Moving abroad – can I keep my UK bank account?

May 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm

If you are planning on moving abroad you may be asking yourself whether you can keep your UK bank account. Well not only is it possible but it is also highly advisable.

Here are the main reasons why:

  • Banks are not allowed to close down your account without your permission, and don’t forget that above all, they want to keep your money!
  • If you are not planning to stay abroad permanently, it is essential that you keep ties with your bank. When you return to the UK, you may find yourself in a Catch-22 situation: it is very hard to open a UK account without a proof of address – and how can you get a roof over your head without having a bank account?
  • Even if you are planning a permanent move, you might want to come back to the UK for holidays or work, so a UK bank account will always come in handy.
  • It will help make a smooth transition to your new life abroad, before being able to open an account there.
  • You may also have to keep meeting some expenses in the UK (loans, payments, taxes, bills, etc) and collect income (wages, rent, etc). Don’t forget to list the revenue and expenditure that will continue to go through your account. You can set up the necessary automatic withdrawals and transfers before you leave or use online banking.

Once you know your new address abroad, your bank can usually redirect your statements at no extra charge, or you can choose to view them online.

It may be important to consider whether you need to transfer money from the UK on a regular basis. The Times Online lists the services offered by most high street banks such as HSBC, Lloyds and NatWest. The article also warns against excessive bank charges and lists other payment options through specialist brokers.

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