The way we live our lives has changed quite a bit over the last few decades and with increased migration both in and out of the UK, the banking industry there has had to move with the times too.
Even without the looming uncertainty of Brexit, it can be sometimes difficult for UK citizens who have been working and living abroad for a long period of time to find out what banking options on are open to them when they return to the UK.
However, many banks in the UK has responded to the change and offer more flexible products for people moving into the country, whether they are expats or migrants from other countries.
What Banking Products are Available to Expats?
If you have been working abroad and are planning on returning to the UK, you can open an UK bank account through a bank in the country you are currently living in. Some banks in other European countries will have what’s known as a correspondent banking relationship with another bank in the UK. This allows you to set up an account and start paying money into it before you get back to the UK.
Will Expats Face any Banking Restrictions when they Return to the UK?
Due to a change in regulations a few years ago, the main UK banks closed down a number of dormant bank accounts in the UK. A large number of these were held by UK citizens who lived and worked overseas.
That means to that many expats will find that they have to start from scratch when they come home as far as banking is concerned.
Due to the fact they have been out of the country for long period of time, many expats will find that banks may initially only offer them a basic bank account, without a credit card or overdraft facility. This is because, in the eyes of the bank, they won’t have a recent enough credit history of borrowing in the UK for them to have a reliable credit rating.
If they keep the account in good order over a period of time, the bank may upgrade their account to include more credit-based services.
What other Options are Available to Expats in the Short-Term?
If you are returning to the UK, but have not yet secured employment or a steady income you may find mainstream banking products difficult to access in the short-term.
Many banks will want proof that you have been resident in the country for a significant period of time and will also insist you have regular employment before allowing you to open a current account.
Prepaid Debit Card
In the meantime, you may want to consider a prepaid debit card. This is a card which can be preloaded with cash and used to pay for goods and services, instore and online. You can only spend the money you have on the card at any given time, so it doesn’t require credit checks to obtain one. All you need is a form of identification, such as passport or driver’s licence to get a prepaid card. This is a simple stop-gap solution for an expat when they initially return to the country.
Suits Me® is an alternative to traditional banking and a perfect solution for expats moving back to the UK. Suits Me® offers an e-money account with a contactless Mastercard® debit card and exclusive cashback rewards and promotions for all account holders.
Applying for a Suits me account is quick and simple (no credit checks required!) and can be done online within minutes. Providing all details provided are correct, your account will be open within 20 minutes and you will gain instant access to your online account facility and mobile app to start managing your money. Your Mastercard® debit card will arrive in the post within 3-5 working days.