Author Topic: Opening up a UK bank account  (Read 638 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline farmgirl

  • *
  • Posts: 116
  • Joined: Jan 2016
  • Liked: 3
Opening up a UK bank account
« on: April 10, 2017, 05:14:58 AM »
So -- we'll be heading over to Colchester in about four months and have questions about banking.  First off, any advice on which banks to either avoid or use?  Next,
it would make our lives and transition easier, if we could open up a UK bank account while we are still in the US.  Is that possible?  If so, any advice?

The early issues are that we do have a rental place set up.  The owners are Americans who used to live in Colchester.  They still have their bank account set up (Barclays).  While we can make some initial payments to them in USD, at their USA bank accounts, all of their expenses for their home come out of their UK bank account, meaning they have to transfer money over and incur fees.  Trying to figure out options to make this as seamless as possible.

Thanks!


Offline martiabernathey

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 76
  • Joined: Dec 2015
  • Liked: 6
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 11:33:43 AM »
I got a CC and premier checking account immediately when i got here with HSBC.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk


Offline MPI

  • *
  • Posts: 508
  • Joined: Jan 2017
  • Liked: 90
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2017, 01:44:50 PM »
We opened a joint account at Santander and it was pretty easy.  We needed our passports, my BRP, and proof of address for both (my husband added me to the council tax bill as soon as my visa was approved and the letter confirming this was enough).  My husband's salary alone was enough to pass the qualifying check for the account, which is good because I still haven't found work.  They had no problem opening an account with us--the banker did check my visa and he had to put in my SSN but other than that I was treated the same as my UKC husband.  I'd make an appointment at the bank as soon as you know when you'll be there; in our city at least they seem to fill up really quickly during desirable times.
Spouse Visa:
Received by Sheffield 19 Nov 2016
Decision Made 26 Jan 2017
Visa Received 30 Jan 2017
Arrived in UK 15 Feb 2017

Offline larrabee

  • *
  • Posts: 5775
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 2048
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2017, 01:59:56 PM »
And if it does prove problematic initially to get a bank account, I can highly recommend Transferwise for international transfers. Minimal fees, excellent exchange rates and beautifully simple process.
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline farmgirl

  • *
  • Posts: 116
  • Joined: Jan 2016
  • Liked: 3
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2017, 02:23:21 PM »
Thanks for that. So is it possible for us to open up a bank account and then just use our bank credit card to transfer funds into it? Next to any of you have a recommendation about one bank being better over another bank?

Offline Groover

  • *
  • Posts: 540
  • Joined: Jul 2009
  • Location: Northern Engand
  • Liked: 23
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2017, 04:08:30 PM »
the banker did check my visa and he had to put in my SSN

Wait... what? A UK bank asked you for your US SSN? Wow - financial tracking integration between the two countries is more than I realized.

Offline MPI

  • *
  • Posts: 508
  • Joined: Jan 2017
  • Liked: 90
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 09:22:10 PM »
Wait... what? A UK bank asked you for your US SSN? Wow - financial tracking integration between the two countries is more than I realized.

Yep.  The banker said the IRS would want to know.  I also had to put on my tax return whether I had signatory power over a foreign account with over $10k in cash in it.  I'm sure they were SUPER impressed by our little household account that I have access to  ::)
Spouse Visa:
Received by Sheffield 19 Nov 2016
Decision Made 26 Jan 2017
Visa Received 30 Jan 2017
Arrived in UK 15 Feb 2017

Offline Groover

  • *
  • Posts: 540
  • Joined: Jul 2009
  • Location: Northern Engand
  • Liked: 23
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2017, 12:06:28 PM »
I also had to put on my tax return whether I had signatory power over a foreign account with over $10k in cash in it.

That has to be done annually as a separate FBAR declaration anyway.

Offline durhamlad

  • *
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
  • Gender: Male
  • Liked: 50
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2017, 02:06:16 PM »
Wait... what? A UK bank asked you for your US SSN? Wow - financial tracking integration between the two countries is more than I realized.

Yes, that is standard practice these days.  When we returned last year and updated our address on the bank account we had held for over 30 years we were asked to provide our SSN. (Had to complete a W-9)
Adventure before dementia

Offline durhamlad

  • *
  • Posts: 828
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
  • Gender: Male
  • Liked: 50
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2017, 02:11:20 PM »


The early issues are that we do have a rental place set up.  The owners are Americans who used to live in Colchester.  They still have their bank account set up (Barclays).  While we can make some initial payments to them in USD, at their USA bank accounts, all of their expenses for their home come out of their UK bank account, meaning they have to transfer money over and incur fees.  Trying to figure out options to make this as seamless as possible.

Thanks!

You can easily create a TransferWise account (or other forex company) and send them money from your US bank directly to their UK bank account.  We've done this several times when making payments for rentals in the UK over the past few years, and even to send money in Australian dollars to my brother in Queensland.

In January I sat with our son in Texas while he set up a TransferWise account for the first time and then he sent money to my bank account.  It only took 15 to 20 minutes at most to set up the account.
Adventure before dementia

Offline Nan D.

  • *
  • Posts: 713
  • Joined: Sep 2015
  • Liked: 83
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2017, 09:06:24 PM »
Used Transferwise twice this week, went through flawlessly, excellent exchange rate. Piece o' cake.

Hmmm. My bank did not ask me for SSN when I was setting up, but I was using my EU passport to open it, not my USA passport. Wonder if that will be a problem? Don't anticipate ever having 10K in there at any one time, it's just to use to pay the rent and council tax via direct debit.

Offline MPI

  • *
  • Posts: 508
  • Joined: Jan 2017
  • Liked: 90
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2017, 11:50:47 PM »
Used Transferwise twice this week, went through flawlessly, excellent exchange rate. Piece o' cake.

Hmmm. My bank did not ask me for SSN when I was setting up, but I was using my EU passport to open it, not my USA passport. Wonder if that will be a problem? Don't anticipate ever having 10K in there at any one time, it's just to use to pay the rent and council tax via direct debit.

When you file your US taxes in the future it'll ask if you hold any foreign accounts with over $10k and if you don't have that much, just say no.  I haven't filed taxes for a period that I've lived abroad yet but I expect the question is still there.
Spouse Visa:
Received by Sheffield 19 Nov 2016
Decision Made 26 Jan 2017
Visa Received 30 Jan 2017
Arrived in UK 15 Feb 2017

Offline Groover

  • *
  • Posts: 540
  • Joined: Jul 2009
  • Location: Northern Engand
  • Liked: 23
Re: Opening up a UK bank account
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2017, 10:17:23 AM »
When you file your US taxes in the future it'll ask if you hold any foreign accounts with over $10k and if you don't have that much, just say no.

The FBAR declaration is separate from US tax returns. The declaration goes to the US Treasury, not the IRS.

Note that it is $10k total over all accounts at any point during the year. If you have an account that peaked at $5,001 some time during the year and another that was at $5,000 then you have to file an FBAR.