Starling Bank

Old Apr 27th 2022, 5:35 pm
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Default Starling Bank

I know there are various mentions of this online bank across BE. Just looking to clarify some things here.

Is it easier for a returning UK citizen to open an account with Starling than with a high street bank? That is, is it easier to meet the various requirements? Will they be ok with using an Air BnB address for example, or do they need proof such as a rental contract or post office delivery of some kind?

Are they a full bank, like a high street bank (their website suggests yes, at least in terms of simple current accounts)? I have a Wise account, and don't need another transfer service. I just need something that I can set up easily and quickly, and preferably can be a joint account with the OH with two debit cards so we can each carry one.

Can I set an account up even though I am physically still in the US (so that it's available when we land)?

Anything else I should be cautious of?

Thanks all.

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Old Apr 27th 2022, 5:53 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

I have 4 Starling accounts (two personal - one of which is joint - and two company ones) and they're absolutely brilliant.

I've been with them for about 3 years now and not yet found anything that I couldn't do with a 'normal' High St bank. Cheques above a certain amount (think it's £500?) have to posted to their Freepost address, but below that you can just take a photo and then it's credited.

Setting up the accounts was really easy as it's all done remotely so I could sit on the sofa in my pjs and do it! Unlike most banks I didn't have to make an appointment to take papers to the branch, just scan and upload them. You could always try it from the US and see if it will let you? I really don't recall if one of the terms of setting an account up was being a UK resident. Their online help is great too, so you could ask maybe?

Edit: other online banks are available too, my brother uses Monzo and swears by it, there are quite a few out there now so worth looking at all of them.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Apr 27th 2022 at 5:58 pm.
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
I have 4 Starling accounts (two personal - one of which is joint - and two company ones) and they're absolutely brilliant.

I've been with them for about 3 years now and not yet found anything that I couldn't do with a 'normal' High St bank. Cheques above a certain amount (think it's £500?) have to posted to their Freepost address, but below that you can just take a photo and then it's credited.

Setting up the accounts was really easy as it's all done remotely so I could sit on the sofa in my pjs and do it! Unlike most banks I didn't have to make an appointment to take papers to the branch, just scan and upload them. You could always try it from the US and see if it will let you? I really don't recall if one of the terms of setting an account up was being a UK resident. Their online help is great too, so you could ask maybe?

Edit: other online banks are available too, my brother uses Monzo and swears by it, there are quite a few out there now so worth looking at all of them.

Thanks, Christmas.

Their site tells me that you do have to be a UK resident (but I'm a month away only from that being the case) but not if you have to be physically in the UK at the time you download the app and go through the process. As you say, I will just have to try. Website doesn't say.

I'm guessing that direct deposits can be higher than 500.

What sort of proof of address did you have to upload? Do you remember?

Would one of those rented UK PO box-type addresses suffice I wonder?

Also, do they do a UK credit check? If so, they will come up a blank for me since I've been in the US for so long.
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Have you considered a Wise debit card since you already have a Wise account. Could be a good backup until you get a bank sorted.

https://www.thecurrencyshop.com.au/reviews/transferwise-debit-card

Pros and cons of the Wise Debit Card

  • No annual fee, hidden transaction fees, exchange rate markups
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Allows you to make payments and withdrawals wherever you are in the world in over 40 currencies
  • Local bank account details in Australia (AUD), the UK (GBP), the USA (USD), Europe (EUR), Romania (RON), Singapore (SGD), Canada (CAD), Hungary (HUF), Turkey (TRY) and New Zealand (NZD)
  • It takes 7-14 business days to receive the card
  • Can't always access local technical support depending on where you are
  • Free cash withdrawals limited to under $350 every 30 days
  • Only currently available in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand

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Old Apr 27th 2022, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by durham_lad View Post
Have you considered a Wise debit card since you already have a Wise account. Could be a good backup until you get a bank sorted.

https://www.thecurrencyshop.com.au/reviews/transferwise-debit-card






Thanks, DL. I do have one of those and it is very useful. I was hoping to set up an actual bank account though. My main problem is the lack of proof of UK address I think. I wonder if those Mail Box rentals are sufficient?
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post

I wonder if those Mail Box rentals are sufficient?
I honestly don’t know. We had to bring in a utility bill to prove UK residential address, but that was with a major High Street bank.
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by Lion in Winter View Post
Thanks, Christmas.

Their site tells me that you do have to be a UK resident (but I'm a month away only from that being the case) but not if you have to be physically in the UK at the time you download the app and go through the process. As you say, I will just have to try. Website doesn't say.

I'm guessing that direct deposits can be higher than 500.

What sort of proof of address did you have to upload? Do you remember?

Would one of those rented UK PO box-type addresses suffice I wonder?

Also, do they do a UK credit check? If so, they will come up a blank for me since I've been in the US for so long.
Direct deposits - bank transfer? If so, then yes, a limit of £10k a day IIRC.

I really don't remember what I had to upload, I remember having to say certain things in a video and uploading it, presumably to check my identity, and I definitely had to upload a couple of documents but I don't recall what they were. This may help? https://help.starlingbank.com/person...with-starling/

Hope you can get an account opened asap.
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Starling bank is a bank founded, registered, and regulated in the UK, licenced by the Prudential Regulation Committee of the Bank of England and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and so is fully covered by deposit insurance - up to £85,000 for a sole account and £170,000 for a joint account. It was founded by the former COO of Allied Irish Banks.

So while Starling Bank might be small and relatively new, it is "just a bank" in every way that is (IMO) important - it's not registered in some offshore tax haven, does not have an iffy head office regulator, nor is it a "start up" founded by college student and run from his parents' basement, it's just another British bank.

Last edited by Pulaski; Apr 27th 2022 at 8:50 pm.
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 9:22 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Starling bank is a bank founded, registered, and regulated in the UK, licenced by the Prudential Regulation Committee of the Bank of England and covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and so is fully covered by deposit insurance - up to £85,000 for a sole account and £170,000 for a joint account. It was founded by the former COO of Allied Irish Banks.

So while Starling Bank might be small and relatively new, it is "just a bank" in every way that is (IMO) important - it's not registered in some offshore tax haven, does not have an iffy head office regulator, nor is it a "start up" founded by college student and run from his parents' basement, it's just another British bank.

All good to know.
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Old Apr 27th 2022, 9:25 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Direct deposits - bank transfer? If so, then yes, a limit of £10k a day IIRC.

I really don't remember what I had to upload, I remember having to say certain things in a video and uploading it, presumably to check my identity, and I definitely had to upload a couple of documents but I don't recall what they were. This may help? https://help.starlingbank.com/person...with-starling/

Hope you can get an account opened asap.
Yes, I think it's the same as bank transfer. It's where your employer deposits your pay directly into your bank account. And also actual bank transfer, from my US bank to the UK bank.

Thanks for that link. I missed it somehow. Looks like I might be out of luck if they do ask me for proof of address, which I imagine they will. I can do the passport, obviously, but I have nothing at all from the second category and will not until I have somewhere rented.
  • A valid passport
  • EU/EEA ID card
  • UK Residence Card
  • UK photo driving licence (full or provisional)
On top of this, we may also require you to provide proof of address. If you are required to provide proof of address, we can accept documents such as:
  • Current UK driving licence with current address (unless already submitted as proof of ID)
  • UK Bank Statement with current address
  • Utility Bill with current address
  • Council Tax letter with current address

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Old Apr 28th 2022, 4:36 am
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Good morning Lion

Do you have a very close family member in the UK who would be willing to put your name on one of their utility bills for a few months?
That's what I was planning on doing as, like you, we'll probably start off in an Airbnb. My Mum's electricity provider will let her add another name to the bill very easily - she doesn't have to remove her own.

If if that's not an option, I think you might have to rely on your Wise account until you secure a long-term rental or buy something. But quite apart from being a way to transfer money between countries, Wise operates just like a bank account, doesn't it? If you open a sterling "wallet" within it, you get a UK sort code and account number. So you can receive sterling payments (salaries, pensions, etc) and make payments yourself.
Would that not do, at a pinch, until you're settled?
The only obvious drawback I can see is that I wouldn't want to deposit very large sums in it, eg proceeds from a house sale.
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Old Apr 28th 2022, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Starling Bank

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Good morning Lion

Do you have a very close family member in the UK who would be willing to put your name on one of their utility bills for a few months?
That's what I was planning on doing as, like you, we'll probably start off in an Airbnb. My Mum's electricity provider will let her add another name to the bill very easily - she doesn't have to remove her own.

If if that's not an option, I think you might have to rely on your Wise account until you secure a long-term rental or buy something. But quite apart from being a way to transfer money between countries, Wise operates just like a bank account, doesn't it? If you open a sterling "wallet" within it, you get a UK sort code and account number. So you can receive sterling payments (salaries, pensions, etc) and make payments yourself.
Would that not do, at a pinch, until you're settled?
The only obvious drawback I can see is that I wouldn't want to deposit very large sums in it, eg proceeds from a house sale.

Yes, I might have to rely on the Wise account as you say. I don't have large sums anywhere, so that won't be an issue, and it probably won't go belly up during the 6 weeks or so we will be there.

My sister is in the UK, but it may be more trouble than it's worth given that I have the Wise account. Here is the full list of docs that Starling will accept as proof of UK address as per their customer service. Nothing that I have though. :

- UK Bank or Building Society Statement (FCA regulated)
Current account statement (dated within the last 3 months)
Annual Statement of Fees (dated within the last 3 months)

We cannot accept documents from Monzo, Loot, Monese, Pocket, Revolut, Tide, TransferWise & other e-money services.

- International Bank Statement (FCA regulated)
Current account statement (dated within the last 3 months)

- Other Financial Statement (FCA regulated)
Credit card statement (dated within the last 3 months)
Mortgage statement (dated within the last 3 months)

- Utility Bill
Gas & Electricity (dated within the last 3 months)
Water (dated within the last 6 months)
Internet/broadband (dated within the last 3 months)

Please note - we cannot accept welcome letters or final bills.

- Government Letter
DWP benefits confirmation letter (for example - Universal Credit or Tax Credit confirmation which must be dated within the last 6 months)
Polling Card (dated within the last 3 months)
HMRC ‘Your Tax Code Notice’ letter (dated within the last 3 months)
National Insurance number confirmation letter (for customers aged 18 or under only)

- Council Tax Bill
For the current tax year

- Tenancy Agreement / Housing Letter
We can only accept tenancy agreements from:
A solicitor,
Housing association,
Local council
Letting agency

Please note - The document must include all signatures from the parties to the agreement, be valid and in date, and contain the full name and address of the landlord.

- UK Driving Licence
Full UK photo driving licence
Provisional UK photo driving licence

Please note - Driving Licences cannot be used for both proof of identification and proof of address.

Please bear in mind that the document must include details of your account with the provider (if applicable) and all four corners of the document must be visible in the image.





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