How to open a UK bank account

Due to the many UK banking crises, it has become very difficult for foreign individuals and business to open UK bank accounts. The United States has recently passed new laws making it more difficult to set up off-shore banking. This has made banks scared to take on new clients who don’t have a history of UK banking. Hopefully, the information and links we have below can help you through the process.

Lloyds Bank is the only bank in the UK (that we know of) which offers an account you can open with just your passport. With this account you still have to apply in person at a UK location.

If you choose to go with a different bank, you will NOT be able to open a bank account without a UK address (same goes for mobile phones). Some banks advertise options for accounts without an address or visa, but you must already be a customer of that bank. The days of opening accounts in countries where you do not reside are gone.

So what can you do before you get a permanent address?

We were faced with the same problem. The solution to the foreign banking problem is to get a credit/debit card from your current bank that has no foreign transaction fees. You can use that card to have purchasing power until you get a UK account. NerdWallet is a good website to compare US credit cards with no foreign transaction fees. The problem is that you must have very good credit to be approved. It is important to talk with your bank to find a solution that fits your needs.

Other UK banks

Here are links to some of the other major banks in the UK: