Do you want to live, work, or study in the UK? If so, you might be wondering how to open and find the best UK banks for non-residents.
Opening a UK bank account can be challenging if you don’t have a UK address, proof of income, or credit history in the UK. However, there are some options available for non-residents who want to access the benefits of having a UK bank account.
But how do you find the best UK banks for non-residents? And what are the requirements and costs involved?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will compare the features, fees, and eligibility criteria of different UK banks and online providers offering non-residents bank accounts. There are also some tips on how to open a bank account online without visiting a branch or providing a UK address.
We are committed to offering genuine, experience-based travel advice. When you make a purchase or book a reservation, we may earn a commission without any extra cost to you.
Bunq offers innovative digital banking services and a seamless online experience for users.
Revolut offers currency exchange, cryptocurrency trading, and budgeting tools.
Wise specializes in providing a hassle-free solution for cross-border transactions.
Vivid Bank offers robust spending analytics, and a suite of financial management tools.
Monese UK provides banking services without requiring a traditional UK address.
Where to Open Your UK Bank Account?
When it comes to opening a UK bank account, you’ll find a wide range of options available.
UK banks offer a diverse selection of services tailored to meet the needs of non-residents. While each bank has its own unique features, they also share similarities with banks worldwide.
Many UK banks provide various types of accounts, including current accounts and savings accounts. They offer online banking services that enable you to manage your finances conveniently from anywhere in the world. However, it’s important to be aware of potential hidden fees, such as transaction fees and cash deposit charges, as they can impact your overall banking experience.
Choosing the right UK bank can have long-term benefits. Some banks pay interest on your savings, allowing your money to grow over time. Others offer the flexibility of multiple currencies, ideal for international payments and currency accounts.
Consider well-established banks like Lloyds Bank, known for their reliable high street bank accounts and wealth management services.
Non-resident bank accounts in the UK provide a seamless way to pay bills, receive payments, and access local bank information. These accounts are designed specifically for individuals like you, who may have foreign accounts but require a UK bank account for various purposes.
With features like debit cards and monthly fees, you can enjoy easy access to your funds and make international money transfers hassle-free.
By selecting the right UK bank account, you gain the advantage of efficient financial management, access to a robust banking infrastructure, and the peace of mind of partnering with reputable institutions. To better help you, here are the best banks to open an account in the UK.
Best UK Bank Accounts for Non-Residents #1: Bunq
Bunq is a banking app that offers a fresh and user-centered approach to banking. Founded in 2012, the bank aims to revolutionize the industry and provide a simple, sustainable banking experience.
Operating throughout the European Union, Norway, and Iceland, Bunq supports multiple currencies and provides local bank details in various countries.
- Open API: Bunq offers a fully open API, allowing users to build automation, apps, and projects around their bank account, providing flexibility and customization options.
- CO2-free Program: With every transaction, Bunq plants trees and allows users to choose where their deposits are invested, promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness.
- Budgeting Tool: Bunq’s budgeting tool helps users track spending and set saving goals, empowering them to take control of their finances.
- Cashback Rewards: The app’s cashback reward system offers money back when using a debit card at selected merchants, providing extra savings for users.
- Multi-Currency Account: Bunq’s multi-currency account allows users to hold and exchange up to 40 currencies without any fees, simplifying international transactions.
Bunq offers a modern and innovative banking experience through its mobile app. With features like multiple bank accounts, a budgeting tool, cashback rewards, and a CO2-free program, Bunq provides a range of benefits to its users.
While it may not be a traditional UK bank account, Bunq’s multi-currency capabilities and local bank details make it a viable option for non-residents seeking flexible and convenient banking services. Consider Bunq if you value sustainability, user-centered banking, and the ability to manage your finances on-the-go.
Best UK Banks for Non-Residents #2: Revolut
Revolut is a UK-based mobile app for banking that provides a wide range of features and services to help you easily manage your finances, make investments, and travel. Founded in 2015, Revolut was created to offer a better way to send and spend money abroad.
With its presence in over 200 countries and support for more than 30 currencies, Revolut provides you with a Euro bank account and global banking solution.
Open Banking: Revolut allows you to link your other bank accounts, giving you a comprehensive view of all your balances and transactions in one place, making it easier to manage your finances.
Savings Vaults: Enjoy the benefits of savings vaults that offer up to 3.44% annual interest, which is paid out daily, helping you grow your savings.
Rewards and Cashback: Make the most of shopping with selected merchants, as Revolut offers rewards and cashback, allowing you to earn money back on your purchases.
Investments: With Revolut, you can invest in stocks, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and ETFs, all with low or no fees, enabling you to expand your investment portfolio conveniently.
Travel Perks: Experience travel perks such as lounge passes, hotel discounts, and insurance coverage, making your journeys more enjoyable and stress-free.
Revolut provides a comprehensive and convenient mobile banking experience, especially for those who require UK bank account services. With features like open banking, savings vaults, rewards, investments, and travel perks, Revolut offers a range of benefits for its users.
Though some premium features come with a monthly fee, the free standard plan still provides access to many valuable services of a traditional bank account. Consider Revolut if you’re looking for a flexible, feature-rich mobile banking solution that caters to your banking, investment, and travel needs.
Best UK Banks for Non-Residents #3: Wise
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a financial institution that provides a fast and cost-effective solution for sending and receiving money internationally. Founded in 2011, Wise was created to simplify cross-border money transfers. Operating in over 160 countries and supporting more than 40 currencies, Wise offers a global banking experience.
Multi-Currency Account: Wise allows you to hold, convert, and spend money in different currencies with a debit card, making it convenient for managing finances across borders.
Low-Cost Transfer Service: With Wise, you can enjoy low-cost transfers using the real exchange rate and transparent fees, saving money compared to traditional banks and investment accounts.
Open Banking: Link your other bank accounts from other financial institutions to Wise and have a comprehensive view of all your balances and transactions in one place, streamlining your financial management.
Savings Feature: Wise offers a savings feature that pays up to 4.22% interest on GBP, USD, and EUR balances, helping you grow your savings.
Investment Feature: Invest in stocks, cryptocurrencies, commodities, and ETFs with low or no fees, expanding your investment portfolio conveniently.
Is it the best UK bank account? Wise offers a convenient mobile banking experience, especially for those who require international transfers, debit cards, and multi-currency accounts. With its competitive rates, low fees, and user-friendly platform, Wise stands out as one of the best.
This provides a reliable, cost-effective solution for international money transfers and multi-currency banking needs. Consider Wise if you’re looking for a user-centric, transparent, and efficient way to handle your financial transactions across borders.
Best UK Banks for Non-Residents #4: Vivid Bank
Vivid Bank is a mobile banking app offering various features and services designed to help you effectively manage your money, invest, and earn cashback. Vivid Bank aims to provide a better banking experience and help users grow their wealth. While based in Germany, Vivid operates in multiple European countries, including France, Italy, Spain, and Poland.
Multi-Currency Account: Vivid allows you to hold, convert, and spend money in different currencies with a metal debit card, providing flexibility for international transactions and travel.
Commission-Free Investing: With Vivid, you can invest in stocks, ETFs, crypto, and commodities with low or no fees, enabling you to grow your investment portfolio conveniently.
Cashback Program: Take advantage of the cashback program that offers up to 25% cashback on purchases at selected merchants, helping you save money on your everyday expenses.
Savings Feature: Vivid’s savings feature provides competitive interest rates of up to 4.22% on GBP, USD, and EUR balances, allowing you to grow your savings over time.
Open Banking: Link your other bank accounts to Vivid and gain a comprehensive view of all your balances and transactions in one place, simplifying your financial management.
Vivid Bank offers a comprehensive online banking experience, particularly for individuals seeking a flexible and feature-rich UK bank account. With features like multi-currency accounts, commission-free investing, cashback programs, and competitive interest rates on savings, Vivid provides a range of benefits for its users.
Whether you need a current account, a UK account, or a bank account with international capabilities, Vivid Bank presents a viable option. Consider Vivid Bank if you value convenience, flexibility, and the opportunity to manage your finances effectively through a user-friendly mobile app.
Best UK Banks for Non-Residents #5: Monese UK
Monese is an innovative British bank offering free bank accounts to individuals in the UK, EU, and EEA countries. Unlike traditional banks, Monese allows non-UK residents to open a UK bank account, making it a popular choice for individuals seeking convenient and accessible banking services.
With a wide range of valuable features and benefits, Monese provides a comprehensive banking experience for its customers. It offers free bank accounts, a free debit Mastercard with a virtual card option, free payments and withdrawals, and the ability to hold accounts in both EUR and GBP.
Free Bank Account: Monese provides a free bank account, allowing individuals to manage their finances without worrying about fees.
Free Debit Mastercard: With a Monese account, customers receive a free debit Mastercard for easy and convenient online and in-person transactions.
International Accessibility: Monese is open to individuals residing in the UK, EU, and EEA countries, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a UK bank account from abroad.
Multilingual Support: The Monese app is available in 14 languages, ensuring a user-friendly experience for customers from diverse backgrounds.
Quick Card Delivery: Monese offers card delivery in less than three days, allowing customers to start using their accounts swiftly.
Monese UK offers a unique and accessible banking solution, particularly for individuals residing outside of the UK who require a UK bank account. With features like free bank accounts, debit Mastercards, and multilingual support, Monese caters to the needs of its diverse customer base.
While some premium plans have fees, the free account option makes it attractive for those seeking a no-cost UK account. Consider Monese UK if you want a straightforward and inclusive banking experience that allows you to manage your finances conveniently, regardless of your location.
Best UK Banks for Non-Residents #6: HSBC
HSBC, a legendary titan of banking, stands tall with an illustrious heritage of trust and reliability. Our vast global network and comprehensive suite of financial services ensure that we safeguard your dreams and aspirations with the utmost care.
HSBC is one of the largest multinational banks in the UK, offering a wide range of financial products and services. Known for its global reach, HSBC caters to expats and offers various financial solutions such as mortgages, investments, and insurance.
With HSBC, foreigners can access tax-free savings options, including cash ISA accounts, overseas non-resident accounts available in 37 countries, and free foreign currency accounts. The HSBC Expat Premier Account is specifically designed for expatriates, providing flexibility and convenience in managing their finances.
The account supports GBP, EUR, and USD and comes with a Foreign Exchange app, a debit card, and complimentary travel security.
Multi-Currency Savings: HSBC Expat Premier Account enables customers to open savings accounts in up to 19 major currencies, offering competitive rates for their savings.
Expat FX App: The Expat FX app provides exclusive rates on foreign exchange services, allowing customers to conveniently manage their international currency transactions.
Dedicated Wealth Manager: Customers can access a qualified Wealth Manager 24/7 via phone, website, or qualified banking app, providing personalized assistance and guidance.
Tax Resources: HSBC offers tax resources from EY, assisting customers with their tax-related matters and ensuring compliance with regulations.
Eligibility Criteria: The HSBC premier UK bank accounts are suitable for individuals who regularly make international payments or frequently relocate to different countries. It is also available to those who meet specific criteria, such as having a personal earning of 100,000 GBP (or currency equivalent) or qualifying for HSBC Premier in another country.
The HSBC offers comprehensive banking solutions for expatriates, offering flexibility and convenience in managing finances.
With features like multi-currency savings accounts, the Expat FX app, dedicated Wealth Managers, and tax resources, HSBC provides a range of benefits for its customers. This account suits individuals with international financial needs, whether frequent international transactions or regular relocation.
Open a bank account at HSBC UK bank if you are an expatriate seeking a bank account that caters to your unique financial requirements, with access to personalized support and a wide range of financial products and services.
Best UK Banks for Non-Residents #7: Halifax
Halifax, your friendly neighborhood banking wizard, is here to make your financial wishes come true. With a tailored approach to retail banking and a myriad of customer-centric products, we ensure that your financial journey is smooth sailing all the way.
Halifax is a popular financial institution in the UK, known for its excellent customer service and wide range of products. With Halifax, you can easily apply for a free current account online, and the process takes just 10 minutes.
One of the account perks includes a 15% cashback scheme, where you receive money back into your Halifax account at the end of the month when you shop at selected retailers using your Halifax debit or credit card.
The bank also offers a user-friendly mobile app for convenient management of daily spending. Additionally, Halifax provides various financial services such as mortgages and home insurance, making it a one-stop shop for many of your financial needs.
Free Current Account: Halifax offers a free current account that can be applied for online in just 10 minutes, providing a convenient and accessible banking option.
15% Cashback Scheme: As a perk of the account, you can earn cashback into your Halifax account when using your Halifax debit or credit card at selected retailers, offering savings on your purchases.
Convenient Mobile App: Halifax provides a user-friendly mobile app that enables easy management of daily spending, providing a seamless banking experience on the go.
Free Arranged Overdraft: Customers have the option to set up a free arranged overdraft, offering flexibility in managing their finances.
Halifax is a popular choice for individuals seeking a free current account with excellent customer service in the UK. With features like a 15% cashback scheme, a user-friendly mobile app, and access to additional financial services, Halifax provides convenience and flexibility for everyday banking needs.
While it may not offer specialized accounts or extensive international banking capabilities, Halifax’s commitment to customer service and a range of products make it a reliable option for individuals looking for a straightforward and accessible banking experience.
What Makes The Best UK Bank?
When determining the best UK bank, several qualities contribute to making a bank stand out in the crowded financial landscape. Here are some key factors to consider when evaluating banks and their offerings.
1. Convenience and Accessibility: The ability to open a Euro bank account easily, whether online or in-person, is crucial. Banks that offer a seamless account opening process, particularly for individuals seeking an account in the UK, provide a competitive edge. Additionally, Euro bank accounts allow customers to manage their finances effectively.
2. Range of Services: The best financial institution to open a UK bank account offers a comprehensive suite of financial services to meet diverse needs. This includes current accounts, traditional bank accounts, and the ability to set up direct debits for bill payments. A physical UK address may be necessary for certain services, but online banking options have become increasingly popular and convenient.
3. Competitive Pricing: When evaluating banks, transparent fee structures and reasonable fees are essential considerations. The best UK banks strive to offer cost-effective solutions and provide value for their customers’ money. Exploring the range of available options is important for individuals or businesses seeking specific features or services, such as business accounts.
4. Security and Protection: Financial institutions prioritizing customer protection and complying with regulatory requirements are highly regarded. Schemes like the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provide peace of mind, as it safeguards deposits up to a certain limit. Customers should seek banks that prioritize security measures and demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding their funds.
5. International Connectivity: With the world becoming increasingly interconnected, the ability to facilitate international transfers efficiently and at competitive rates is a distinguishing factor. Banks that offer free international money transfers or competitive account fees for such transactions are considered advantageous for individuals with global financial needs.
While many high street banks offer UK bank accounts, online banks have gained popularity due to their convenience, flexibility, and competitive features. The best UK bank accounts often come with additional perks, such as Visa cards and options for basic accounts to cater to a wide range of customers.
Final Thoughts About The Best Uk and Euro Bank Accounts
In conclusion, the best UK banks combine convenience, comprehensive services, competitive pricing, security, and international connectivity. By considering factors such as open availability, account fees, and the ability to facilitate seamless financial transactions, individuals can select a bank that best aligns with their specific requirements.
Remember to evaluate the bank’s adherence to regulations, its reputation, and the level of customer satisfaction when making your decision.