Banking after brexit

Hello everyone.
I’ve lived here for 12 years now. I worked in the UK this summer and had a terrible time getting paid because of the transfer fees on both sides of the border.
All the UK high street and online banks I approached(>10!) said I could not hold a UK account without a UK address and since I’m an itinerant worker I didn’t have proof of a uk address. I even discovered several forums and banking institutions explaining how it is now “impossible or even illegal” to hold an account in the uk without proof of permanent reaidency.

Eventually however, I discovered this is untrue. The Co-op Bank have given me an account -I chose a very basic one- from my French address. Using proof of residency in France and my UK passport. I can now get paid in pounds and spend my pounds in the UK without needing to exchange or lose money on transfer fees.

A word of caution though…even one of the counter clerks in the co-op bank tried to put me off by saying “you cant open an account without proof of British residence” When I said “according to your own website I can, so please can i talk to a manager” I moved along with my application.

I also came across TransferWise who do an online bank with up to 40 choices of currency and they appear to be very good value.

I just wanted to warn you not to heed the naysayers and to encourage people to open accounts asap in case things get worse :blush:

1 Like

Hi Jo - we have lived here for 20 years, our only residence, and have had an active current account with Royal Bank of Scotland all that time. They exchange and move our pensions to our French bank account every month without any fuss or bother.

There is a reasonably up to date list of banks which allow a basic account (i.e no credit facilities) to be opened without a UK address here -

Persistence pays.
Congratulations on standing up to the counter clerk.
Jim always says that they put the least intelligent into the interface!

Good advice Jo, I use TransferWise and find their website ‘user friendly’ and have had no problems.
I moved to France many years ago and at the time had an account with Midland Bank, that was taken over by ? (can’t remember) and their policy changed, they said I couldn’t have an address outside of the UK. I changed to Barclays, they then changed their banking policy. I used RSB, same thing, eventually have ended up with Lloyds ! (Phew) may have missed some along the way :wink:
So as you say don’t give up, there must be many people in the same position, and in the world of finance where big business’ can shuffle money around in the blink of an eye, there are still the little people like us calmy going about our affairs without wanting to cause ripples !

EU banking laws were changed in 2016.
Any EU member can open an account in any EU country, without the need to reside there or have proof of address.
However, most countries are resisting the new regulations.
It’s another EU move that was designed to simplify the ease of EU life, but in reality makes it very difficult for institutions to follow the other regulations for money laundering.
Bit like Schengen, great in theory, nightmare in reality.
Not to worry after 29 March next year the UK can divorce itself from the EU.
or can it? :slight_smile:

Try Revolut, super simple. £5/5€ to set up and you can load up from several accounts and use in over 100 countries. Interbank exchange rate at the point of transaction. Highly recommend!

Failing that, set up a PayPal account? :wink: