Opening UK bank account from the US?

Opening UK bank account from the US?

Old Jun 6th 2020, 12:37 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

I'd say 99% of banks require you to be resident in the UK to be able to open a local account (don't ask me who the other 1% are, haha).

Easier is to just open an international account. One alternative to HSBC is Lloyds International in the Isle of Man. You can have GBP and/or USD accounts, and minimums are small. Over 100k, yes, you'll get your own manager, but nothing exciting to offer you these days with interest rates at 0.0...?%. I don't have any fees on mine either.

You can then operate from that account and open further UK based accounts after you become resident.
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Old Jun 6th 2020, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Yes, big problem for many. Our son did it while spending a week with his sister in LA. A friend of mine who was moving back home to France took a few days trip visiting New York from his house in Alabama and went to a branch while there, he said it was a good excuse to visit NYC before going back to France for good. (He was a Green Card holder and gave it up immediately so he only had one US tax return to file after he got back)
It's not particularly relevant, but I also have an HSBC France account which I opened about 5 years ago, primarily to acquire a french debit card, allowing me to shop online in that country when I'm in my other home there.
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Old Jun 6th 2020, 1:09 pm
  #18  
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by MonsterP View Post
I'd say 99% of banks require you to be resident in the UK to be able to open a local account (don't ask me who the other 1% are, haha).

Easier is to just open an international account. One alternative to HSBC is Lloyds International in the Isle of Man. You can have GBP and/or USD accounts, and minimums are small. Over 100k, yes, you'll get your own manager, but nothing exciting to offer you these days with interest rates at 0.0...?%. I don't have any fees on mine either.

You can then operate from that account and open further UK based accounts after you become resident.
We are going to open HSBC accounts next week to exchange while the rate is still good. I've read a lot of posts about Transferwise and their low fees. Will we be able to them in conjunction with HSBS accounts. I feel a bit awkward, "we want to open accounts with you but don't want to exchange money with you!" I guess I'll get over it if I save a lot of money.
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Old Jun 6th 2020, 1:55 pm
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by Brightongirl View Post
We are going to open HSBC accounts next week to exchange while the rate is still good. I've read a lot of posts about Transferwise and their low fees. Will we be able to them in conjunction with HSBS accounts. I feel a bit awkward, "we want to open accounts with you but don't want to exchange money with you!" I guess I'll get over it if I save a lot of money.
I have HSBC accounts in both the USA and UK but always use Transferwise to transfer money apart from one time when I transferred all the house money from US to UK, then I used the HSBC “global account” transfer option.
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Old Jun 7th 2020, 1:33 am
  #20  
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

I'm another supporter of HSBC Premier. I opened an HSBC Premier account in the USA, and then the USA office opened one for me in Hong Kong (where I was moving). After a year or two, I called HSBC USA Premier advisor and asked if they could suss out an account for me with HSBC UK in London. They sorted it out, sent the paperwork to HSBC Hong Kong (where I had to sign in front of the HK relationship manager) and then they sent it to the UK office. All the bits and bobs were sent to my Hong Kong address.

Because the bulk of my transfers are HKD-USD, I've never found the need for Transferwise or xe.com as the rates on HKD-USD were not better than HSBC's internal rates. For USD-GBP though people have reported the rates are better so something to consider.
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Old Jun 7th 2020, 10:10 am
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by penguinsix View Post
I'm another supporter of HSBC Premier. I opened an HSBC Premier account in the USA, and then the USA office opened one for me in Hong Kong (where I was moving). After a year or two, I called HSBC USA Premier advisor and asked if they could suss out an account for me with HSBC UK in London. They sorted it out, sent the paperwork to HSBC Hong Kong (where I had to sign in front of the HK relationship manager) and then they sent it to the UK office. All the bits and bobs were sent to my Hong Kong address.

Because the bulk of my transfers are HKD-USD, I've never found the need for Transferwise or xe.com as the rates on HKD-USD were not better than HSBC's internal rates. For USD-GBP though people have reported the rates are better so something to consider.
Glad to hear that they are working out so well for you. I feel stupid saying this, but it was only last year, while watching a documentary on the story of an HSBC employee in Hong Kong during WWII, that I learned that HSBC stands for Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and branches first opened there in 1865.
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Old Jun 7th 2020, 10:24 am
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

I did it with Lloyds bank online.

They have a nice security feature. You take picture of your passport, then 2 selfies. After that they send you a code and what to write on a piece of paper, take a selfie with that in shot. Bosh was approved and send account details about 2 hours later.
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Old Jun 7th 2020, 10:26 am
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by blokeandbird View Post
I did it with Lloyds bank online.

They have a nice security feature. You take picture of your passport, then 2 selfies. After that they send you a code and what to write on a piece of paper, take a selfie with that in shot. Bosh was approved and send account details about 2 hours later.
Awesome. I like the sound of that.
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Old Nov 10th 2020, 3:36 am
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
I have HSBC accounts in both the USA and UK but always use Transferwise to transfer money apart from one time when I transferred all the house money from US to UK, then I used the HSBC “global account” transfer option.
Hi Durham Lad, just interested as to why you used the HSBC to transfer house sale money to UK ? I might sell my house here and was wondering if it safe/better deal to transfer large amounts through Transferwise?
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Old Nov 10th 2020, 8:44 am
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by countrygirl33 View Post
Hi Durham Lad, just interested as to why you used the HSBC to transfer house sale money to UK ? I might sell my house here and was wondering if it safe/better deal to transfer large amounts through Transferwise?
I was very new to Transferwise at the time (2016). These days I would be very confident in doing so. I also talked to HSBC and for that large a sum of money was able to get their “dealing desk” rate so I was happy that I was getting a good exchange rate.
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Old Nov 11th 2020, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

A good solution is to use one of the online-only banks. Revolut is great - download the Revolut app and open a Revolut account in the US - it includes the ability to have accounts in different currencies (including GBP) and exchange money between them at a good exchange rate, and you get a UK-based sort code and account number. Once you move, you can contact Revolut and have them convert the account into a proper UK one.

If you have a postal address in the UK you can use to register, you can open a Monzo or Starling account too.
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Old Nov 13th 2020, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Originally Posted by Rusty Chainsaw View Post
A good solution is to use one of the online-only banks. Revolut is great - download the Revolut app and open a Revolut account in the US - it includes the ability to have accounts in different currencies (including GBP) and exchange money between them at a good exchange rate, and you get a UK-based sort code and account number. Once you move, you can contact Revolut and have them convert the account into a proper UK one.
Highly recommend Revolut for free weekday currency exchanges from USD to GBP up to $6500 per month. You can pay the $9.99 premium account to do unlimited FOREX, if you need to do more than $6500. Once you've converted you can send the funds to a UK sort code and account number but there is no reason you need to move from Revolut as you get a debit card and your own UK account as mentioned.

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Old Nov 13th 2020, 8:48 pm
  #28  
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

Citibank also has a similar program to HSBC. Just one word of warning, asset protection varies a lot. For example Isle of Man only used to protect up to £15k. I am not sure if the Transferwise borderless account has any protection. Most UK banks can offer overseas "International" sterling accounts that are not protected very well.
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Old Nov 14th 2020, 9:21 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Opening UK bank account from the US?

I was wondering if anyone is in the same boat as me. I opened up my HSBC premiere account in the summer. Almost 3 months ago we had to drive hours to an HSBC branch to open up the UK account and were told it would be about 3 weeks until we received the banking information in the mail. Well, still no confirmation that the account is open. We've emailed a few times and they just respond with a general apology. I guess I'm just venting and wondering if we're just "stuck" in a Covid situation or if anyone else has had better luck opening their UK account recently?
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