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Topic: Wells Fargo Nightmare  (Read 252 times)

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Wells Fargo Nightmare
« on: October 01, 2021, 03:03:47 AM »
I have retained my Wells Fargo account for years and I need to have a US mobile number in order to make wire transfers, and I don't have one. Prior to this I was only using the account to pay existing debt. But I'm in the process of dealing with inheritance, have money coming in and apparently I need to have a US mobile number in order to make a wire transfer, or else I have to go to a branch in person.

When I was in the US last month, I updated to include a US address with them on the record because otherwise they were going to close my account, my mailing address is still in the UK. I need a US bank in order to handle my inheritance for the time being, and I still have some US investments.

But not being able to wire money from my US account to the UK while here in the UK is a huge problem. Over the years Wells Fargo have started to treat me worse and worse because I'm an expat. Are all US banks like this? Are there other banks that are a little less horrible for expats? Mind you I don't have the kind of wealth at this point to bank with HSBC or some of the higher end options that are very expat friendly.

What the hell am I going to do when the time comes for me to collect US based pension and social security???? I'm guessing the US government and your US based broker has provisions to wire it to foreign accounts, because US banks clearly aren't always reliable in wanting to serve us.

Once I have sorted my inheritance and transfer that out, I think I would like to be DONE with Wells Fargo. Do any of you manage without a US bank account at all?
« Last Edit: October 01, 2021, 03:14:34 AM by burgy76 »
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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2021, 04:37:59 AM »
I have retained my Wells Fargo account for years and I need to have a US mobile number in order to make wire transfers, and I don't have one. Prior to this I was only using the account to pay existing debt. But I'm in the process of dealing with inheritance, have money coming in and apparently I need to have a US mobile number in order to make a wire transfer, or else I have to go to a branch in person.

When I was in the US last month, I updated to include a US address with them on the record because otherwise they were going to close my account, my mailing address is still in the UK. I need a US bank in order to handle my inheritance for the time being, and I still have some US investments.

But not being able to wire money from my US account to the UK while here in the UK is a huge problem. Over the years Wells Fargo have started to treat me worse and worse because I'm an expat. Are all US banks like this? Are there other banks that are a little less horrible for expats? Mind you I don't have the kind of wealth at this point to bank with HSBC or some of the higher end options that are very expat friendly.

What the hell am I going to do when the time comes for me to collect US based pension and social security???? I'm guessing the US government and your US based broker has provisions to wire it to foreign accounts, because US banks clearly aren't always reliable in wanting to serve us.

Once I have sorted my inheritance and transfer that out, I think I would like to be DONE with Wells Fargo. Do any of you manage without a US bank account at all?

Look into Wise (formerly Transferwise) for your money transfers to the UK.


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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2021, 06:35:53 AM »
I’ve fairly recently gone through my own set of US banking nightmares.

Then I opened a Wise account. Fantastic!!!

I basically only use it to pay taxes or receive refunds, but it’s super easy and designed for people like us.


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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2021, 10:02:40 AM »
I third the Wise (formerly TransferWise) suggestion.  Many of us (most of us?) here use it for moving our money.

(Disclosure: they recently went public and I am a small, teeny tiny shareholder.  However, I am, and have been for years, a Transferwise/Wise customer first.  They've been good for me.)
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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2021, 10:05:05 AM »
Were you able to set up, get verified and even connect your US bank account to Wise from abroad? Or would I need to do that while in the US?
Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.


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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2021, 10:13:38 AM »
Were you able to set up, get verified and even connect your US bank account to Wise from abroad? Or would I need to do that while in the US?

I did it from the UK.  I came over in 2013, and learned about Wise ("TransferWise" at the time) in 2015-ish.  When you register your account with Wise, I believe it takes a day or two to verify identity and to link bank accounts... it probably involved verification transactions in which they make a small (like $0.12, or £0.08, but a random amount) deposit, then you tell them how much you received.  I don't remember it being very difficult.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2021, 11:21:05 AM »
OK, cool. I think the long and short of it is that I will be receiving a couple of US bank checks that are a lot of money for a small fry like me (over 30K total) , and I'm wondering if the other option would be to cash the checks here in the UK. I bank with Lloyds and I believe they do this. I kept my maiden name so that wouldn't be a problem in theory. Even if I have to wait some time for them to clear, this would be OK, it's just that I've never done that before. Not sure if I want to send checks via bank by mail to their US address for such a large amount, though my brother thinks it's fine and told me not to worry about coming unless I wanted to. 

I was almost tempted to just come home for Christmas and deposit them in person but again there is going to be the issue of moving the money after that.
Anyone's advice would be appreciated.

Also, the fact that some of these companies still use checks and no options for direct deposit just feels so incredibly outdated.
Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark.


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Re: Wells Fargo Nightmare
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2021, 05:24:10 PM »
Look at a previous thread of mine from about a year ago. I had a large check in the WRONG name. I changed my first middle and surnames in 2014, but some stocks were in my old name. Halifax deposited the cheque from the sale for me, but it did take about 10 weeks to clear, in the end. I probably didn’t get the best rate I could have, but they did it for me (they said it helped that I’d opened my account with them before I changed my name). And my parents in the US had had no luck with helping me there (BofA closed my joint account with my dad without any notice like 6 months before!!!).


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
2004-2008: Student Visa
2008-2010: Tier 1 PSW
2010-2011: Tier 4
2011-2014: Tier 2
2013-2016: New Tier 2 (changed jobs)
16/12/15: SET (LR) successful! - It's been a long road...
12/05/16: Citizenship ceremony!


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