Opening HSBC Onshore Accounts

  • Pitarolle
  • 03/11/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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Posted: Tue, 27/01/2009 - 10:42

Having read the email from the Senior Citizens Party about HSBC offering Passport Accounts we went into the local branch (we're in UK at the moment although we live in France). We were told that a Passport Account is only for people who are returning to the UK and have a UK address. But we were told if we could show identification and proof of residence at our french address and a bank statement we could open a bank account!! We now have both a current and savings account and a one year fixed rate bond. So - next door to Lloyds for a statement printout (who are now the losers by a few grand after treating us like lepers when we tried to open an onshore savings account, even though we have been banking with them since 1969). After showing passports, a french cheque book, french driving licence and car insurance documents which all show our french address (who goes on holiday with a utility bill?) we were welcomed with open arms. So it is possible to open a UK bank account after all. Go to HSBC.

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Onshore accounts

  • Guernsey Girl
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 23/02/2009 - 20:57

I've tried this tack but despite being born in Britain (Guernsey, Channel Islands) and living here my entire life I have been unable to set up onshore accounts. Why? Because my passport whilst stating on the front that it is a 'British EEC' passport also has a line of text printed on the last page stating that I have 'no right of establishment or employment in the EEC'. Why do we have any allegence to the UK, they seem to stitch us up at every available opportunity.

HSBC's FIRST DIRECT refuses me an account

  • Lucky Jim
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • not a depositor
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  • Fri, 30/01/2009 - 01:03

First Direct is an integral part of HSBC.'s internet banking service. It has REFUSED my request to open a bank account nothwithstanding my wife having an account with them

I wrote to First Direct as follows:

British Expat opening an account with First Direct.


  1. I am a UK British expat living in France (address below). .
    I would like to open an account with First Direct as I no longer trust off-shore banking.

  2. My wife (name) has an account with you. Hitherto you have advised me that as I am not resident in the UK I can not have an account.

  3. I believe the position has changed as HSBC now allows an expat to open a UK bank account providing evidence of bona fide (passport copy, utility bill for proof of residence) is supplied.

  4. I have hitherto banked life savings off-shore but now consider the risks of doing so are too great to do so any further as there is no compensation scheme in the Channel Isles & the IOM is a dead duck after the KaupthingIOM disaster. So I will also be looking to First Direct for possible savings account.

  5. HM Government has stated in the House of Commons that there is no legal impediment to an expat opening a bank account in the UK, and as HSBC your parent bank has agreed to this I would be grateful for confirmation from you that I can open a First Direct account forthwith.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

Yours Sincerely,




I can confirm that the main criteria required to apply is as follows:

1) That you apply from a UK residential address and must be resident in the UK at the time of applying.

2) That identification, in the form of a utility bill or bank statement dated within the last 3 months showing your full name and address, is supplied along with the application.

3) We may also need to speak to you at some stage of the processing of the application.


Melanie Dyson
New Customer Team

Well, I did try -- again !

First Direct

  • cypheath
  • 01/11/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 23/02/2009 - 15:12

First Direct allowed me to make my account into a joint and my partner's Lloyds TSB acct. allowed him to make it into a joint acct with me. We were in UK at Xmas so were also able to open an acct at Yorkshire Bank without too much trouble, although there were a few hiccups until the manager got involved.
I just think they aren't au fait with doing it so fob you off if they can. Northern Rock gave us an emphatic no as did Abbey even though have been with both of them in the past. In fact Abbey said you had to be UK resident for 90 days before you could open an acct with them.


  • Pitarolle
  • 03/11/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 23/02/2009 - 09:35

Lucky Jim

Sorry to hear you didn't have any luck with First Direct. When we arrived back in France in February, waiting for us was a letter from HSBC saying that our proof of address did not comply with their criteria. One of the approved documents was an original bank statement, dated within the last SIX months, showing our (french) address. (The print out from Lloyds did not show our address.) We sent off 2 statements (1 each) to the branch and received them back within a week with a letter to say that our accounts were now in order.

Referring to the points First Direct made.

1) We were actually in UK when we applied although we had no proof of a UK address.

2) The bank statements supplied had to be dated within the last SIX months, not 3.

3) This condition was fulfilled as we went into the branch to open the account.

The list of acceptable address verification follows (only ONE was requested):

Driving Licence - Full UK (Paper or photocard) (must be a current licence and must not have expired -Provisional Licence only acceptable for U18s only)

Bank, Building Society or Credit Union Statement (must show activity and dated with the last six months - Internet statements are not acceptable)

Credit Card Bill/Statements (must show your name, current address in full and dated with the last six months)

Mortgage Statements (must be from a recognised lender and dated with the last 12 months - Internet statements not acceptable)

Council tax or water rates bill (valid for current year)

Utility Bill ie telephone, gas or electric (dated within last six months - mobile phone bill not accepted)

Home Office Letter (must confirm right to work in UK dated within last six months)

Motor Insurance Certificate (must not have expired - cover note not acceptable).

In fact, we could have shown them an acceptable proof of UK residence as we have driving licences which are registered at our daughter's address. (DVLA do not require any proof of residence at a UK address.) I am sure many expats also still have a UK driving licence which has to be registered at a UK address.

I would say First Direct don't deserve your business - don't talk to the monkey, talk to the organ grinder! Best of luck.

First Direct Account

  • ferrandiere
  • 19/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Sat, 31/01/2009 - 16:00

I had a First Direct account when we lived in the UK and when we moved first to Portugal and then to France a few years later, they were happy for me to keep the account and change the address. Therefore, I do not see why they should refuse to open a new account if you can provide proof of residence in France. The next time I am in the Uk, I think I will try to open an HSBC account and show them a statement from First Direct.

Good example of the real

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 30/01/2009 - 01:31

Good example of the real world. It's not encouraging that they say "I can confirm that the main criteria required to apply is as follows" and not "...are as follows" but maybe just a slip.

HSBC open for business

  • teedoff
  • 18/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 27/01/2009 - 16:13

I confirm that twelve months I opened an account in the UK with HSBC with no problems. Admitedly, I was an existing customer in France with them (ex CCF) but I believe they are more accustomed to assisting expats. Clearly, they have a presence in most countries in the world which aids transfer of funds via the internet at your leisure.

Interest rates are not so hot but as Pitarolle mentions, their High Interest Bonds are not so bad as a short term measure whilst we figure out what markets are going to do.

You don't suppose that the

  • Captain Mainwaring
  • 11/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 27/01/2009 - 14:50

You don't suppose that the more cynical of us could claim that HSBC were cashing in could you?


  • sad
  • 10/10/08 31/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 27/01/2009 - 14:01

I'd be interested to know how much of your money is 'garanteed' ( I'm sure you will have inquired). Am i right in thinking this is not a british bank so if the worst happens the UK gov will not cover 100%.....


  • Ally
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
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  • Tue, 27/01/2009 - 14:39


A bank does not have to be British to fall under the FSCS it has to be operating under a UK banking banking licence. However in this case it makes no difference as HSBC despite its name (Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation) is in fact a UK bank. Therefore you should be covered up to £50k per account holder.

Safe Bank Accounts

  • chipmunk
  • 13/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
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  • Wed, 28/01/2009 - 04:44

Having lost almost half a million I am not prepared to lose what little I have left.....went to Hong Kong and within ten minutes opened a HSBC bank account ....100% government guarantee ..NO LIMIT,,,,,until 2010


  • IanAbroad
  • 11/10/08 13/08/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 27/01/2009 - 14:51

Darling and Brown have already put their stake in the ground, it's "100%" covered if you are a retail customer of a UK bank.
Hence 100% for Icesave, 100% for Kaupthing UK, NorthernRock rescue, bank bailouts etc, etc.
They won't back track now.

Of course, a joint account would really guarantee you up to £100k anyway.


  • sad
  • 10/10/08 31/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Wed, 28/01/2009 - 02:28

Duh!!!....sorry, i feel a bit silly now, I'd convinced myself only the first K50/depositor would be guaranteed, just goes to show how all of this can mess with your mind!

Just as an add on can i point out that this is how a chat forum should work, thanks for putting me straight, i'd obviously got my knickers in a twist yet there was no mention of how 'stupid' etc etc i was and Ally and Ianabroad didn't need to quote their CV's at me to point out my error....Thanks