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Sandra W Jan 26th 2018 10:47 pm

Banking Houston
Can anyone give some advice on setting up checking
Account, credit card etc.
Been to one bank and just walked out, was a
Are any specially set up for Expats coming
In from U.K.
Company pushing to get set up ASAP for Salaries.
Appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

Pulaski Jan 26th 2018 11:03 pm

Re: Banking Houston
I have asked the Mods to move this to the US forum for you.

What you need to be legally allowed to open a bank account in the US is four things. Unfortunately many bank employees, especially at a low level, don't understand the actual requirements.

The four things are as follows:

1. Proof of your name
2. Proof of your date of birth
3. Proof of your address
4. A government issued ID number.

1, 2 and 4 are covered by any current passport, unfortunately not all bank employees understand that. Your address for point 3 doesn't have to be in the US, neither does it have to be a residential address (you can use an office address, so long as you can prove it - see below) and yes, you've guessed it ... not all bank employees understand that.

Pretty much anything works as proof of your address, it doesn't have to be a utility bill - you can even mail yourself a post card, and the fact that the US Postal Service delivered it is considered sufficient proof.

It is customary for banks to expect to use your Social Security Number as the "government issued ID#", but that absolutely isn't necessary. Unfortunately not all bank employees know that when 99% of bank accounts are opened using an SSN. However you won't be able to open an interest-paying account without an SSN, or tax ID# though.

If you get push back from the service assistant you speak to first, ask to speak with a supervisor. If they also resist, tell them (use these exact words) "the USA PATRIOT Act requires that I provide you with four pieces of identifying information [the four above], and I have provided them. Why won't you let me open an account?" .... If you still get pushback go to another bank or branch (experience can differ even between branches of the same bank - you just need to find someone who knows they they are talking about, which can be tricky! :lol:)

Wells Fargo has many branches in Texas, and is often recommended here on BE. Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase also have branches in Texas and are sometimes recommended too, with similar success to Wells Fargo.

petitefrancaise Jan 27th 2018 8:00 pm

Re: Banking Houston
Wells fargo or Bank of America with the documents Pulaski mentions.

However, WF have tightened up on address requirements, it must now be a US address but can be a temporary accommodation provided you have some sort of receipt. You will also need a US cellphone number ( a friend's/colleagues is fine). I take my clients to a trusted WF branch in Austin and we walk out an hour later with a working account, temporary debit cards and temporary checks - good to go. And WF are on every street corner in TX of course

Chase won't/can't open an account for you without social security number, they will "helpfully" tell you that a driver's license or Texas ID is fine but you can't get either without being in Texas for 30 days.

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