Keep UK bank account open!

Old Jul 28th 2008, 2:30 pm
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Default Keep UK bank account open!

A word of warning to any of you thinking of making the Big Leap away from the UK.....keep a UK bank account open. Why, if you're leaving? Because you just never know when the homing instinct will kick in and you get the urge to come back. Okay, so some of you never will return, but for those who do, trying to open a bank account is a nightmare. Fortunately Mr Oldbag and I kept one going....if we hadn't I honestly don't know how we would have transferred our funds back from Canada. All banks and building societies have to comply with such rigorous rules regarding identity, it makes it difficult if you cannot provide proof of who you are and where you live. Proving who you are isn't so bad......a passport will do that, but it's the address thing that can prove awkward. So my advice would be to keep an account open, even if it's only got £5 in it.....it'll save a lot of frustration later IF you come back.

An afterthought.....maybe this should be posted in the other forums for people to see before leaving the UK! Maybe there should be a forum called Before You Leave The UK......how about it?

Last edited by Jay Bird; Jul 28th 2008 at 2:32 pm. Reason: An afterthought.....
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
A word of warning to any of you thinking of making the Big Leap away from the UK.....keep a UK bank account open. Why, if you're leaving? Because you just never know when the homing instinct will kick in and you get the urge to come back. Okay, so some of you never will return, but for those who do, trying to open a bank account is a nightmare. Fortunately Mr Oldbag and I kept one going....if we hadn't I honestly don't know how we would have transferred our funds back from Canada. All banks and building societies have to comply with such rigorous rules regarding identity, it makes it difficult if you cannot provide proof of who you are and where you live. Proving who you are isn't so bad......a passport will do that, but it's the address thing that can prove awkward. So my advice would be to keep an account open, even if it's only got £5 in it.....it'll save a lot of frustration later IF you come back.

An afterthought.....maybe this should be posted in the other forums for people to see before leaving the UK! Maybe there should be a forum called Before You Leave The UK......how about it?
Soudns advice, and something I throw in as often as I can on the Aus forum. Even if not retunring to live a UK account is handy to have for people giving money as gifts to kids, and even people buying stuff on ebay - they can deposit direct to a UK account if they are buying from over there. I have sold numerous books that way, on ebay and on another site
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 2:55 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

This is really good advice. I once made the mistake of closing my UK bank account when I went to study abroad for a year.

In the first place, I could not open a bank account without a utility bill - but I could not rent a place without a direct debit set up to my bank account. Also, while I did manage to find a job, I could not actually get my salary, because I did not have a bank account! Catch 22, really.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 3:17 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

How about a post office account or building society account? Are they as hard to open? I don't want to use my old bank account in the UK, I would rather open a new one because of some things attached to that old account.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
A word of warning to any of you thinking of making the Big Leap away from the UK.....keep a UK bank account open.
This is good advice - if you keep the account, you can always just change the address to your parents, siblings UK address etc... but it's not possible to open a new account after you've left the UK.
However, folks who do not live in the UK can open a sterling account in the Isle of Man or the Channel Isles. They need a certified copy of your passport, proof of address, utility bill etc. Then, if you return to the UK to live, you can transfer the offshore account to a UK bank - once you're established in the UK with a permanent address and utility bills etc.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by Emma M View Post
How about a post office account or building society account? Are they as hard to open? I don't want to use my old bank account in the UK, I would rather open a new one because of some things attached to that old account.
I think you will find the same restrictions apply to all types of bank accounts - including Building Society. If you live in the US, just open one in the Isle of Man.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by oldbag View Post
A word of warning to any of you thinking of making the Big Leap away from the UK.....keep a UK bank account open. Why, if you're leaving? Because you just never know when the homing instinct will kick in and you get the urge to come back. Okay, so some of you never will return, but for those who do, trying to open a bank account is a nightmare. Fortunately Mr Oldbag and I kept one going....if we hadn't I honestly don't know how we would have transferred our funds back from Canada. All banks and building societies have to comply with such rigorous rules regarding identity, it makes it difficult if you cannot provide proof of who you are and where you live. Proving who you are isn't so bad......a passport will do that, but it's the address thing that can prove awkward. So my advice would be to keep an account open, even if it's only got £5 in it.....it'll save a lot of frustration later IF you come back.
Very useful information, oldbag. I will add it to the Wiki article about Banking in Canada.
x
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I think you will find the same restrictions apply to all types of bank accounts - including Building Society. If you live in the US, just open one in the Isle of Man.
Also if you have problems with the old account then the system of credit monitoring will ensure that the problem is fully disseminated.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 4:35 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
This is good advice - if you keep the account, you can always just change the address to your parents, siblings UK address etc... but it's not possible to open a new account after you've left the UK.
However, folks who do not live in the UK can open a sterling account in the Isle of Man or the Channel Isles. They need a certified copy of your passport, proof of address, utility bill etc. Then, if you return to the UK to live, you can transfer the offshore account to a UK bank - once you're established in the UK with a permanent address and utility bills etc.
These days it is difficult to change address - you need the same standard of proof as for opening a new account!! I've just gone through this. Keep the account at your address and just tell them no more post! They can handle that.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 7:04 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Bijilo123 What do you mean tell them no more post. They always send out a monthly statement by post.

We closed our Building Soc. account a number of years ago and wish we never had, so good advice Oldbag. We now have an offshore account in IOM with Lloyds TBS.

So if we want to transfer that to a Lloyds bank in UK do we still have to show utility bills?
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

I always end up scratching my head when I read these threads. I totally agree with OB it is best to keep UK account open.. BUT.. When i came back last year after several years out of the country I walked into Lloyds TSB and opened a fully functioning current account with small overdraft in a matter of 30 mins and all i deposited was a £5 note!!

I think it depends where you go and what mood the staff are in LOL
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

If you leave a UK bank account open does it cause any potential issues with the UK taxman as in essence are you leaving a taxable presence?
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 9:37 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by Robbo25 View Post
If you leave a UK bank account open does it cause any potential issues with the UK taxman as in essence are you leaving a taxable presence?
I think it does get a little messy in the sense that you are earning in the UK. For me I have to do a UK tax return and the cost of the accountant doing the return is more than the money I get back, though to be honest I'm happier just handing it over to him and getting him to do it.

Of course they were getting me to do tax returns before I left and haven't stopped asking me for them.
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

So unless you have a burning need to keep one open, it is best to shut them down?
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Old Jul 28th 2008, 9:44 pm
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Default Re: Keep UK bank account open!

Originally Posted by Fleaflyfloflum View Post
I always end up scratching my head when I read these threads. I totally agree with OB it is best to keep UK account open.. BUT.. When i came back last year after several years out of the country I walked into Lloyds TSB and opened a fully functioning current account with small overdraft in a matter of 30 mins and all i deposited was a £5 note!!

I think it depends where you go and what mood the staff are in LOL
Ah - but were you able to provide proof of where you live? That's the key......being able to tie yourself to an address, metaphorically speaking, as well as proving who you are. You can open an account with as little as £1 as long as you satisfy the list of criteria. This applies to banks and building societies in England.......not sure about Scotland, but I suspect it would be the same.
As to the taxman being interested.....not sure as it's never been an issue with OH and me as we didn't have an income from the UK whilst living in Canada.
Strangely, although similar safeguards are in place in Canada (I used to work for Scotiabank and did all the anti-money laundering courses, so understand the whys and wherefores), we didn't have to provide proof of address.....just proof of the source of funds.
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