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View topic - Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Look here first -> Banking in the UK

For Canadians living / traveling in the UK
black sheepJunior Member
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 10:09 am
Location: UK

Re: Look here first--> Banking in the UK

Post Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:07 pm

I was told by someone that Halifax was quite easy to open an account at, and it was. But when my BF and I wanted to open up a joint account with his bank, that was a nightmare. Dispite the fact that he had banked with Lloyds for at least a decade, we came up with some pretty silly and frustrating problems; the most silly being questions about his personal details - and he's a British national. After a phone call which the bank officer tried to procure yet more information from my BF or else they were going to close the as yet to be opened account:

Bank Officer: "Our policy is to make our customers happy"

My BF: "Do I SOUND like I'm happy??"

Bank Officer: "No, you don't."

We got our account.

Sorry, if this doesn't give anyone any helpful info, but it was sort of funny to look back on this.
WICKEDNew Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:49 pm

Re: Look here first--> Banking in the UK

Post Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:32 pm

i dont recomend halifax. i find them to be very foreigner unfriendly. they let you apply online for a basic account, but you will have to follow up with some very strict proof. most of the proof they require, only locals will have. in addition to passport, they will ask for these things - uk driving licence (obviously none of us will have this as we are new to the country), benefit book (why would a newcomer have this), grant from local authority, hm revenue tax notification, council tax, council housing, utility bills. i don't want to see anyone waste their time with halifax, thinking they have a chance at getting an account. if you apply online, it will take a week for them to reply to you. during that week, you can be doing other things, like trying other banks.
MysticWolfNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:13 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Look here first--> Banking in the UK

Post Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:21 pm

My experience with this was a breeze, I walked into a Lloyds TSB branch, showed them my passport with my WHM visa and they gave me an account. A lot of people have said negative things about Lloyds but I have been using my Lloyds account for nearly a year now and have never had a problem.

With regards to withdrawing money in the UK from your Canadian account, my saving grace was that my Canadian account is with Scotia Bank. If you have a Scotia account then you can withdraw money from any Barclays machine free of charge.

MW/Jeff
CanuckAbroadSite Admin
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 7:00 pm
Location: Victoria

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:11 pm

Hey all - Just wanted to let you all know that we've now got an exclusive deal with Lloyds TSB to setup a bank account in the UK before you even leave Canada!

Get the details in this thread:
heymikeyCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:13 am

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:19 am

Is Lloyds TSB cheaper and better than HSBC and Barclays?
iancantonSenior Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: kent

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:10 am

for over-the-counter banking, hsbc and barclays are good only in england and wales. they have a very limited branch network in scotland (hsbc has 5 branches and barclays over 10). another bank that's worth considering is halifax bank of scotland (hbos), which has branches throughout the uk and assured me that it was willing to consider opening a current (chequing) account for those who had a savings account with another uk bank opened at least 6 months ago.

it's normal for uk current accounts to have no monthly fee if the account is not overdrawn, so £7.50 per month is much higher than average. however, this might be worth it for the convenience, at least till u're eligible for a normal current account. ask around, since banks' policies do differ from each other.

ian. :)
smileyJunior Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:06 am

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:28 pm

I've been to Nat West and Barclays 7 times to try to open a bank account - both kept telling me there were problems with my proof of address (the address was written wrong... a letter was insufficient, I had to have an actual bill... has to have my full name on it as opposed to my first initial and last name... bills printed from my online account weren't allowed... had to be less than 3 months old...), and both kept telling me their hands were tied because it was the law that I had to provide this as well as my ID before they could do anything for me.

FUNNY, because I went into Lloyds TSB today and opened an account with just my passport and visa - no proof of address required.

Nat West and Barclays can SUCK IT!

Canadians - Bank with Lloyds TSB!!!!
Classroom CanadaCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 34
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:29 pm

Hi all,
I wrote a blog post explaining how to transfer $ between your British bank & your Canadian one - http://canadiansintheuk.wordpress.com/2 ... ice-versa/

It's a new blog to help Canadians & Americans understand all they need to move to the UK, so I hope it helps you too.

Please let me know your thoughts & any feedback.
Thanks & happy travels,
Victoria
iancantonSenior Member
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:26 pm
Location: kent

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:43 am

the rates shown using this method look very competitive for smaller amounts, such as $1,000.

there is a reasonable alternative though, using someone's existing bank accounts. some banks in the uk, such as abbey, convert foreign currency received by them at interbank rates to sterling, without taking any loading for themselves. if ur canadian bank happens to charge only a fixed dollar fee (not percentage) for canadian dollar telegraphic transfers to a foreign bank account, then this can result in more money reaching ur uk account compared with any other method, especially for larger amounts. the funds ought to reach ur uk bank account within a week. from a canadian bank account, this works only if u specifically instruct the transfer to the uk to take place in canadian dollars. it will normally be more costly if u ask ur canadian bank to convert to sterling before sending.

ian. :)
nicolebwhalenNew Member
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:43 pm

Re: Look here first -> Banking in the UK

Post Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:16 pm

Since the last post is kind of dated, i thought I'd give some new information.
If you're new to the UK and need to set up an account, the easiest way i've found is through Lloyds TSB. All you need for proof of ID is your passport and a valid visa.
The two recommended accounts are the classic- which is free as long as your account remains in credit, and gives you a visa debit card.
the second option is the silver account. it costs 7.95 GBP per month but gives you travel insurance, AA breakdown coverage, mobile phone insurance AND a money transfer card. this is the silver lining of this account. You can easily transfer money onto the card, which you give to a family member or such back home ( this works well if you have someone who can deposit money for you as its WAY cheaper than money transfers). There is a conversion charge of 3% ( most places charge around 8 from what i've found), a 5 pound transfer fee, and if its a cash withdrawal its only 1.50... which is amazingly cheap. you can top up anywhere from 10 to 750 GBP onto the card..

If you go with the classic account, you can do money transfers through Lloyds as well. it costs 20 GBP for transfers up to 5000 GBP but it only takes a maximum of 3 days.
banks have definitely made it easier to set up accounts in the UK..

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