You need to have access to your money as soon as possible after your relocation to London. While you may be tempted to just use your credit or debit cards from your home country, you will be paying a whopping amount each month in service fees and transaction charges. While your London relocation agents will be able to help find you an apartment that accepts lease agreements from foreigners, it will be much easier if you open a bank account in the UK for the purposes of establishing credit.
The Credit Crunch
The sooner you open a bank account after your relocation to London the sooner you will be able to apply for credit. This can be for a small item, like a mobile phone contract or for furniture and other store cards. Without a bank account in the UK, you will not be able to get any form of credit from stores or banks. This can even lead to delays in services and utilities. Your council taxes will have to come from a UK bank account and paying your bills each month from a local account will be cheaper than if you use an international one.
Opening a bank account in the UK is not complicated, but it can be time consuming. If you are using one of the professional London relocation agents, ask them if they can help you open one before you arrive. If you only open your bank account after your relocation to London you’ll need to set aside the better part of a morning to get it done.
Bankers love paperwork
When you want to open an account in the UK you will have to take a substantial amount of paperwork with you. The first thing you need is proof of identity. Your passport will do fine. The bank may also ask to see the visa section of your passport to determine whether you are eligible to work in the country. You will need to take a letter confirming that you are employed in the city of London and that your employer will be depositing your salary into the account. Take your lease agreement if you have one and proof of your physical address in your country of origin.
Make sure you have a letter from your present bank as well as a credit report; although it won’t help your credit score in the UK it will help to establish your bona fides with your local bank manager after your relocation to London.