UK Bank accounts for ex pats

For discussion, news, comments, questions and information about Crete & Greece.
Kilkis
Posts: 12194
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:28 am

Well if UK banks weren't so restrictive on who they allow to have accounts nobody would need to do it, Margarita. I cannot survive without a UK bank account so if the only way I can have one is to use a UK address then I will use a UK address. I deal with the World as it is not how I would like it to be.

Lots of older people in the UK do not own a house, they live with one of their children. It is pretty common. I don't think it is any business of the bank whether you own the property where you live, whether you rent the property where you live or whether you live with one of your children or with a friend/companion.

Lots of older people use their new found freedom to travel. I am not aware of any law that says that you have to stay in the house all the time or in any way restricts the amount of time you can be away from your address just so the bank can contact you. The bank that I have registered to my son's address has my UK mobile phone number. If they phone me I will answer it. Most young people today only use mobile phones. My son has a landline but the ringer on the phone is permanently switched off. The only people who call it are telemarketing and he has no intention of answering them.

As I explained in the third paragraph of this post I have not told that bank anything that is untrue. I have been somewhat economical with the amount of information I have given them. For example I have not told them how long I spend in Greece and how long I spend at my son's house but they have never asked for that information. They seem quite happy with me being dual tax resident. I have totally legal UK income going into the account and totally legal expenditure going out of the account. It is not used for any international transactions either in or out. I am not doing anything underhand.

Obviously if you don't have anybody in the UK happy to let you use their address then you can't use this method. Similarly anybody who would lose out by doing it for whatever reason would presumably not agree to do it.

Warwick

Kamisiana
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kamisiana » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:39 am


Jeffstclair
Posts: 1422
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: The centre of the universe

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Jeffstclair » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:50 am

When I moved here I kept my old UK bank account and used it to continue paying my national insurance and my pension ....I now have it set up so my pension and my state pension get paid into it and I move bits to my Greek bank when I need to . They won't let me have a bank card or a cheque book ,so I only use internet and telephone banking ....And if I return to the UK for the odd visit I get the third degree when I withdraw a lump of cash to fund my trip ...The bank cashier " say's why do you want all this cash "..I say "to fund my trip in the UK "... cashier says" why don't you pay for things by card ?"...I say "yeah good idea ...give me one "....they say " yes we will, what is your address?"....and then they look blank and say .."oh we can't issue a card to a non UK address ".....it's a very little England view of the world and it is crazy ...imho ...

Kilkis
Posts: 12194
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 21, 2020 11:26 am

The site you linked does provide some useful information, Kamisiana, pretty much along the lines already discussed. Britbound itself, however, would be a pretty expensive solution for expats to use as a long term address. £55 to be a member, £85 per year for mail forwarding plus extra fees for forwarding to a foreign address, amount not specified. It is really intended as a solution for people moving into the UK who need something to use as proof of address to get everything started such as NI number, bank account etc.

My Lloyds account in the UK is one that I had before I moved and I transferred it to my Greek address, Jeff. I have never had a problem getting a Debit card and recently received my renewed one to my Greek address. Not all banks refuse to send a card to a Greek address. I've also managed to keep my UK credit card so far but that might become a problem under the new changes. There was a problem with Santander refusing to send cards to Greece a few years ago that was discussed on the forum. Some people, including me, managed to get it resolved and some didn't. I don't know what the state of play is now because I transferred that account to a UK address. I think I know people who have had an HSBC Debit card and a Barclays Debit card sent to their Greek address. It's a very mixed picture. One friend can use a UK Debit card to make purchases here without problem but cannot withdraw money from an ATM with it. The issuer cannot discover why. Mysterious things banks.

Warwick

Kamisiana
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:06 pm

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kamisiana » Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:42 pm

Purely out of interest as I have only had passbook access to my Greek bank accounts Bank of Cyprus and then Bank of Xania
so have never had any contact or cards and statements from the banks only when I went into the branch,
will Greek banks send statements / cards or make contact or even allow you to have a UK address??

Kilkis
Posts: 12194
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 21, 2020 3:50 pm

My Cooperative Bank of Chania account is a passbook account. They don't send me an account statement but I do have a Debit card and I get a statement by post of everything I have spent on my Debit card each month. My IKA pension is paid into that account so I use the card for all day to day purchases. I also have Internet access but I don't use it because it only operates in Greek. I can find my way around it but I am always worried about misinterpreting a pop-up message and giving the wrong reply with disastrous consequences. I would guess that I could access a statement on that.

I also have an Alpha Bank account, which is a normal current account without a passbook, with both a Debit card and a Credit card. That used to send monthly statements for the account and for both cards but I switched to downloading them online. Alpha have an excellent online banking service in English so I use that for paying all bills.

I am not sure about an English address. I have a feeling that the Cooperative Bank of Chania will send things to a UK address but I'm not certain. I think a friend opened an account with them when he only had an English address and forgot to change it when he moved to Crete. It didn't matter because they rarely sent anything and he still owned the UK property but he hit a snag when his card ran out and they had sent the new one to the UK. I suspect that you would need to go into your local branch here to change the address. I doubt if you can do it by phone or letter. If your account is with the Platanias branch phone the branch,+30-2821083780, and ask for Stelios. He's now the branch manager, speaks good English and is a thoroughly nice bloke.

Warwick

bobscott
Posts: 2795
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby bobscott » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:20 am

According to an account in today's Guardian, the UK has legislated (but it doesn't say HOW) to allow EU banks to continue to provide normal support to their clients who live in the UK, post BREXIT but the EU has not reciprocated. HSBC was listed as one which has got itself sorted so that passporting is not an issue; others are closing account and yet others are still deciding what to do.

Do we know if Greece has a reciprocal arrangement with the UK or not? If not, isn't it time we got one??? Anyone know who to lobby?? Bob
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
Posts: 12194
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kilkis » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:01 am

When it comes to banking I am not sure that it is possible to have reciprocal arrangements with individual countries, Bob. My understanding is that if you are not an EU member each bank has to have a legal entity in each country where it wants to provide services. The reason it is not a problem for HSBC is that they have a legal entity established in virtually every country in the world, including Greece. As far as I know this is part of EU regulations so EU member states have to follow it, they can't go their own way.

People in the UK often talk about doing individual deals with EU countries if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Mostly this is impossible because all those states operate under EU wide rules. I am pretty sure banking is one of those areas. There is no incentive for the EU to give the UK access to the EU service sector, including financial services, because it sells very little to the UK in this sector while the UK sells massively to the EU. The EU is only interested in doing a deal on goods.

Warwick

bobscott
Posts: 2795
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby bobscott » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:30 pm

Mmmmmm. Thanks Warwick. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Kilkis
Posts: 12194
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kilkis » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:44 pm

This is a paragraph from the latest UK Government Living in Europe information web page:

    Banking and financial services

    Most people living in Europe should not see any change to their banking when the transition period ends (31 December 2020). Whether UK banks can service customers living in an EEA country is a matter of local law and regulation. Also banks are set up differently, and may have taken different actions to continue to serve their customers.

    Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Warwick

bobscott
Posts: 2795
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby bobscott » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:10 am

Kilkis wrote:This is a paragraph from the latest UK Government Living in Europe information web page:

    Banking and financial services

    Most people living in Europe should not see any change to their banking when the transition period ends (31 December 2020). Whether UK banks can service customers living in an EEA country is a matter of local law and regulation. Also banks are set up differently, and may have taken different actions to continue to serve their customers.

    Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Warwick


That's fine, but it really tells us nothing! We are still no closer to knowing whether Santander and others will be compelled by 'local law and regulation' (whatever that is!) to close our accounts and contacting the bank is likely to result in an equally bland statement until the decision is taken. Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

bobscott
Posts: 2795
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:36 pm
Location: Kokkino Horio

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby bobscott » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:15 am

Tim wrote:I disagree, bob. Banks don't ring 'addresses', they ring phone numbers. If my bank rings me, they will find me on the end of the phone wherever in the world I happen to be. No deception involved or required.

Tim


On the question of using a relative's address, how does one get around the 'proof of address' conundrum without telling lies? Say I offer to pay my son's water bill. Get the bill changed so that it is sent to me, at his address. Lie number one. I don't actually live there.

The authority issuing the bill wants proof that I live there, in order to effect the change so son comes up with some plausible excuse to prove that I do actually live there. Lie number two. Where does it end? I have a UK mobile but what good is it?

Bob.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Tim
Posts: 619
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:41 pm
Location: Near Sitia
Contact:

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Tim » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:33 am

Sorry, bob. I no longer understand what you're trying to say. It's really simple. My bank requires an address where they can write to me, should they need to. I have supplied them with a suitable address. They have not asked me if I live there, and I have not claimed so to do.

Tim

Kilkis
Posts: 12194
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:55 am

bobscott wrote:...That's fine, but it really tells us nothing! We are still no closer to knowing whether Santander and others will be compelled by 'local law and regulation' (whatever that is!) to close our accounts and contacting the bank is likely to result in an equally bland statement until the decision is taken. Bob.


Banks will not be "compelled by local law and regulation" to close your account. Banks will be told that if they want to offer you banking services they must do X, Y and Z. Banks will then assess the cost of doing X, Y and Z against the commercial benefit of being able to offer you the service. The decision whether to allow you to continue with an account or close it will be based on that cost/benefit analysis. Different banks will reach different conclusions and the conclusions for any particular bank will vary from country to country. In some cases the decision might also depend on your financial situation. It is not uncommon for banks to say that you can only have an account in a particular jurisdiction if you maintain a specified minimum amount of cash in the account or have a specified minimum paid into the account each month or some other condition(s).

Regulations certainly influence the decisions made but at the end of the day they are all commercial decisions. No bank can tell you what will happen until they have made that commercial assessment and the decision could change at any time in the future. Banks open up new areas of business and close down areas of business based on commercial decisions all the time.

For anybody who is prepared to switch to a UK address, if their bank does decide to stop allowing a Greek address, in my experience, if you have had a long term relationship with that bank, you will be able to do so online without any proof of residence at that address. It would be advisable to think about what you could do if proof of residence was asked for just in case.

I'm afraid what you say, Tim, isn't completely accurate. Banks are required by money laundering regulations to obtain proof of your identity which includes both your name and address. This is supposed to be the address where you live so Bob is right that if you don't live there you are lying if you tell them that you do. The question is are you lying for some nefarious purpose that the regulation is designed to stop? If not then I am prepared to lie. I need a UK bank account because I have income in the UK and expenditure in the UK. All the income is totally legal, i.e. pensions and interest on savings. All of it is legally declared for tax, both in Greece and the UK, and all assessed tax is paid on it. All the expenditure is legal and is for items that I am legally allowed to buy. I pay all necessary taxes on those purchases. If a regulation that is designed to prevent fraud and money laundering accidentally prevents me from having a bank account that I need and I am not committing fraud or money laundering then I am prepared to circumvent the regulation. Typically I try to do so in a way that every individual statement I make to the bank is factually true.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: UK Bank accounts for ex pats

Postby BST » Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:26 am

Tim wrote:Sorry, bob. I no longer understand what you're trying to say. It's really simple. My bank requires an address where they can write to me, should they need to. I have supplied them with a suitable address. They have not asked me if I live there, and I have not claimed so to do.

Tim


Most of the info from various sources I've read this morning just say that you need to provide a UK address and that's it. There's nothing about proving you live there or providing evidence. I've not searched rules and regulations banks have to adhere to. I would guess that they don't want to lose customers and by giving a UK address, the banks can tick a box! Obviously if you're living in the EU, they wouldn't expect you to also be living at your UK address.


Return to “General Discussion & News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests