Getting a new UK bank account

Hi All our UK bank have just decided they don’t want us as customers any more and will be closing our account in Nov. Oh the joys of Brexit.

We would like to keep a UK sterling account as we have about four direct debits monthly and several annuals. My wife’s pension comes in monthly in pounds.
We have phoned a few UK banks and they will not take Expats although I see HSBC and Lloyds have foreign overseas account but I am a bit wary of them as I suspect the charges will be high. Does anyone have any experience of them?

Finally I see that Revolut, Wise and Bunq have account but claim they are not banks. We want a joint account so that rules out Wise and we want pound and euro accounts so that rules out Bunq.

Looks as though Revolut may be the way to go does anyone have any experience of them and is it easy to set up direct debits etc.



Nationwide Building Society might be an option - they seem to allow overseas addresses for account holders, with the exception of the Netherlands and Italy for some reason:

As they are a mutual society not a bank they probably don’t come under the “passporting” regs that caused such trouble when we left the EU.

I have used Nationwide as my primary “bank” account for many years, though I am currently still in the UK.

But could be worth a try!


I’m sure I tried some years back to open an account with Nationwide and was refused because I lived in France. Needed a UK address, but I think if you sign up while you are still there and then move, they allow you to keep it.

It is always a worry, for me it is just for receiving pension payments, no direct debits, though I do use my Yorkshire (Virgin) account to pay the outstanding on my Lloyd’s credit card. So far that is safe too, even though I haven’t had an account with them for years, and won’t allow me to open one. :roll_eyes:

Revolut is registered as a bank in Lithuania. It belongs to the European Bank Deposit Scheme whereby your money is insured for up to 100,000 Euros.


Nationwide will not allow new accounts for overseas clients.

Can speak from experience

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Which bank has done the dirty Nick? @NickTarn

I’ve got accounts with just about every UK bank in existence, but as a frontalier and paying both UK and France taxes presume it’s no problem for me as can offer a Uk address and credit check history.

That said, I can recommend revolut - not bad for currency conversion too - 1K / month offered at a ‘cost’ of about 0.14%. I get the Uk bank account and a UK euro account - seems free transfers to France bank accounts. Immediate too. Direct debits also.

However, mine is a UK revolut, if you open in France you will presumably get the euro account and maybe a UK sterling account (?). Maybe you can phone to see if you can open a Uk version of the ‘app’. Don’t know about joint account though…

Other joint sterling / euro is Starling, though I think 0.45% conversion charge.

Coop bank? They’re supposed to be ethical… if you go for coop let me know, I have a ‘refer a friend offer’ £125 each!

I saw an article that Revolut were having so.e issues internally the other day?

There are accounts that do not require a credit check and are online only, advertised on the london tube network, might be worth a look at?

I asked our French bank manager (CA Britline) what we could do if our UK bank closed our account (confidently anticipated!). He said there would be no problem opening a sterling account in France, and they could even cash £ cheques (eg HMRC refunds)…We haven’t discussed charges at this stage though banks here are never knowingly undercharging!:slightly_smiling_face:

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OK fair comment! Maybe Nick could use a friend or relative’s UK address to open a NW account initially then swap later?? Has anyone tried that?

Is it legal? You would presumably have to tell them you live there, and provide proof. :thinking:

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I would think that would bring implications with tax laws as well, it smacks of dodgy bank accounting to me.

I phoned Nationwide today and you can keep your account if you have one except if you live in Italy or the Netherlands. But no new accounts for expats.

I have not thought of Monzo I will take a look at that.

We had a One account which was originally an offset mortgage ( (with RBS).

Rgds Nick

I should be able to get the UK version of Revolut with my VPN.

We kept our First Direct account, and advised them of our French address. Had these accounts before we moved though. Same with my HSBC UK account - kept it and advised of new address. Not a problem.
Could be tricky though to open a new account - but charges would not break the ‘bank’ usually they either want a large turn over - a large deposit or a yearly charge for a ‘premier account’

Aside from the fact that Monzo require you to be UK resident (you can use them while travelling etc so they don’t make a fuss if you’re out of the country for years but you must be a UK resident in their T&Cs, as a Mondo Alpha customer (1st 500 customers before they changed their name and you literally had to pick up your debit card in person from their office) I have found them to be nothing but trouble as they’ve grown in many ways sadly and would never recommend them to anyone. Multiple ombudsman complaints later my love affair with Monzo has well and truly soured :sweat_smile::see_no_evil:

I would go with Revolut. Starling if you can ‘borrow’ a UK address to open the account as they’re infinitely better than most of the other options, but if not definitely Revolut. If the FSCS protection is important then this won’t work but another alternative many don’t know if is Monese who aren’t a bank but have both GBP and EUR accounts with local FR IBANs for french residents.

I know, I know… it’s me again… :wink:

just thinking that if (as @George1 says) CA Britline (and perhaps others) can/do offer £££ and €€€ accounts (albeit with charges for exchange no doubt…) why not investigate that…??
Much better than “pretending” to be UK Resident or using UK address of a relative/friend.

Now, I’ve no idea if there is any comeback if someone “fudges” their application… but if there is an alternative, which doesn’t “break the bank” :rofl: :rofl: (couldn’t resist it…) then why not go for it… ???

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Hi @NickTarn
If you are not resident in the UK and want to open a bricks and mortar account with a UK bank then the only one that will is HSBC.
Been there and got the tee shirt after Barclays pulled the plug last year. You can apply on line but be warned it isnt easy as they want you to proof that black is white.
Took me 8 months and finally they tripped up with contradicting info and voila they opened our jount account and gave us £300 as a sorry/ compensation.
I suggest that if possible you open an account face to face wgen in the UK or even make a special trip.
Our daughter lives in Spain and had the same problem and happened to be going to UK . She went in branch and account opened straight away.
If you go the face to face route double and triple check that you have all the original documents they request.
Hope you get it sorted.

Not legal and would be caught by money laundering regulations both in the UK and France

Not sure you need the UK version. I signed up in France and although I haven’t done anything other than transferring money, I have a GBP account I added with a UK account number and sort code. Just looked at the app and it says ‘Use this personal UK currency account to receive your salary, pay bills, and set up Direct Debits’.
Edit: My main Euro account also now has a French IBAN, which used to be a problem but isn’t any ore.

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Same here. The OH worked for First Direct when it was being set up and so we have one of the first accounts created. They seem to be perfectly OK with us being resident in France.

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