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Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Old Jan 18th 2014, 11:20 pm
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Default Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

We placed our house up for sale yesterday in readiness for an expected K1 move, hopefully in June.

Depending on sale price, equity should be in the order of £70k-£80k. A week today will be my 50th birthday and I'll be in receipt of one of my pensions, comprising a lump sum of £14k and £70 p.w.

This brought to mind a few questions

I'll need to transfer the house equity & pension lump sum to the USA when we move. I've had a search of the forum and it seems the likes of Halo, Xoom & TorFX are recommended for the purpose. Martin Lewis's UK site, MoneySavingExpert.com appears to recommend CurrenciesDirect, HiFX & MoneyCorp for the same purpose. Am I on the right lines? Before researching, we were thinking we would need to find a US bank account based on its international transfer charges, but I'm guessing that must be more expensive.

There'll also be regular movements back and forth. Therefore I need to maintain a UK current account, I would assume, to receive my weekly pension and also payments from a couple of friends who owe me money. Would you agree? Is it possible to operate a UK current account when not resident in the country? I know I'll need to speak to the bank but thought people might be able to share their own experiences.

What is the procedure for transferring the money? I'm assuming I'd enter the US using my K1 visa then get a US bank account, then effect the transfer from my UK account to my new US account using one of the services mentioned above. Presumably this could be done within a few days of entering the US.
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Old Jan 18th 2014, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Presumably this could be done within a few days of entering the US.


With no proof of your address, no state identification, nor an SSN, don't bank on it. You might be ok, but plenty of banks have policies of not opening accounts without SSNs.

Not to mention how complicated your tax returns are going to be with all this extraneous foreign income.
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Old Jan 18th 2014, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post


With no proof of your address, no state identification, nor an SSN, don't bank on it. You might be ok, but plenty of banks have policies of not opening accounts without SSNs.

Not to mention how complicated your tax returns are going to be with all this extraneous foreign income.
SSNs are not required to open a non interest bearing account. A SSN is only needed when the bank has to report interest income to the IRS.
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Old Jan 18th 2014, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Agreed - but there are many banks that, as a policy, will not open an account without an SSN.

Which is why I said exactly that first time around.
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Old Jan 18th 2014, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Agreed - but there are many banks that, as a policy, will not open an account without an SSN.

Which is why I said exactly that first time around.
I don't think it is bank policy but just that the tellers don't know. I suspect if he can get the attention of the bank manager, they'd open an account.

I've heard of people having a problem with large banks and that is not the policy but lack of teller knowledge.
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 12:14 am
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

We keep a bank account in the UK without being resident there, it doesn't seem to be a problem, HSBC just sent our statements or any correspondence out here. We use a variety of ways to move small amounts of money, direct bank transfer to HSBC over here, sometimes paypal. There are charges with all ways you do it which you have to take into account, but once you are able to set up your US account it shouldn't be a problem. I know there is plenty of advice on this site already about setting up US bank accounts.
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 12:25 am
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I've heard of people having a problem with large banks and that is not the policy but lack of teller knowledge.
It's not lack of teller knowledge, it's lack of being arsed to bother with the extra work. Lot of the software just isn't set up to do it on the teller side, so needs to be manually done or requires manager over ride.

As to the OP's Q on keeping a UK account, generally it's fine if you aren't resident. There's only a few bank accounts where it is a problem.

But realistically, I wouldn't plan to rely on the money coming in from the UK for a couple of weeks. Sure it might be within a few days, but it is unlikely on a new account as they could very well put a hold on the first transfer.
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 2:04 am
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I don't think it is bank policy but just that the tellers don't know. I suspect if he can get the attention of the bank manager, they'd open an account.

I've heard of people having a problem with large banks and that is not the policy but lack of teller knowledge.
You are absolutely correct. Just about any bank will open an account with enough ID. The "standard" ID required, per the PATRIOT Act, is: name, address, date of birth, and a government issued ID number. Note: the fourth item can be satisfied by a SSN, and usually is, but a passport number or even a DL number is equally acceptable under the law.

For a new immigrant "straight off the plane" the biggest stumbling block is likely to be the requirement for a "brick and mortar" mailing address (and proof of it, but a UK address is acceptable, so bring recent utility bills and bank statements, and even if you've already sold it, you can change your address with the bank as soon as you get a US address) , NOT a PO Box. As mentioned above if the teller or sales clerk gives you a problem, ask to speak to the manager, once you mention the proceeds of a house sale, any obstacle to you opening an account is likely to be swept aside!

Last edited by Pulaski; Jan 19th 2014 at 2:07 am.
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 3:03 am
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
For a new immigrant "straight off the plane" the biggest stumbling block is likely to be the requirement for a "brick and mortar" mailing address (and proof of it, but a UK address is acceptable, so bring recent utility bills and bank statements...
Which can take a month to get.

You can just send yourself a card through the post and that'll be accepted as proof of address.

Which as it happens tends to be the easiest/quickes way to get a library card as proof of town residence. That's another form of ID/residence that's often accepted by a bank if the card to yourself isn't accepted by the bank.
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Can I take it that, from the lack of discussion of it, the basic premise of getting a US bank account and using one of the currency companies I mentioned to transfer the money from my UK account to the US one, is a sound one?

My US fiancée hasn't been resident in the US for 18 years but has a SSN. So that would give us the option, if necessary, to open an account solely in her name albeit still requiring proof of address.

We'll be living with her mum for a month or two after we arrive. Are you saying that banks will accept personal mail as proof of address (sent by yourself to yourself - though presumably the bank don't need to know that bit)?
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

I still have a property back in the UK and have to send small amounts of money back on a regular basis to cover mortgage, life insurance, utilities, poll tax etc.

I haven't bothered with any of the on-line transfer companies. I simply leave a bunch of pre-signed checks from our US account with the in-laws, and they pay them into our UK account when needed.

However, if I was looking at transferring a large sum (in either direction), I would use one of the online companies.
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Old Jan 19th 2014, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by technolog View Post
Can I take it that, from the lack of discussion of it, the basic premise of getting a US bank account and using one of the currency companies I mentioned to transfer the money from my UK account to the US one, is a sound one?

Are you saying that banks will accept personal mail as proof of address (sent by yourself to yourself - though presumably the bank don't need to know that bit)?
- Yes sound.

- Yes, mail is Federal.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 2:10 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by technolog View Post
?

My US fiancée hasn't been resident in the US for 18 years but has a SSN. So that would give us the option, if necessary, to open an account solely in her name albeit still requiring proof of address.

)?
Not wanting to sound like your grandmother or anything, but personally I would be wary of opening a sole account in fiancés name and dumping large wedge of cash in it. Marriages break up, and so do engagements. Not saying yours will, obviously, but who knows what is down the line? What if she went under a bus the day after the transfer...who would get the cash then? Sorry for being a gloomy bu99er....got backache this morning

As for the banks and transfer agencies, lots of folkon here use the agencies mentioned. In your research check that they can transfer money to the state you will be living in..... There have been a few threads recently about restrictions in some states. I use first Direct s my UK bank and they are excellent.
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Old Jan 20th 2014, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Hi,
My then girlfriend opened a bank account with Bank of America with me on the account although at the time I was a UK resident. I was just a second name on the account. We explained our situation and there was no problem. That was 4 years ago. Only became a US resident a month ago.
I used TEGFOREX.co.uk. They are based in London. Follow the guide on line. I use them all the time . Once you set up an account with them(that can be done on line). All your money transfers are done easily on line. I use Bank of America over here in the US. TEG charge 12.50 GBP per transaction under 10kGBP over that its free. Bank Of America charge $25.00 straight fee no matter the amount to receive the transaction. Once you deposit your money in to TEG bank account (they use Royal Bank of Scotland) it's in your US account within 3 working days. And they give a far better rate than banks. Todays rate is $1.63 but you get a better rate the more you transfer.

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Old Jan 21st 2014, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Moving money between UK and US and vice versa - lump sum and regular payments

Originally Posted by technolog View Post
We placed our house up for sale yesterday in readiness for an expected K1 move, hopefully in June.

Depending on sale price, equity should be in the order of £70k-£80k. A week today will be my 50th birthday and I'll be in receipt of one of my pensions, comprising a lump sum of £14k and £70 p.w.

This brought to mind a few questions

I'll need to transfer the house equity & pension lump sum to the USA when we move. I've had a search of the forum and it seems the likes of Halo, Xoom & TorFX are recommended for the purpose. Martin Lewis's UK site, MoneySavingExpert.com appears to recommend CurrenciesDirect, HiFX & MoneyCorp for the same purpose. Am I on the right lines? Before researching, we were thinking we would need to find a US bank account based on its international transfer charges, but I'm guessing that must be more expensive.

There'll also be regular movements back and forth. Therefore I need to maintain a UK current account, I would assume, to receive my weekly pension and also payments from a couple of friends who owe me money. Would you agree? Is it possible to operate a UK current account when not resident in the country? I know I'll need to speak to the bank but thought people might be able to share their own experiences.

What is the procedure for transferring the money? I'm assuming I'd enter the US using my K1 visa then get a US bank account, then effect the transfer from my UK account to my new US account using one of the services mentioned above. Presumably this could be done within a few days of entering the US.
Yes you are on the right lines with money transfer services. They will give you a much better exchange rate than the main banks. Note that HiFX does not do transfers to the US any more. Once you have the US bank account you can make the transfers.

I maintained a UK current account with no problems, for exactly the same reasons as you need it. I simply gave them my change of address to the US and that was that!
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