Getting a bank account is one thing that many people have taken very seriously recently, with the multiple sending and receiving of cash. And with this, it is always advisable to get a bank account no matter where you are.
And when in the UK, you should also think of that too. Many people on their first arrival in the UK, they go get UK bank account. There could be several reasons for getting an account immediately after entering the UK grounds. But some people that are not in the UK could be wondering how they could do that.
That is why today, in this article, we will show you the best banks where you can create or open your bank account as a non resident of the UK.
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The Best Banks In the UK For Non-residents
A non resident is anyone that resides in one country and has interests in another country. That is, someone residing in Canada, is a Non-resident of UK. And many people will be wondering how could I open a bank account in the UK while in Canada; How could I open a UK bank account while in the US. And we will show you any of that even in any part of the world including countries like Singapore, Australia, France, Russia, and many others.
What is a Bank and what is it all about?
A bank is a building, or institution that helps individuals store money for future use to send or receive from someone. When we say bank, we say money and this is because banks deal with the transfer and the receive of money from one person or account to another.
And after a bank, is a bank account which involves an individual or company that opens a transaction store with the bank to his name and he or she does his or her transactions using this store called an account.
Why do People Create Bank Accounts?
Most people have different reasons for opening a bank account. Some open just to receive money and then withdraw for use like monthly earners, who receive money from an institution and also after a working period from someone.
Others open their account to send money to another person; example from someone that is abroad and has an investment point in his or her hometown and creates an account to send money back to his hometown for future use or for a project.
Some also open their account for storing money and they do that because they see a safe place and want to keep it there for future use only. Nevertheless, some people open a bank account for all of the options above that is, to send, store, and receive money.
Why a Bank Account in the UK?
There are different reasons why one should be creating an account as a non resident. Being a non resident simply means that you are not yet in the UK, Or that you are already in the UK and you just arrived the UK and your SSN has not yet been approved by UK.
Can a foreigner or Non-resident open a bank account in the UK?
Foreigners can open a traditional bank account in the UK as long as they have proof of the address, which sometimes it's hard to get. Good news is that there are companies like HSBC or RBS which offer UK bank account even without the proof of the address.
What to put in mind when choosing a UK bank account as a non-resident?
You have always wanted to have a UK bank account and you do not reside in the UK, which bank will you go for? Depending on your personal circumstances and what you expect from the bank what will you be searching for? There are various factors you might want to take into consideration, such as:
Ease of use – is it possible to access your account and manage your financial affairs quickly and easily, for example through the bank’s website or mobile app?
Flexibility – as an expat, if you’re looking for ease of access and 24/7 banking, digital and mobile accounts are well worth considering.
Fees – are there monthly account fees? Will the bank charge you for using its ATM machines?
International scope – if you want an account that will be well-linked to accounts and services overseas, you’ll need to check international and multi-currency account options as well as services such as international money transfers.
Customer service – is it easy to contact the bank’s customer support team, and do they have staff who can speak your native language?
Range of products and services – this can range from account-related services such as credit and borrowing options to other financial services including UK mortgages, insurance in the UK, and investments.
Incentives – many banks will try to attract customers by offering incentives such as cash deposits or interest-free periods, so shop around to see what’s available
CHECK ALSO: How to Open SEPA Bank Account
Which documents will you need to open a UK bank account as a non-resident?
To open a UK bank account, you generally need the following two things:
- Proof of your identity: it can be a passport, driving license, or national identity card. In general, if you are a foreigner, you most likely will use your passport.
If you are an international student, you will need to show a valid study visa, a Student ID or a letter of acceptance from your university, and sometimes a bank statement from your home bank.
HSBC Holdings: This is generally a recent utility bill, rental contract, council tax bill. Mobile phone bills are generally not accepted.
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Before we get started properly, we will first of all give a list of the best banks in the UK before talking about the best banks for non-residents.
Best Banks in the UK
There are several banks in the UK, but according to the qualities we wrote above, the following have been shortlisted as the top 10 best banks in the UK. These banks are namely;
- HSBC Holdings
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group
- Standard Chartered
- Santander UK
- Nationwide Building Society
- Close Brothers
- Coventry Building Society
Best Banks In the UK for Non-residents
And now, going to the best banks for non residents, we will have the following banks below;
Note that we are not doing any advertisements on this site and we won't want any problems in the future that we advertised someone's business.
#1 - Barclays:
Barclays is a British multinational universal bank, headquartered in London, England. Barclays operates as two divisions, Barclays UK and Barclays International, supported by a service company, Barclays Execution Services.
Barclays has over 4,750 branches in about 55 countries and of which about 1,600 are in the United Kingdom. In the UK, Barclays also offers some personal banking services through branches of the Post Office. Most Barclays branches have 24/7 ATMs. Barclays customers and the customers of many other banks can use Barclays ATMs for free in the UK, although in some other countries fees are charged.
Barclays International is one of the leading and easiest banks one can open an account with. They offer you the opportunity to open a bank account in three major currencies (Euro, Sterling and US Dollars) in case you are opening a current account. In the case of a saving account, you have the option to open the account in multi-currency.
Barclays International is mostly suitable for companies with no UK resident stakeholders or directors or signatories. You have to submit an initial deposit of £10,000 and might need to visit your bank in UK with your reference number, ID proof and address proof to activate your account.
Pros of Barclays Bank
- No monthly fee
- No minimum balance requirement
- Consistently competitive rates
- Ability to set savings goals
Cons of Barclays Bank
- No mobile apps
- Excess transaction fee applies after the first 6/month
#2 - HSBC
HSBC Holdings plc is a British multinational investment bank and financial services holding company. HSBC has offices in 64 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America, serving around 40 million customers. As of 2020, it was the world's sixth largest bank by total assets and market capitalization.
HSBC has more than 1100 branches across England and Wales, and operates for more than 64 countries across the globe, and you can set your account in the UK even before you set your foot there. In case you want a business bank account with HSBC, you can choose from their range of business bank accounts which are free for the first 18 months of your account opening date.
Pros of HSBC Holdings
- No monthly fees on Direct checking or savings accounts
- Competitive rate on the Direct savings option
- Low opening deposit requirements
- No ATM fees charged by HSBC Direct
Cons of HSBC Holdings
- Less competitive rates on most CDs
- Customer complaints about mobile apps
- Relatively small number of HSBC ATMs
- Hard to find basic information on one of its two websites
#3 - NatWest Group
NatWest Group is a majority state-owned British banking and insurance holding company, based in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group operates a wide variety of banking brands offering personal and business banking, private banking, insurance and corporate finance. The bank has been part of the Royal Bank of Scotland group since 2000 that is, the Royal Bank of Scotland(RBS) is like a branch under the NatWest Group.
NatWest in addition also offers business bank accounts and loans for small, medium and large businesses, but if you’re just looking for a simple, straightforward, everyday checking account, NatWest might be your place. And you will notice that NatWest is ready to welcome all sorts of individuals whether large or small.
Pros of NatWest Group
- Most ATM cash withdrawals are totally free
- Online and mobile banking allows you to carry out most of your banking from your computer or phone
- There are no fees charged on many bank accounts, so long as you do not go overdrawn
- Peace of mind as you are banking with one of the largest banking groups in the world
Cons of NatWest Group
- High bank charges
- There can be long queues in many banks, particularly at peak times
- Difficult to speak to your local branch as all telephone numbers take you through to a central number.
The Royal Bank of Scotland was established in 1724 and then finally completed in 1727 in Edinburgh, in Scotland. The Royal Bank of Scotland has around 700 branches, mainly in Scotland, though there are branches in many larger towns and cities throughout England and Wales.
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Pros of RBS
- Customers can choose between Standard and Urgent money transfers based on how quickly they want their payments delivered.
- RBS is a subsidiary of the NatWest Group – with a total asset base of more than £723 billion.
- Available accounts include Select, Revolve, Student, Graduate, Foundation, Reward, among others.
Cons of RBS
- Having to pay fees of up to £30 per transfer can prove costly when compared with money transfer companies most of which charge only a fraction of that.
- When making large transfers, RBS’s margins of 4.5% and above can make your transfer expensive.
- In a 2019 most users insisted that the bank’s customer service is unsatisfactory
How to open a UK bank account without proof of address?
This is the place where most of those that look for a way to get or open a UK bank account as non-residents usually hit the wall and stop. This is because for most of those that just arrive the UK, do not yet have a verified address and cannot prove their address to their banks before creating the account.
Nevertheless, with the flexibility and the competition with all these banks, they have come up with some options that could be very easy to meet up with and you can easily bypass that step. Some of them are;
- If you are visiting the UK to study, many banks will accept a letter from your university’s admissions office confirming your address.
- Many banks will also accept a letter confirming your national insurance number, or even a letter from your employer if less than three months old.
- Before leaving for the UK, go to your bank and ask to change your mailing address to your UK address, but you can also do this through internet banking.
- If you are to change your address, ask the bank to mail the bank statement to your new address and you will have a document confirming your UK address.
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Conclusions on the best banks in the UK for non residents
Many people find it difficult to get access to a bank account in the UK as non-residents, but it has to be kept behind now as to the fact that there are easier means of proving your identity(driving license, ID card, and or Passport card for those who are new in the UK), and to prove your address(Letter of admission for students, national insurance number for new comers) and many others.
But these are the main places where people hook up but with your presence at the bank, you can also identify yourself rather than using a card or passport.
And so, if you are looking forward to going to the UK, these are some options you can look at and make further studies on them and advance.
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- Get an instant virtual bank account in the United States and also for non residents
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