Moving to London, made easy.

Moving to London from overseas?

We'll show you how to get your finances in order with our ultimate guide.

OVERVIEW
Opening a bank account can get tricky here since many banks want to two forms of identification and only allow one of them to be from your home country, such as a passport. The other form typically has to be something showing a UK address, like a bill or (ironically) a bank statement, which many expats don't have in their first few weeks.

However, there are a couple banks in London which don't have that requirement:

  1. Barclays actually lets you apply online to open a bank account, so it's something you can start before you even arrive in the UK. Their process only requires a scanned copy of your passport (or if you were to visit a bank branch if you're already in London, you'd need to bring your passport). There are dozens of branches throughout the city.
  2. Lloyd's is another bank that lets you open an account with just your passport or ID card and they've got 78 bank branches in London.

Of course, once you do have a UK address there are many other banking choices available, including Halifax, Santander, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, and others. The UK also has something called Building Societies. This is a member-owned bank that is similar to the credit unions of the United States. Each member gets voting rights and can attend and speak at meetings. The largest of these is Nationwide, which has branches all over London.

For now, savings deposits of up to £75,000 held in a bank or building society are insured by the European Union. This may change as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU.

There is no fee to withdraw money from any bank's ATM in the UK when using a debit card, regardless of whether it's your bank or not. Credit cards may incur a charge, however, when used for cash withdrawals at an ATM.

Helpful Money Resources
Tips for expats on foreign currency exchange.

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