Opening UK bank account while resident in France

... and leave us alone. I know what you mean, but!

Erm, I opened my HSBC France account in Montpellier 5 years ago, having previously (and still) an HSBC UK account. It was much more of a palaver than one would have hoped, hey ho.

However, from the very beginning I had internet access including globalview which covered UK and France on one single screen, and I could effect instant transfers incl currency conversion at a reasonable rate.

I was hoping UKIP would vote to remove the UK from the world.

I say again, there certainly wasn't this 4 years ago. HSBC UK gave me Internet banking access, HSBC France gave me Internet banking access, HSBC France in Montpellier apparently had no easy way to contact my London branch, there was no overview of my French accounts in the UK, nor vice versa.

I'm not disputing it's changed, but it certainly wasn't "The Global Bank" when I needed it to be in 2010.

They simply do not exist. Various set of guidelines exist, mostly made in Washington (surprise, surprise) but nothing that is a law, convention or treaty therefore has legal enforceability.

"Global banking laws." Enacted by whom, the UN?

I am an executor of a UK deceased person and HSBC UK owe the estate some money. They requested proof of my identity by either visiting a UK branch (expensive for me) or getting a Notaire to prove my ID here (less expensive). HSBC France refused to prove my ID unless I had an account with HSBC France. It doesn't seem to be such an international bank and quite far from seamless. To open executor and trustee accounts in the UK you have to visit a UK branch. HSBC UK won't tell me how much they owe until I proved my ID. I just hope it considerably more than the Notaires fees! Maybe one of the new banks like Metro may be more flexible but all banks are terrified of laundering. Look at BNP this week!

Sorry Greg - you are wrong

HSBC is about the ONLY global banking operation in existence. I have HSBC accounts in the UK, France and Canada, can view them all when I log on on one screen and transfer between any of the accounts immediately at no charge. You can see a demonstration on their Web site if you don't believe me.

"against Global banking laws".....what a load of twoddle. I had no issues in opening a bank account in France and I am neither resident there (yet) nor own property there

Hi Debra

Don't waste your time asking Barclays - just like all the other banks they refuse to open accounts for non residents, even those who hold Barclays accounts in that person's country of residence (e.g. France). This bit of bureaucratic stupidity dates back to the Thatcher era and the FSA (now disgraced and defunct) when those civil servants claimed that this prevented money laundering. It didn't of course - look at the huge fines imposed on banks in recent times - but it is a sngular annoyance for ex-pats many of whom are forced to open stirling accounts because numerous UK financila instititions and pensions funds will only pay into a sterling account held in a UK bank. Try the Channel Islands and Isle of Man, although some of the banks there insist on a large deposit placed with them initially. The Bard knew a thing or two when he penned "the evil that men (in this case Thatcher) do lives after them".

Thank goodness I kept my UK bank account open when I came here just under nine years ago. I also make sure that it is active on a monthly basis and have some of my pensions paid into it and use it for on line purchases like Amazon. Quite a lot of us have now had our Barclaycard accounts closed down because Barclaycard deemed that they were inactive. I wonder what the attitude is of the UK banks is to inactive accounts and will they follow Barclaycard? The bottom line is if moving abroad make sure that you keep your UK bank account open and active as from what I have read on this site it is almost impossible to open a new account. This is one of the main pieces of advice that I would give to anybody contemplating moving abroad.

My pension provider told me earlier this year they were no longer sending out cheques I could pay into Credit Agricole, and that my pension would HAVE to be paid into a UK account. As I had closed all my UK accounts I tried various banks and schemes but was categorically told, it is against Global banking laws to open an account unless you have an address in that country and can produce (for example) a utility bill as proof. I contacted the Pensions Ombudsman and made a complaint against the Pension Provider and after two weeks, hey presto, they agreed (grudgingly) to do bank transfers to my CA account and that now goes through perfectly well.

It is impossible. My daughter spent 6 months in London temping this year and tried to open one so her wages could be paid into it. She had to have a UK utility bill with her name on it and a host of other things.

If you have a UK account already, seems it's no problem. If you're a out of UK resident, forget it. She tried several different banks including the one my wife has an account with. No go.

You could try Barclays in France, they do sterling accounts, might cut down the transfer costs.

There certainly wasn't 4 years ago. They must've changed.

And the transfers between HSBC accounts in the UK and France are instantaneous as well. No waiting.

Erm, there is "global view" where you can see your UK and French accounts on the same page.

You can also do transfers between accounts incl currency exchange (eg Pounds to from €uros) at a rate which is as good as you get from most of the third party companies (except I think this might just have changed, do check)

Just to weigh in here, we started with HSBC when we moved to France because I was a HSBC UK customer (though only tentatively, as I never really had great service from them in the UK - just kept an old current account open). We soon moved, because as soon as we were resident we got a MUCH better deal with the local branch of Credit Agricole and HSBC still have very few branches in France, but just to make the leap the HSBC account was useful. It was reasonably low fuss, but HSBC charged us a fee (couple of hundred quid, if memory serves). So they'll certainly do it from UK to France, but I don't know about the other way.

Worth noting, whatever HSBC might tell you, there's nothing "global" about their banking. Nothing is joined up. There's no connection between your HSBC France accounts and any HSBC UK accounts you might open, no overarching customer services or anything like that. They are effectively completely separate companies. The only plus is you can (certainly) walk into a UK branch of HSBC, fill in a form, pay a fee and someone in an office in the UK will fill in the HSBC France forms for you and get you an account set up. Presumably that cuts both ways...?

How did you get on?

Poor chap that Gulliver - he gets less than Wayne Rooney!

They should change their phone company then, seeing as most of us (tripleplay users anyway) can phone most of the western world's landlines for free