I remember when I first moved to the UK I had no idea about how to check out international bank options. I went from bank to bank looking for someone who would accept that lil’ ol’ me with zero cash, no job and an American passport might be a safe person to open a bank account with them. The bank managers said it would help if I had a job. When I finally got a job, they said ‘we need your bank account details.’ It was one of the many stresses new expats potentially face.
I have no idea if it’s still that difficult for young, jobless American expats moving to the UK, but I do sometimes see grumblings from expats trying to open a current account in the UK. Most resently, I saw a post by a woman who has moved with her husband for his very lucrative job in London and even she had difficulty opening a current account, because she didn’t have a job and had only lived at her address about three days. The bank suggested that she open a joint account with her husband. She wasn’t impressed. I wondered why no one suggested that she check out information on setting up international bank accounts. It seems logical now that I’ve been an expat for so long but when you’re new you have no idea.
I guess the welcome packages that some companies do when they move people around might be a great place to include this information, but clearly they don’t always do this. What exactly is included in these welcome packages? And why don’t more companies do them??
What experiences have you had with trying to get a bank account when you move overseas? Did anyone advise you or did you have to figure it out on your own?
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