How to open a business bank account for non-UK residents?

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A non-UK resident refers to a person who doesn't live in the UK or has no UK address. The term applies to an expatriate from Britain or a foreign national living outside of the UK.

In order to open a UK business bank account, you don't need to stay in the UK. While it's recommended to acquire UK residence before applying for one, most banks will not entertain an application unless they have UK residence.

Requirements for Bank account opening

You'll need two documents to open a UK Business Bank account:

  • One for proving your identity (usually your national identity card or passport) and
  • One for proving your address.

That applies in the branch as well as online. 

Recommended Business account banks

Usually, it is easier to open a bank account with one of the biggest banks in the UK i.e. Barclays, HSBC Lloyds. It is because they have a lot of experience working with non-residents, helping them to be flexible about their needs.

Contacting customer service is also recommended when trying to open a bank account. This way, you can get more information and ask any questions you may have.

Overview of the world's largest banks in the UK:

1. Barclays

Barclays is suitable for businesses which do not have directors or shareholders resident in the UK.

Applications must start at their Isle of Man branch. You will still have the same benefits as onshore account holders but will classify your account as offshore.

You can sign up to create an international bank account in one of three major currencies — the dollar, sterling, and euro — and hold those funds in the UK, Jersey, or the Isle of Man.

This account includes international online banking, telephone banking and access to the Barclays Mobile Banking app (only for sterling accounts available)

To open a foreign bank account, please note that you must be:

  • Aged at least 18 years and
  • Have a minimum balance of £25,000 (or equivalent currency) in cash or depositary investments and\
  • Hold your overseas bank accounts Barclays.

2 HSBC Inc.

An HSBC Advance Bank Account may be opened by non-resident directors and shareholders (over the age of 18 and with a residential address within the EU) via post or in a branch of the HSBC.

This account comes with no monthly accounts fee, 24/7 customer service, withdrawals of £ 500 daily ATM cash and the ability to manage eligible HSBC accounts worldwide through one simple login.

 To qualify for this account,

  • Able to provide HSBC with approved proof of identity (usually your National Identification Card or passport) and
  • Address (where applicable, translated into English),
  • Pay at least £ 1,750 (or at least £ 10,500 every 6 months) to the account, not counting money transferred from other individual or joint personal accounts kept with HSBC Bank.

3. Lloyds

Lloyds Bank offers Non-residents an International Current account, applications can be made online or by telephone.

You will open the account in one of three major currencies, dollar, sterling, and euro.

This account comes with free International Payments, Lloyds Bank does not charge you for sending or receiving money transfers while receivers and related banks that charge a fee for receiving payments.

The account also comes with Internet Banking and PhoneBank enabling you 24/7 access to your funds.

You will need: To apply for this account:

  • Gross annual sales of £50,000, or comparable money.

For joint accounts, the number includes a gross annual income of at least one of the applicants.

Additionally, you can also apply if:

  • You have £ 25,000 (or equivalent currency) to save or spend (in whole or in part) with Lloyds Bank International Banking Services,
  • Initial deposit to your account can be made within 30 days of launch.

Finally, Lloyds Bank will not be willing to sell you this account, depending on the laws and regulations of the country in which you reside.

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