Banking In The UK: What Expats Need To Know

 In Banking, Relocation Tips, United Kingdom

There are many options available to you when it comes to banking in the UK. Given the UK’s position as a global financial hub and its large expat community, an option exists to meet every need. To begin, consider first your banking needs. Factors that come into play include:

  1. Length of Stay – Many of the major UK banks offer international current accounts that you can open and operate from overseas. Alternatively, you may wish to look at offshore accounts if you expect to be out-of-country frequently as these may provide favourable tax benefits
  2.  Travel Itinerary – A multi-currency account may be the way to go if you expect to be on the move constantly or would like a convenient way to keep track of all the different currencies you hold
  3.  Spending Habits – Unlike Current Accounts, Basic Accounts generally do not offer credit cards and overdraft facilities to account holders. Expatriates often find themselves having to spend unusually large sums during the settling-in phase.

Banking in the UK can be easy. In fact, there is a good chance that your current bank maintains a presence in the UK. This will allow you to set up your UK bank account well in advance of your move. Additionally, smaller banks also often have partnerships with counterparts in the UK that provide such services. However, many charge for such arrangements so be sure to check with your service provider. Alternatively, you may also wish to start a new account entirely and with good reason. The UK has a large expatriate community and many banks offer attractive packages to court such individuals. 

*This list is not placed in any particular ranking order. Feel free to contact us if you wish to partner with us.

HSBC Expat Premier Account

As its name suggests, HSBC’s Expat Premier Account was designed with the globe-trotting professional in mind. For banking in the UK, it can be set up using Sterling, Euro or the US dollar, giving you a central offshore location for your finances even when you are constantly on the move. Benefits include:

  •         Savings accounts with competitive rates in up to 19 major currencies
  •         Access to foreign exchange services, including exclusive rates on HSBC’s Expat FX app
  •         24/7 support through phone access, mobile banking app, website or qualified Wealth Managers
  •         Access to tax resources from EY

 

 

Citigold Expat

Similarly, Citibank provides convenient access and support no matter where you may be and will help you hit the ground running. In particular, Citigold Expat offers personalised support for banking in the UK and has a suite of investment services available to clients. Other benefits include:

  •         Payment and cash withdrawals in up to 10 currencies with your Citigold multi-currency debit card
  •         Multi-currency account held securely in the UK that can also be use to hold up to an additional 20 foreign currencies
  •         Access to fee-free Citi Global Transfers services
  •         Access to Citi’s suite of exclusive FX tools
  •         Personal Relationship Manager for both onshore and offshore investing needs
  •         Access to Citi’s large catalogue of industry partners for exclusive deals for your everyday needs

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Santander International Gold Account

 The Santander International Gold Account is an everyday current account available in Sterling, Euro or US dollar currencies. It is accompanied by a Visa debit card available in all three currencies so your money is always accessible when banking in the UK. Benefits include:

  •         Variable rate current account for your everyday banking needs
  •         24/7 support through phone access, mobile banking app, website
  •         Interest is paid quarterly
  •         No monthly fee
  •         Commission-free Foreign Exchange service

 

 

 

Lloyds International Current Account

 Lloyds International Current Account has a lower deposit requirement, so it may be suitable for individuals who require more flexibility with their cash when banking in the UK. Likewise, an account can be opened in Sterling, Euro or the US Dollar. However, a monthly fee of £7.50 is charged when you have accounts in multiple currencies. Benefits include:

  •         Fee-Free international payments
  •         24/7 support through mobile banking app, website
  •         Visa Debit Card
  •         0% credit interest

 

 

Standard Bank Optimum Account

 Standard Bank Optimum Account is perhaps the most accessible option on this list. Benefits are not as great, but for individuals simply looking for a straightforward banking solution in the UK, this might be the option for you. A transactional account can be opened using Sterling, Euro, the Australian Dollar or the US Dollar. Benefits include:

  •         Flexibility across borders and easy access to FX, savings and lending facilities
  •         Able to receive your salary
  •         24/7 support through mobile banking app, website
  •         Visa card for easy payments and withdrawals worldwide

 

 Indeed, with the UK being a global financial hub, there are many solutions for banking in the UK. Need assistance for banking matters? Get in touch with our Relo Buddies today! 

 

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