Non-residents who are relocating for a job or foreign study may be eligible for a UK bank account. Do non-residents need a UK bank account if they wish to stay? Can you create an overseas bank account without a UK address? Can foreigners open UK bank accounts? We look at the finest bank accounts for non-UK citizens and foreigners, from expat accounts to app-based internet banking, to address these issues.
Why do non-residents require a UK bank account?
Before going to the UK, learn how to handle your money. If you’re relocating for employment, school, or retirement, there are several dependable banks in the UK. Foreigners may open a bank account in the UK, but they must provide evidence of residence. As an expat, this may be problematic. We cover high street banks, expat accounts, app-based banking, and more.
Do non-UK residents need bank accounts?
You’re not legally required to create a UK bank account, but it may make your life simpler. It’s not compulsory to have a bank account in the UK (and not all inhabitants have one), but few employers pay into overseas accounts or pay in cash. Foreign account fees may be higher at UK stores and ATMs. Paying utility bills and getting a mortgage need a bank account. There are alternatives to creating a typical bank account in the UK, such as:
- Credit unions, NS&I (formerly Post Office Savings accounts)
- Why is it harder for new UK residents to get bank accounts?
- Foreigners coming to the UK sometimes struggle with evidence of address. It’s especially difficult if you’ve moved to the UK but don’t have any expenses or a rental contract.
How do non-UK residents establish a bank account?
You may still handle your money from abroad before opening an overseas bank account. To make your transfer to the UK easier, you should:
- Check with your bank about using debit or credit cards overseas.
- Know the transaction and exchange fees
- If your home bank has a correspondent banking connection with a UK bank, it may be able to assist you to establish a UK account.
Some UK banks allow international accounts for non-residents that may be established from overseas (particularly the EU), so you could open one before moving. Some banks charge monthly fees for these accounts, so check carefully and don’t open one months before relocating if it may incur expenses.
Why should non-residents create a UK bank account?
- Your potential employer will deposit your income in a UK bank account if you intend to work there.
- If you can pay from an overseas bank account, renting will be simpler.
- When you use your debit card or withdraw cash in the UK, you’ll pay conversion costs. Fluctuating currency rates make budgeting difficult.
- Mobile phone contracts, gym memberships, and electricity expenses need a local bank account.
- Lastly, if you forget your PIN number and are locked out of your home bank account, it will be difficult to deal with overseas.