Your relocation success is made up of hundreds of small items that should all fit together seamlessly and at the right time. Sound like a tall order? In some ways it is… Instead of feeling overwhelmed and, if you’re anything like me, exhibiting moments of hysteria when contemplating an international move, which I’ve done over a dozen times, you need to take a look at each item on your Relocation Checklist and break it down into easy, doable tasks that can be accomplished quite quickly.
Now this is a blog about finances and how to open a bank account as part of your relocation to London, but where you live plays an important, if not THE most important factor in your relocation success: You want to establish a relationship with a bank branch that is close to your residence so that you are easily able to visit the branch on a Saturday (you probably won’t get time during the working week!) You may also want to consider opening a bank account before you arrive in London to make things easier on yourself if you’re undergoing the property search and lease negotiations yourself.
Not only is London considered one of the most expensive cities in the world, but you might have to open a bank account with a bank in London before you are able to make any major financial commitments in England and London in particular. One of the first things you’ll discover is that London landlords are not too keen on renting to people who only have a foreign bank account. If you are moving to London for work then you can probably get your employer to help you out with getting a bank account organised before you get there.
Opening a bank account in England is not complicated at all, but you may run in to small delays because you are not a citizen of the country. You will have to have some kind of proof that you are who you say you are, and your passport will usually suffice in terms of an identity document. You will also have to prove that you have permission to be in the country for work. If you are working for a large company then they will have organised all of the paperwork before you start, but it is always a good idea that you make sure that you have the correct paperwork before you leave and make several copies that are notarized by a recognized authority.
Along with your proof of identity, you will have to take along a letter stating that you are employed in London, from your new employer as well as a letter or rental agreement that states your physical address. In some cases, they may need the proof of your physical address in your country of origin as well. Do not worry, British banks stop far short of demanding a DNA sample to open a bank account.
You can, of course, keep using your bank account in your home country and it may be wise to do so for the first few weeks until you are settled. It is not, however, financially prudent to keep on using a foreign bank account to transact for any length of time as you will be paying a large sum of money every month in fees and in commissions for exchanging money each time you need to make a withdrawal or pay for something.
The banks in London are usually open every day between 9 am and 5 pm as well as on Saturday mornings. If you are going to open an account be prepared to spend a while getting it all sorted out. It might be best if you make an appointment. If you do not have one then avoid going at lunchtime when it is always busy or at the end of the month.
By no means exhaustive, this list gives you a few banking options when planning for relocation success. I’ve listed banks that cater to International Students (especially post-graduate students) to help you plan ahead: Also, take a look at this article from the London School of Economics (LSE) which has some great tips on how to open a bank account in London.
1. Lloyds Bank – Specific financial products for people relocating to London
2. Barclays Bank – International Banking and Non-residents accounts
3. Citibank UK – Products for international accounts
4. HSBC UK – International Accounts
5. NatWest – Personal Banking
Part of our Services at London Relocation is opening a bank account for you if you require hep with that. In fact, every service that we offer, starting with finding you a London flat or home is organized to guarantee relocation success. We handle every aspect of your relocation and with our new software, and personal search online, you can now choose properties from over 120 of London’s top estate agents while you’re online with our Move Coach.
In 2015, you do not have to ‘go it alone’ when searching for property in London. Oure new software and agent network means we’ve made our services MORE PERSONAL using the latest technology to give you the best education, the finest flats (from ALL agents) and the most relocation success, even before you’ve touched down in the UK.
[su_button background=”#8dc63f” size=”10″]Get Started Today![/su_button]