Best UK Bank Accounts for Non-Residents

The UK is one of the world’s most popular countries for living and working due to its high standard of living and easy-going lifestyle. When you first arrive in the country or plan to move there soon, setting up a local bank account is a must.

The top banks in the UK for non-residents are the following:

  • Revolut
  • Bunq
  • Monese
  • Barclays
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds Bank
  • Halifax
  • Citibank

Aside from those options, there are actually more that you can try. If you want to know more about these banks, why they are good for non-residents, and how to open a bank account with them, you’ve come to the right place. This article will teach you everything you need to know about these UK banks.

Can you open a UK bank account as a non-resident?

Since there’s no law prohibiting non-UK residents from opening UK business bank accounts, a foreigner can get one in the country.

Some business banking providers, however, specify explicitly in their eligibility criteria that you must be a UK resident to open an account. The reason why they need it’s that business bank accounts are subject to extensive anti-money laundering regulations. As a result, they need to conduct extensive identity checks.

Usually, you can make these checks fairly easily if you’re already a UK resident. For non-UK residents, these checks are often more complicated and time-consuming, which is why many banks do not accept applications from non-residents.

The good news is that some providers provide UK business accounts even if you’re not a resident of the country.

Moreover, there are banks that open accounts for all EU, US, and Australian citizens and residents who don’t live in Britain. So, visitors, tourists, and business owners can open an account in the UK.

Yet, providers may set extra requirements or request additional documentation if you’re not a resident of the UK, so it’s important to check their terms and conditions. If you think this is tedious, there are many organizations that can assist you in opening a UK bank account even if you don’t live there.

Best UK bank for non-residents

By following the few critical considerations listed here, you can get a clearer picture of your banking options in the UK as a non-resident:

  • Ease of opening an account as a non-resident
  • Bank’s requirements
  • Monthly fees
  • Withdrawal fees
  • Currency conversion fees
  • Deposit options
  • Transfer options
  • Minimal deposit requirements
  • Online banking and mobile apps
  • Customer support – online and offline
  • Ease of use

With these factors in mind, we compiled the best UK banks for non-residents:

1. Revolut

Revolut is the best bank where you can open an account as a foreigner or non-resident in the UK. It’s a British fintech company and the fastest-growing digital bank in Europe, offering free bank accounts for everyone living in Europe, Australia, and the US. Yet, they are headquartered in London.

Creating a bank account in Revolut is free and very straightforward. After signing up, you will get your physical bank card, regardless of your location. With Revolut, you can have accounts in all the main currencies, including GBP and EUR.

Below are some benefits of banking with Revolut:

  • Free multi-currency account, with the main one in EUR or GBP – you can pay in any currency 
  • Instant money transfers 
  • Reliable customer support 
  • Easy top-up 
  • Free debit card 
  • Free money transfers 24/7
  • Free cash withdrawals
  • IBAN number (for SEPA transfers)
  • Very user-friendly app in English 
  • English service and support

Revolut is also the best bank for travelers, or if you pay in a different currency, they don’t charge additional fees for it, and they will convert your money at the best possible exchange rate. You can also withdraw cash for free.

Customers can choose between a free account and several paid tiers. The first is called Premium, and it costs 7.99 EUR per month. The second is Metal and costs 13.99 EUR. Paying this monthly price will get you a metal card.

Things to keep in mind:

Withdrawing money from any ATM is free for up to 200 GBP per month; after that, it costs 2%.

2. Bunq

Bunq is originally a Dutch bank, but you can sign and use their account anywhere in Europe, including the UK. To do so, you need to be a European citizen or resident.

Bunq is a foreigner-friendly bank as it operates online and offers its services in English. Bunq is one of the few banks that allows you to open & manage your account 100% online.

Besides the UK, you can use Bunq in the following countries:

  • Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and non-EU countries Norway and Iceland.

Overall, users can sign up in 30 countries.

You can apply for free savings account on Bunq’s website or app in just a few minutes. You can choose a free saving account, while a cheap plan goes for 2,29 EUR every month, or a premium plan at 8,99 EUR.

That said, below are other Bunq benefits:

  • Instant transfers 
  • Simple navigation 
  • IBAN
  • Instant transfers/payments
  • English customer service 
  • Affordable ATM withdrawals 
  • Earn interest on your money – 9x more than you get in other banks

With a premium account, you get: 

  • free ATM withdrawals
  • 25 sub-accounts
  • multiple debit cards, including Mastercard and Maestro
  • free travel card

Moreover, Bunq offers a 1-month free trial so that you can test the product.

See more on the bank account from Bunq: 

Monthly feeFree or 2,99 EUR
International debit cardFree
TransfersFree and in different currencies 
Cash withdrawals in Sweden0,99 EUR per transaction
Cash withdrawals abroad 0,99 EUR per transaction
Payments in foreign currencies1,5% of the transaction plus 0,5% or 0,5%
depending on the package
Contactless paymentsFree

Things to keep in mind:

The first four withdrawals every month, using a Bunq ATM card, are free, and the following five will cost you 0.99 EUR each.


Bunq and Revolut are our top recondition for a bank account for people without residency in the UK. They open private accounts for anyone living in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, the USA (Revolut), and Australia (Revolut). Besides, their services are free regarding your nationality.

If you want to have an account with traditional UK banks, you will have to register a business in the UK. Banks mostly offer only business banking if an applicant has no residency in the UK.

Let’s have a look at the UK banks where you might have a chance to open a business or even a saving account as a non-UK resident.

3. Monese

Monese is an innovative British bank offering free bank accounts to everyone living in the UK, EU, and EEA countries.

Therefore, you don’t have to be a UK resident to get an account at that bank. Monese bank account has become very popular amount the young crowd; you can read over 22,000 reviews here.

Monese offers:

  • Free bank account
  • Free debit Mastercard plus virtual card
  • Free payments and withdrawals
  • Bank account in EUR and GBP
  • Card delivery in less than 3 days
  • English customer support
  • App in 14 languages

Monese plans (cost per month):

  • Starter: Free
  • Classic: 5,95 GBP
  • Premium: 14,95 GBP

Furthermore, it has lots of valuable features and benefits everyone will enjoy. 

Monthly feeNone
International Debit CardFree Mastercard card plus virtual card
TransfersFree and in different currencies 
Cash withdrawal200 GBP for free after 2%
Contactless paymentsWith a debit card or smartphone
Card delivery In less than 3 days

Things to keep in mind:

The bank charges a 1,50 GBP withdrawal fee for a free account. 

4. Barclays

The largest bank in the UK, Barclays offers an extensive range of high-quality financial services for individuals and businesses. In general, Barclays provides three types of transactional accounts: 

  • Barclays Bank Account: a flexible and rewarding bank account
  • Premier Current Accounts: one that goes beyond ordinary bank accounts
  • Barclays Basic Bank Accounts: one that you can use for basic banking needs

Depending on your needs, Barclays also provides a range of current accounts for students, graduates, young people, and foreign exchange.

If you’re seeking guidance from Barclays’ business banking experts, they also offer business accounts. Barclays offers a wide range of business and community accounts, including those for start-ups and established businesses.

Another good thing about this is that you can choose your preferred method of doing business banking: Home banking, Barclays app, online banking, or Barclays’ invoices. 

Furthermore, investment and savings accounts from Barclays may be to your liking if you are interested in investing or saving. In case you’re unsure which savings account to choose, you can compare the three different accounts they offer before making your decision.

In addition to the wide range of options, Barclays foreign currency accounts are available in 12 foreign currencies, providing convenience and being ideal for expats.

Barclays offers flexibility when it comes to banking. For a small fee, the bank has great mobile and online banking services, as well as the option to customize your online account and select travel and technology packs.


In terms of size, HSBC ranks among the top four multinational banks in the UK. Expats like it because of its global reach and wide range of financial products, including mortgages, investments, and insurance. 

With HSBC, foreigners have many options for tax-free savings, such as cash ISA accounts, overseas non-resident accounts (available in 37 countries), and free foreign currency accounts. 

They have an account specifically designed for expats, which is the HSBC Expat Premier Account. It was created for globetrotting professionals. If you’re setting up an account in the UK, you can use GBP, EUR, or USD.

Moreover, you can access and meet all your banking needs no matter where you’re, since it comes with a Foreign Exchange app, a debit card, and complimentary travel security. 

Ease of use is also really good as you can open your account online, via a mobile banking app, or through a qualified Wealth Manager. Along with 24/7 support, HSBC expat premier offers competitive rates on savings accounts in 19 major currencies.

People who already have an HSBC account and make international payments regularly or move to countries are best suited for this account. 

To set up this account, you need to be 18 years or older and meet one of the following criteria: You must have a personal earning of 100,000 GBP (or currency equivalent), or you should be qualified already for HSBC Premier in another country.

Hold an HSBC account in your home country with a minimum deposit of 50,000 GBP(or currency equivalent). You must also reside or be located in a region or country that is eligible for the account.

Here’s a list to sum up this bank account’s benefits: 

  • You can open a savings account in up to 19 major currencies at competitive rates
  • The Expat FX app offers exclusive rates on foreign exchange services from HSBC
  • A qualified Wealth Manager is available 24 hours a day via phone, mobile banking app, website, or qualified mobile banking app
  • Tax resources from EY

6. Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank is another major British bank offering a free account and excellent customer service online and by phone. The bank has a sophisticated mobile app you can download. Through this application, you can check your balance and expenditures instantly. 

Furthermore, if you’re interested in an arranged overdraft, Lloyds offers a calculator that you can use to determine your eligibility before applying.

If you make a monthly deposit of at least 1,500 GBP into your account, you can open a Club Lloyds account for free. Additionally, you can rent movies and buy cinema tickets with this account. A number of savings accounts are also available, with details clearly laid out on the website.

7. Halifax

There is a good reason why Halifax is such a popular financial institution in the UK. A free current account can be applied for online within 10 minutes, and the company prides itself on providing excellent customer service.

A 15% cashback scheme is included as a perk of the account. At the end of the month, you’ll receive money back into your Halifax account when you use your Halifax debit or credit card to shop at selected retailers.

Besides those, managing your daily spending is easy with Halifax’s convenient, user-friendly mobile app. A free arranged overdraft can also be set up, and an online eligibility calculator makes it easy to figure out your eligibility.

And, to top off the one-stop shop for pretty much all your financial needs, Halifax offers savings accounts, mortgages, and home insurance.

8. Citibank

Citibank offers you a one-stop solution to your financial needs. It provides convenient access and support wherever you’re and helps you get started immediately. 

Specifically, Citigold Expat bank accounts offer personalized support for banking in the UK and have a suite of investment services. An expat can choose between two types of banking services: Multicurrency Banking and Offshore Wealth Management. 

In essence, multi-currency banking accounts are offshore cash accounts, foreign currency accounts, or forex accounts that offer a wide range of banking services.

With this, you don’t need to have multiple bank accounts just to deal with transactions in different currencies when you travel from one country to another or move to a new country permanently. 

The Citibank Multi-Currency Debit Card provides you with access to your foreign currency account and allows you to withdraw cash up to 2,000 GBP per day (or an equivalent amount in your currency). As an added bonus, you can manage and move your money in 16 different currencies. 

Having access to this kind of account gives you peace of mind that your offshore banking needs are being met without hassle.

How to open a bank account in the UK as a non-resident?

Various banks have different processes for opening a UK bank account for non-residents and non-citizens. But usually, they will require you the following:

  • A meeting in-person: For most conventional banks, opening a bank account requires your personal, physical presence. The requirement applies even if you’re a UK citizen who lives abroad or has never visited the UK. To deposit money to your UK account, you can also use digital transfer services, such as Wise (formerly Transferwise).
  • A passport: A passport (or other valid ID, depending on the country) is required by most banks in the United Kingdom (and around the world).
  • Proof of residence: This can be done by providing an ID, residence permit, or utility bill in your name, from the country where you’re currently residing.
  • Tax certificate: Depending on your country of residence, some banks will require you to provide a tax residence document.

The common problem of those who want to open an account from a UK bank is supplying their proof of address. For example, they might request one of the following:

  • A current UK driving license
  • Passport from the United Kingdom
  • Biometric residence permit card

If you’re one of those, here’s what you can do: 

There are several online services that allow you to set up a UK bank account without proof of UK residency, such as Monese, Revolut and Bunq. They all offer UK account numbers and sort codes, as well as debit cards that can be used to pay for products online as well as at retail outlets. 

It’s important to remember that each service provider has its own set of rules, so if you want to find the best service for you, read the details section of each provider’s website.

Revolut, for example, might require you to get in touch with their customer support team in order to open an account without the UK address in order for you to open an account.

Despite the fact that you’re not required to provide proof of address, you will still need to provide a UK address – this is also the address where your debit card will be delivered to you.

This post contains affiliate links. The affiliate link means we may earn an advertising/referral fee if you make a purchase through our link, without extra cost to you. It helps to keep this blog afloat. Thanks for your support. 

Recent Posts