Banking in the UK and Europe – Expat Banking

Lloyds TSB has setup a way for people to setup a bank account from abroad.

The Lloyds TSB International representatives are willing and available to answer any questions regarding the account and criteria. Please contact either Doug Wilkinson, Paul Viveiros or Mike Ammendolia at:

Lloyds TSB International – a division of the Lloyds Banking Group
North American Representative Office
865 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2690
Los Angeles, California
USA 90017

Telephone: (+1) 213 443 4097

Click here to email Lloyds and request more info

Setting up a bank account in a new country

The best option is to check if your current bank in Canada has an agreement with a British bank. If they do, your Canadian bank can write you a letter of introduction, which will make it much easier to open an account.

Alternatively, it may be worth opening an account with a bank that has branches in both countries before you arrive in Britain. The HSBC is a very popular bank in the UK and also has branches in over 60 Canadian cities, so it is a convenient choice. Your local HSBC branch should be able to help you make arrangements for your new UK account. You may even be able to set it up before you leave for Britain.

If you are planning to transfer money between Canada and the UK on a fairly regular basis, it will likely be more convenient and perhaps even cheaper if you can keep everything within the same institution. Wire transfers can get very expensive.

Secure employment BEFORE you arrive in the UK . Whichever bank you choose will be much happier if you are able to supply a letter of employment along with your passport and a copy of your rental agreement when you turn up to open an account.

When researching the different banks, it is important to investigate the overdraft and credit card policy for each company. Many banks do not allow international customers to access these facilities. Others require a hefty account balance, up to £10,000 in some cases, before you are eligible to use these features.

More About Overseas Banking

Whatever bank you decide to go with, it is vitally important that you plan on things taking twice as long as you expect. Even relatively simple things like getting a money order take at least one business day. Cheques take at least five business days to clear, so you do not have instant access to the funds like you are used to in Canada. The upside is that you don’t have to pay a fee to use a bank machine. Even machines from other banks are free.

Overseas Banking with ATMs

It is very easy to access your Canadian accounts from British ATM’s so it is wise to count on surviving on dollars for at least three weeks after you arrive as it may take that long to get everything set up. Even if you already have a job lined up before you go, your employer can’t pay you until you have a bank account so a Canadian contingency fund is quite handy.