Can You Get a UK Bank Account For Non-UK Residents?
If you live and work abroad but do business in the UK, you may want a bank account that can cover your UK income. You don't always have to be a UK resident to open a business bank account, but it could be a more difficult process than for those who live here.
International Banking Options
Some banks like Barclays and HSBC offer international trade services. They allow you, as a non-resident, to open a bank account for non-UK residents and use it to maintain your income and pay your business expenses.
Barclays offers a checking account that you can open in a selection of currencies and locations as needed. You can currently open an account in dollars, pounds sterling, or euros. You can choose to hold these funds in the UK, Jersey, or the Isle of Man.
The downside is that some of these international banking options may have limited or no access in some countries.
You can also expect to have a large amount of cash on hand to open an account. Barclays requires a minimum starting balance of £ 25,000 (or cash or investment equivalent). It's not ideal for very small startups that just don't have a lot of money.
Online Banking and International Trade
For those who want more flexibility, there is another way: online banking. With many banks that only operate online, you can create an account anywhere and trade in the currency of your choice.
Here are four popular options that you can use, although there are more and more online banks to choose from:
Tide is an alternative bank account for non-UK residents that prefer not to go to traditional banks or for those that operate internationally. It is based on a smartphone app, so you can fully manage your account in the app even when you are on the go.
You can use Tide like any other bank account, but with added benefits for doing business across borders. You can use the app internationally at the point of sale or online with no redemption fees. Tide also automatically labels all income and expenses based on your needs. This will make it easier to manage transactions through accounting software and help your UK accountant.
Revolut is a digital banking alternative that lets you convert and transfer money in 25 different currencies without commissions. According to their website, they saved customers £ 150million in fees. You can also enjoy free spending worldwide with your VISA card, currency exchange service, and peer-to-peer payments. If you invest in cryptocurrencies, you can also buy, hold, and trade them through Revolut.
Both options allow you to lock or unlock accounts immediately if your card or smartphone is lost or stolen to ensure security. The tide setup is free, but you will be charged 20p per transaction. Revolut has a free version and a premium version for £ 6.99 per month.
Monzo was one of the first digital challenge banks to launch in the UK and launched in 2015. Monzo is known for its "Hot Coral" payment card and sleek banking app that always includes eyewear savings, budget tools, and popular expense notifications.
Free overseas spending and ATM withdrawals have also made Monzo a hit with customers, especially millennials. The bank has branched out into joint accounts, premium checking accounts, and commercial accounts and now has five million customers in the UK.
After Monzo and Revolut, Starling launched in 2017. Like its two main competitors, the big draw is its intuitive banking app, which you can use to open a bank account for non-UK residents, Starling. Your checking account is free and offers features like expense information, savings goals, check images, free overseas expenses, and an overdraft service.
Starling also expanded its personal account business by expanding its commercial banking offering, including the introduction of euro and dollar accounts.
Many of our current non-resident customers only use online banking services, including Tide and Revolut with success. It is always worth taking a look around and researching all of the options to see which one is right for you.
Do you need help starting a business in the UK? Get a quote from us immediately to get started, or contact an advisor for more advice. Simply call 02085718826 or use the live chat button on your screen.