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Opening US bank account from UK

Opening US bank account from UK

Old Jul 12th 2015, 11:08 am
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Default Opening US bank account from UK

Hi all,
Basically I am a dual UK/U.S. Citizen but have lived in the UK for my whole life. I have a social security number, us passport etc.
I am moving to the US in October. I need to set up a U.S. bank account before I go.
I tried to set up a US bank account over the phone with BOA and Wells Fargo but on both occasions was told I would need to go in to a branch with ID. They would not tell me why they wouldn't let me open the account.
I got kind of worried in case someone had gotten a hold of my SS number and had run up bad credit or something and that was the reason they wouldn't let me open the account.
I tried to look up my credit report using annualcreditreport.com. But again they couldn't verify the info.
As a USC I am required to file my taxes each year and my tax returns are always accepted so obviously my SS number is correct and it matches my name.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how I would check to make sure no one is running up bad credit in my name?
Also any ideas on what to do about the bank account situation? I would prefer to have one set up before I go.
Thanks in advance
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 1:13 pm
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

You won't be able to open any type of US financial account without providing a US residence address
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 1:37 pm
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

My dad said I could use his address. Both banks said that fine but they still wouldn't let me open the account.
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Old Jul 12th 2015, 1:58 pm
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

Originally Posted by into_thewild View Post
My dad said I could use his address. Both banks said that fine but they still wouldn't let me open the account.
Banks typically use databases that show links between your name, your SSN, and your address. If your name is not in the database linked to "your" address, and your SSN doesn't show as linked to your name (or worse has been used by someone else, which is certainly possible), then you won't be accepted if you try to open an account on line or over the phone. From what you have said it sounds like your database file may be entirely empty.

If you were trying to open an account over the phone, you could try on-line, but it is highly likely you will get the same result - need to take ID to a branch.
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 12:02 am
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You won't be able to open any type of US financial account without providing a US residence address
nonsense HSBC do exactly what you say is not possible!
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

Originally Posted by notshipman View Post
nonsense HSBC do exactly what you say is not possible!
Go with HSBC then, they probably aren't as concerned as the US based banks. If you can do your banking on the internet or if you are somewhere like NYC it should work out ok. HSBC has a limited US retail network
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 1:44 am
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

Originally Posted by into_thewild View Post
I am moving to the US in October. I need to set up a U.S. bank account before I go.
I tried to set up a US bank account over the phone with BOA and Wells Fargo but on both occasions was told I would need to go in to a branch with ID.
I would prefer to have one set up before I go.
Try this:

https://www.citibank.co.uk/personal/moving-uk.do

Citibank has branches in these States:

California (383)
Connecticut (17)
District of Columbia (18)
Delaware (1)
Florida (55)
Illinois (72)
Massachusetts (23)
Maryland (13)
New Jersey (23)
Nevada (16)
New York (273)
Pennsylvania (1)
South Dakota (2)
Texas (6)
Virginia (10)

ps: whoops....looks like you might have to be Mr. Moneybag$s to be able to avail yourself of their $ervice$.
but....maybe you are ;-) ?

Last edited by MMcD; Jul 13th 2015 at 1:48 am.
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

Originally Posted by nun View Post
You won't be able to open any type of US financial account without providing a US residence address
Not true. I had a bank account with Chase setup for me before I moved here or had an SSN. My company helped in some way...I'll try and lookup the exact details. I remember it being something to do with getting an ITIN number.
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Old Jul 13th 2015, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Opening US bank account from UK

Originally Posted by pejpm1 View Post
Not true. I had a bank account with Chase setup for me before I moved here or had an SSN. My company helped in some way...I'll try and lookup the exact details. I remember it being something to do with getting an ITIN number.
It is certainly possible with a large corporation that is also a lucrative customer will to vouch for you, which is why we don't get so many questions about bank accounts from people transferred over on secondments and corporate relocations. ..... But that doesn't help people like the OP at all, where aside from HSBC (with heavy fees and a reputation for poor customer service), Nun's advice is, for all practical purposes, correct: you cannot open an account with a US bank remotely from the UK (or any other country).
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