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Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Old Dec 2nd 2009, 10:51 am
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Default Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

I know it is really tough these days to open a bank account. But anyway, I need to set up a direct debit to the UK and it must come from a UK bank account (which I don't have).

Any idea if there are any banks in the UK which offer accounts for non-residents? The fly in the ointment might be that I cannot get over to the UK in person to open up such an account - it would have to be done remotely.

I looked into some of the offshore accounts (eg, Gibraltar) but to open up a current account they want a minimum balance of 5000 GBP or 10,000 GBP in some cases. I just need to send a direct debit of about 50 GBP per month to the UK & am trying to find a way to do this.

Thx
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

wish you well mate. but to be honest,i don't think you will be successful. my wife,myself and my two lads had been in spain for eight years when we decided to go back to the uk. my lads,both teenagers,had completed their education in spain.
they got jobs quite easily in the uk,but to open a bank account was a nightmare. they wanted to save and we tried three or so building societies and a couple of banks. each time the story was the same...they had to furnish proof of residence,i.e. bills etc from their address. as i paid all the bills,there was nothing in their name. they were told to come back in three months time and re-apply.
i finally took them to my bank,got an appointment with a manager immediately,told him the problem(i have been a customer of his for over 30 years),and he opened two new accounts for the boys. at each of the companies we had approached,the staff were very sorry to turn us away,but mr. blair had brought these rules in to stop drug and money laundering and as usual with that idiot,it affected the innocent and not the mr.biggs of the cocaine fraternity.
like i said at the beginning,i wish you all the very best in trying but please be prepared for a refusal(with a smile of course).
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by michaleen oge
wish you well mate. but to be honest,i don't think you will be successful. my wife,myself and my two lads had been in spain for eight years when we decided to go back to the uk. my lads,both teenagers,had completed their education in spain.
they got jobs quite easily in the uk,but to open a bank account was a nightmare. they wanted to save and we tried three or so building societies and a couple of banks. each time the story was the same...they had to furnish proof of residence,i.e. bills etc from their address. as i paid all the bills,there was nothing in their name. they were told to come back in three months time and re-apply.
i finally took them to my bank,got an appointment with a manager immediately,told him the problem(i have been a customer of his for over 30 years),and he opened two new accounts for the boys. at each of the companies we had approached,the staff were very sorry to turn us away,but mr. blair had brought these rules in to stop drug and money laundering and as usual with that idiot,it affected the innocent and not the mr.biggs of the cocaine fraternity.
like i said at the beginning,i wish you all the very best in trying but please be prepared for a refusal(with a smile of course).
Actually your answer doesn't surprise me. My investigations so far have come up with nothing.

I'm thinking about "cheating". Perhaps I could get someone in the Uk to open up an account in their name - perhaps one of the online banks, but then use it as my own.
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by Veleta
Actually your answer doesn't surprise me. My investigations so far have come up with nothing.

I'm thinking about "cheating". Perhaps I could get someone in the Uk to open up an account in their name - perhaps one of the online banks, but then use it as my own.
I have recently returned to the UK and had huge problems opening an account. All the banks wanted proof of address etc. The only one that I managed to find helpful was Lloyds TSB, they will open an account using just your passport as proof of ID .
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 1:14 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by valenciatim
I have recently returned to the UK and had huge problems opening an account. All the banks wanted proof of address etc. The only one that I managed to find helpful was Lloyds TSB, they will open an account using just your passport as proof of ID .
I have plenty of proof of address - household bills, deeds, etc, etc. Of course it is a Spanish address, but if these banks offer a non-resident's account then a non-UK address should be ok.....shouldn't it??
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

I have opened a Bank Account at Nationwide when I was Spanish resident (although I was at the UK at the time and did it in person).

I told the guy that I was Spanish resident, but owned a house in the UK. He asked what address was on my driving licence. I told him my UK one and was able to open a current account there and then.
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 3:58 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

I actually wrote to my European Member of Parliament on this subject and got the following reply from his researcher.

UK Banking: identification requirements for opening a personal account

The legislation encompassing the UK banking industry is substantial and has been modified and updated significantly in recent years. Many additional measures and safeguards have been implemented to tighten the system in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA. One of the key pieces of legislation in regard to current personal banking is the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 .

Under the legislation banks have a certain amount of freedom in the manner in which they fulfil the regulations’ stipulations. The Joint Money laundering Steering Group gives firms guidance on what they may accept as proof of identity. Thus in regard to opening a personal bank account the requirements of banks’ vary and therefore it is not possible to be absolutely definite about what documents they will accept. The documents that can be accepted differ from bank to bank. However, it is commonplace for three key pieces of information to be established:
• full name
• residential address
• date of birth

Initial identification is a key element of the anti money laundering regime both in the UK and internationally. Customer identity serves a number of purposes:
• deterring use of the financial system for purposes of financial crime;
• helping firms to counter use of their products by people with false or stolen identities;
• helping firms to counter fraud;
• providing a start-point for wider Know Your Customer information and a basis for ongoing monitoring/awareness; and
• being a source of valuable intelligence to law enforcement in investigating and dealing with crime.

However, it is still possible to open a British bank account without being a resident in the UK. The following products are available (as advertised by the British Bankers’ Association) for people who are non-UK residents:
Barclays:
http://www.barclayswealth.com/international.htm
HSBC:
http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/personal/t...NgPu:12c58nn8e
Lloyds TSB:
http://www.lloydstsb-offshore.com/in...ional/account/
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 4:17 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by Veleta
I looked into some of the offshore accounts (eg, Gibraltar) but to open up a current account they want a minimum balance of 5000 GBP or 10,000 GBP in some cases. I just need to send a direct debit of about 50 GBP per month to the UK & am trying to find a way to do this.

Thx
Veleta are you sure about these figures?

There used to be a requirement of a minimum balance of £500 with Barclays to receive free banking.

Natwest on their website do not mention any minimum balance, take a look at their Step Account

http://www.natwestinternational.com/...p-account.ashx
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 4:29 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by Veleta
I know it is really tough these days to open a bank account. But anyway, I need to set up a direct debit to the UK and it must come from a UK bank account (which I don't have).

Any idea if there are any banks in the UK which offer accounts for non-residents? The fly in the ointment might be that I cannot get over to the UK in person to open up such an account - it would have to be done remotely.

I looked into some of the offshore accounts (eg, Gibraltar) but to open up a current account they want a minimum balance of 5000 GBP or 10,000 GBP in some cases. I just need to send a direct debit of about 50 GBP per month to the UK & am trying to find a way to do this.

Thx
Veleta,
Has your Spanish Bank a branch in the Uk that might help?
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

nationwide was one of the building societies i tried in my vain attempt to open an account for my two lads. was told,quite politely,that proof of residence was needed,utility bills in their names. they wouldn't budge. they said i could apply there and then, and then come back in three months with the boys. this,apparently,would prove to the nationwide that they had been living in the uk(doncaster in fact)for the appropriate three months.
i got the same answer at the barnsley building society(a giant in the trade!!), barclays bank,the midland bank, and lloyds. all told the same story...sorry,would love your business but.....
our little freedoms are slowly being chipped away. my mate,still living in doncaster,tells me the uk resembles poland or czechoslovakia in the 70's. grim and grey and ruled by little men.
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by michaleen oge
nationwide was one of the building societies i tried in my vain attempt to open an account for my two lads. was told,quite politely,that proof of residence was needed,utility bills in their names. they wouldn't budge. they said i could apply there and then, and then come back in three months with the boys. this,apparently,would prove to the nationwide that they had been living in the uk(doncaster in fact)for the appropriate three months.
i got the same answer at the barnsley building society(a giant in the trade!!), barclays bank,the midland bank, and lloyds. all told the same story...sorry,would love your business but.....
our little freedoms are slowly being chipped away. my mate,still living in doncaster,tells me the uk resembles poland or czechoslovakia in the 70's. grim and grey and ruled by little men.
Doncaster might, but otherwise, absolutely not true.
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by Fredbargate
Veleta are you sure about these figures?

There used to be a requirement of a minimum balance of £500 with Barclays to receive free banking.

Natwest on their website do not mention any minimum balance, take a look at their Step Account

http://www.natwestinternational.com/...p-account.ashx
On my last trip to Gibraltar I popped into about 3 of the banks there. The message seemed to be that they were only interested in non-residents if you were an investor, which I am not. I just want to set up a direct debit.


Originally Posted by jimmbo
Veleta,
Has your Spanish Bank a branch in the Uk that might help?
One of my banks is INGDirect. However, I'm told they don't offer non-resident accounts.

My other bank is Banco Sabadell, but I don't think they have branches in the UK, although to be honest I have never checked that option out.
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Old Dec 2nd 2009, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by Chiclanagir

However, it is still possible to open a British bank account without being a resident in the UK. The following products are available (as advertised by the British Bankers’ Association) for people who are non-UK residents:
Barclays:
http://www.barclayswealth.com/international.htm
HSBC:
http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/personal/t...NgPu:12c58nn8e
Lloyds TSB:
http://www.lloydstsb-offshore.com/in...ional/account/
Thanks for this.

I can eliminate the Lloyds Offshore immediately - 75 GBP per year account fees for a current account and mega expensive to run. And people say Spanish banks are expensive??

The other two I haven't looked at yet, although I'm a bit sceptical about the one called BarclaysWealth - again it kind of sounds like they are after big time investors.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by scampicat
Doncaster might, but otherwise, absolutely not true.
hey, feelings. i will set my whippet on you,or my ferret if i can find the tricky little bugger.
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Old Dec 3rd 2009, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Opening a bank account in the UK as a non-resident

Originally Posted by michaleen oge
hey, feelings. i will set my whippet on you,or my ferret if i can find the tricky little bugger.
we av them whippet dogs round ower tun, too, ower kid. An pit bulls an Staffies. They'm bostin!

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