Where to open an account if not IOM ?

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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Posted: Fri, 14/10/2011 - 11:00

Has anything changed? I need a sterling account and am not UK-resident. I've spent hours talking to UK banks and the result is the same as ever - they tell you you can't open an account if not UK-resident, and/or refer you to their "International" branch (or whatever they might call it) which is a subsidiary on IoM or the Channel Islands.

Net result, I seem to have no option than to go against our own group's advice and open a new account on IoM (I'd rather avoid Jersey/Guernsey - better the devil-you-know).

Has anybody successfully opened a UK account recently (without having a UK address etc.) ? If so, please tell me how and where.

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UK savings accounts for Expats: HSBC worth a try

  • VikingRaider
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
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  • Tue, 20/12/2011 - 11:16

If you look as the HSBC Canada website, they off a Premier account, but I have heard of people opening a UK basic account , Worth a try, See also http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-1594494/Best-banks-for...


Success opening new accounts with HSBC as non-resident

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 16/12/2011 - 09:49

An update - Thanks to Anrigaut's work with HSBC in York and the efforts of the staff there, I now have new current accounts with HSBC (both business and personal.) The process basically involved nothing more than visiting a branch to present id information (the usual proof of address stuff) - the key was getting to talk to staff who actually understood the process - the typical call centre staff do not.

So, I've back-tracked on my prior refusal to ever deal with HSBC again - they were originally the cause of my losing my UK current account, which indirectly resulted in my depositing funds with KSFIOM. Now they have provided a solution, and no other UK bank did, so I'm reluctantly content with the solution.


Fingers crossed, ng!

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Fri, 16/12/2011 - 10:18

Fingers crossed, ng!

I do hope it works out well for you. As he has posted on the other site, our Treasurer, who now lives in York, recently took the opportunity to meet with Ian and give him some further background information about expat banking requirements in general and the ksfiom debacle in particular. He confirms my own impression that Ian will do his best to assist non-residents to open bank accounts with HSBC onshore.

Just to confirm, I have no vested interest whatsoever in HSBC. Indeed, for my own needs I have decided to remain with Barclays International (or Barclays Wealth as it is now called) ) despite my dislike of the 'Wealth' connotation, but will be moving my account soon from IOM to Knightsbridge (FSA-regulated).


Just for reference, some

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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Help at hand?

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Thu, 10/11/2011 - 08:57

We have a new member on here, Ian_In_York who is not a KSFIOM depositor but is interested in helping with or at least investigating this topic. I'll leave it to him to provide whatever further information he wants to give.


Possible banking solution for expats

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Thu, 10/11/2011 - 19:52

I have been in contact with Ian_in_York. Ian works in a major UK clearing bank and was surprised to discover the almost unsurmountable obstacles encountered by non-residents wanting to open onshore accounts in the UK. As a result of our discussions, he is now able to make a proposal to any KSFIOMDAG member, wherever resident, wishing to open an account at his branch. His outline of what he can offer, together with contact details for anyone interested, is now available in the members only area of the www.ksfiomdag.com site: http://www.ksfiomdag.com/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=90&func=view...

Understandably, Ian feels it would be inappropriate at this stage to post further details here on this publicly-accessible (depositors.org) site and I will not be able to answer any specific questions here. However DAG members who are registered here may contact Ian directly via his contact button on this site. Alternatively, you could choose to register as a depositor/bondholder on the ksfiomdag.com site (better late than never?!).


R105s only available to Premier applicants

  • MarkA
  • 20/11/08 31/05/09
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  • Fri, 11/11/2011 - 18:32

Interesting offer but notice the first item under 'Particular points to note' at the bottom: "Not Ordinarily Resident Declarations (R105s - interest without tax deducted) are only available to Premier applicants." An incentive to get you to open a Premier a/c which comes with perks that you may not necessarily need or use - and which charges a monthly fee. Oh, and you have to visit a branch of that clearing bank in person, which may not be an option for everyone. How come that's not required by their offshore bank?


MarkA The decision on R105s

  • Ian_in_York
  • 10/11/11 n/a (free)
  • not a depositor
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  • Tue, 22/11/2011 - 21:16

MarkA
The decision on R105s is to do with the considerable compliance costs involved in providing the service, its a decision the bank made a number of years ago and from how it came about isn't primarily an incentive for opening a Premier account. Also no body should really be paying for Premier, its really about qualifying, when the account is then free.

The difference with the offshore bank is that they operate under different regulations and procedures, for instance you can't pay cash into one of their accounts. Unfortunately that means that we have to see every applicant face to face somewhere.

Hope that makes sense
Ian


What are the qualifying criteria?

  • MarkA
  • 20/11/08 31/05/09
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  • Wed, 23/11/2011 - 09:50

"No body should really be paying for Premier, its really about qualifying, when the account is then free."

What are the qualifying criteria?


Hi Anrigaut, Are you sure

  • tonycBrisbaneOz
  • 12/10/08 31/05/13
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 11/11/2011 - 11:07

Hi Anrigaut,

Are you sure depositors.org is correct? I tried it and just got one of those 'this domain may be for sale' websites.

Regards, TonyC


Sorry Tony - went a bit

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Fri, 11/11/2011 - 11:17

Sorry Tony - went a bit fast.

Obviously (?) I meant chat.ksfiomdepositors.org (ie THIS site!)


I went too fast to and read

  • tonycBrisbaneOz
  • 12/10/08 31/05/13
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  • Fri, 11/11/2011 - 22:31

I went too fast to and read it as 'his' website.

Regards, TonyC


UK based USD account

  • bigloser
  • 23/11/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Sat, 05/11/2011 - 11:22

On a slightly different tack, I am now UK resident again. I get paid in US Dollars and am interested to hear if anyone knows of banks offering UK domiciled USD accounts.

I don't particularly want to change everything automatically into sterling, I'm happy to keep USD since we will be emigrating again in a few years time.
Which is the best bank to use?

This is actually how I ended up in the KSFIOM fiasco in the first place. Years ago it was hard to open a USD account in the UK without being labelled a drug laundering, money smuggling terrorist. Hence I ended up at S&F IOM.

As you can imagine, I am loathe to bank in the IOM again.

Cheers
Big loser


UK based USD account

  • Ian_in_York
  • 10/11/11 n/a (free)
  • not a depositor
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  • Tue, 22/11/2011 - 21:27

I can also help with this - prime current account customers can have foreign currency accounts in any traded currency. These accounts are held at UK branches and covered by the Financial Compensation Scheme in the usual way. There is a monthly fee of the currency equivalent of £5 per month.


On dangers of Offshore banking

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Sun, 30/10/2011 - 10:32

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-2055040/Eurozone-crisi...

Good article, with at last some serious attention being paid in the money press to the dangers of offshore banking and the inferior quality and unreliability of compensation schemes in IOM and Channel Islands. The case of KSFIOM cited as an example.

Have added a comment on the (almost insurmountable) problems for expats trying to open onshore accounts. Maybe some more comments here would help draw attention to this almost insurmountable problem. How about it?


Banking Ombudsman

  • D RAM
  • 13/10/08 01/08/14
  • unspecified
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  • Mon, 31/10/2011 - 13:56

Would it be worthwhile for those wanting to open onshore (UK) to complain to the Banking Ombudsman about banks in the UK refusing to open accounts for persons resident overseas ?

DRAM

PS: I have emailed the BBC suggesting they may care to run a story in their weekly Radio 4 "Moneybox" programme about UK Banks and Building Societies refusing to open accounts for expats without UK addresses. Not sure if they'll take up the suggestion but no harm in trying.


Complaining to Ombudsman would achieve nothing

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Wed, 02/11/2011 - 14:49

Confirmed today - no point in talking to the Ombudsman service as they only deal with customer issues - Simply wanting to be a customer doesn't count!

I've also spoken to FSA Consumer helpline - 0207 0661000 - who confirmed what we already know. So, I asked the questions:

  1. Do they care?
  2. If they do care what are they doing about it?

Of course, the girl I spoke to couldn't answer those questions, and gave me the email address consumer [dot] queries(?)fsa [dot] gov [dot] uk to write to. Another route is the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group - www.jmlsg.org.uk - who provide the guidance notes that the banks tend to work by.


Lloyds confirmed they won't offer an account

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Wed, 02/11/2011 - 13:50

Any result back from Moneybox?

Lloyds have confirmed (by telephone) that they won't offer an account to non UK residents. Specifically this was for a business account, myself being sole director/shareholder and non-resident. I kind of hoped it might make a difference that the company itself is a UK Ltd, but no. So, really an amazing Catch-22 situation - I have no practical way of receiving funds from clients, can't easily pay Customs and Excise or receive a VAT/tax refund (not actually VAT registered yet, but was considering registering) etc.


Moneybox

  • D RAM
  • 13/10/08 01/08/14
  • unspecified
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  • Thu, 03/11/2011 - 04:58

I've received a standard email reply acknowledging my suggestion for a story and that it will be considered for a future programme. Early days so let's hope for a more positive reply.

DRAM


@ D RAM

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Mon, 31/10/2011 - 14:53

Further information which may be useful if you get any reaction from Moneybox (maybe you could send it to them anyway):

In its report on the Banking Crisis published in April 2009, the UK Treasury Select Committee said:
"We accept that there is no specific regulation or law preventing the provision of bank accounts to expatriate British citizens, but in practice the supply appears to have been extremely limited. As such, many expatriates have been forced to deposit their money offshore, outside the protection of the Financial Services Authority, and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, as a direct result of the way in which Financial Services Authority regulations were interpreted in the UK. We therefore recommend that the Financial Services Authority liaise with both the Building Societies Association and the British Bankers' Association, to identify why provision is so poor, and report back to us on steps to be taken to ensure better provision in the future, whether by new products, or greater access to existing products." (para 101).

The Treasury's response in June 2009 was as follows:
"The Government looks forward to the FSA's response. The Treasury has made its own enquiries and confirms that the number of banks and building societies who are prepared to offer services to non-residents is small. The Treasury has invited the British Bankers Association to offer an account finder service to non-residents through its website at www.bba.org.uk. This free service was launched on 8 May and will help those who have difficulty in finding a suitable onshore account".

The FSA responded:
"... However, we recognise the importance of this issue and we have recently held a preliminary meeting with the British Bankers' Association and the Treasury about the limited provision of bank accounts for overseas expatriates. As recommended, we will continue to consult on this issue, and will update the Committee with our findings."

So both Treasury and the FSA recognised there was a problem. Whether the Committee ever received any updates from the FSA I have no idea. But our experience shows that nothing has changed.

Moreover, the "free service" on the bba website is a complete farce. The page headed "for non-residents looking to enter banking relationships in the UK while continuing to reside outside UK" informs that "the following products are available to you:" and then provides links to the International services of 3 major banks - all of which then send you offshore. Not exactly helpful - but the Treasury clearly felt it had done its job!


Lloyds TSB International survey

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 28/10/2011 - 15:00

http://www.international-adviser.com/news/uk/on-second-thought-well-stay...

Reporting on a survey by Lloyds TSB International, this article says:
"In what may be seen as an indication of how conscious the outside world is of Britain’s current economic and social hard times, a recent survey of more than British expatriates has revealed that in the past year, as many as 15% may have cancelled their plans to return to Britain. ..... "

and concludes:
"For Lloyds TSB International, this is probably good news, though possibly also not a surprise: in a footnote to its report, it noted that it had opened more than 20,000 international bank accounts over the last 12 months, suggesting that expats are not only staying abroad instead of coming home, but are being joined by new arrivals.

For such newcomers, the bank offers financial tips and a checklist to help people with their emigration issues at www.lloydstsb-offshore.com."

I have added a comment re the downside of Offshore banking (link as above).


Offshore banking: gems from Lloyds TSB

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Thu, 27/10/2011 - 18:11

http://www.lloydstsb-offshore.com/offshore-savings/

"A secure home for your money"

http://www.lloydstsb-offshore.com/offshore-banking/?WT.ac=WHY_OFF_RHS

Among the advantages:

"Security and stability
......
* Accounts opened in Gibraltar or Isle of Man depending on country of residence and account currency""

No mention of any disadvantages - such as the inferior compensation schemes: unfunded and with lower limits (£50 000 vs £85 000 onshore).

"What is an offshore bank?

An offshore or international bank is simply a bank based in a jurisdiction outside of your country of residence."

So, my (French) bank in France is an offshore bank ???


ng

  • caledonia
  • 14/10/08 30/09/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 18/10/2011 - 17:23

I managed to open an HSBC account in Tunbridge Wells a year ago, using a foreign address, but I did have to visit the branch in person.


Were there any delays or

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Wed, 19/10/2011 - 08:35

Were there any delays or problems? I really have a strong dislike for HSBC - I had banked with them for some 25 years, current accounts and credit card before totally out of the blue, they closed my account, essentially because they didn't like the fact that there were no regular payments going in. I always suspected it was a cock-up but could never get them to admit it, let alone resolve it. The knock-on effect was that I needed to open a deposit account elsewhere - chose KSFIOM, and the rest, as they say is history.


Ng

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Wed, 19/10/2011 - 09:03

Hi Ng

Just thought it might make you feel better to know that
HSBC have strict rules about their accounts that very same thing happened to me post KSFIOM and as there was no regular payments going in they closed without even asking..But it was only a Basic Account..

Which I was very annoyed about! however
Jersey has an Aplus rating I checked it out on Moody & Fitch Yesterday PM...

Aurora


I will never, never, never again bank with HSBC

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Thu, 20/10/2011 - 23:55

Thanks Aurora, but it doesn't make me feel much better!

My deposit at KSFIOM was a small inheritance (about 70k) after my mother died. It was the proceeds of the sale of our small family home, where I had grown up, split between my two brothers and myself. I had everything planned - an account at ING UK where I planned to leave the money and (hopefully) not need to touch it. The solicitors handling the house sale would send the money to my HSBC account from where I would transfer it to my ING account. I had had the HSBC account for some 25 years, with 11,000 credit facility (credit card limit plus overdraft limit) of which I typically used about 500 pounds before sending a payment to cover it.

They closed the account (and withdrew my credit card) totally without warning, even sending me a threatening letter that if I attempted any further use of my credit card they would chop my legs off (or something like that!) It was a matter of weeks before the house sale proceeds were expected to come through. First I tried to get HSBC to back-track, convinced it must be a mistake, and explaining that I needed the account in order to receive a 70k payment. I spent a week or so on that before giving up, and then tried to open a current account with another bank (needed to "link" to my ING deposit account) - all to no avail as a non-resident, as we know. Finally went looking on-line for an alternative to ING for a deposit account where I might receive reasonable interest and easy access - found Kaupthing Edge (UK) - tried to open an account and got referred to their IOM subsidiary. Opened an account and had the 70k paid-in late August 2008. We all know what happened in October.

Well, back in the "old days" I never actually wrote my story in our stories - so, that was it!

In summary, I hate HSBC even more than IOM.


HSBC

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Fri, 21/10/2011 - 08:31

I am sorry to hear of your treatment, It does not exhonorate them from their behaviour I know!

I was a bit bemused myself and could not understand it... Banks have never been great for politeness toward their customers... I have had a few run ins over the years myself.. Because they know we need them..

Well Nat west is a great Friendly Bank and they have helped me in the Uk. So maybe give them a try.. They are approachable at least.

I have been watching the Moody & Fitch Ratings. so get on their site sign up and watch the Market.. National Insurance Scheme seem a safer bet but the rates are pretty low.

So you were in a similar position to me with your Money.. but it left us Homeless due to my Divorce and Back injury having to leave my job as a Nurse.

Keep trying I only went with HSBC because they were in profit and were not likely to go down the pan like KSF did!..

Not much choice other than Barclays who seem quite strong and A plus..

Best of Luck!

Aurora


Follow-up

  • Jean-Charles Marlier
  • 10/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 21/10/2011 - 08:56

I don't agree with that statement at all,I do believe the other way around,that BANKS DO NEED US MORE THAN WE NEED THEM,and it is up to us to remind them that it is our money they are handling NOT THEIRS!!!
And should any of those clerks show some disrespect to us,we then should object very strongly and take it up with the management.
The client rules, always.
Jean-Charles


You'r right

  • IoM-neveragain
  • 12/10/08 30/03/10
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 17/10/2011 - 13:38

Agreed Tony and Anrignaut.
What a stupid error on my part even suggesting Guernsey.
That's why Tony's new website reminding the world about how little the IoM cares about its customers is so good. I should have searched first for the history of Guernsey and it likewise terats its customers.


Where to bank?

  • IoM-neveragain
  • 12/10/08 30/03/10
  • a depositor
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  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 17:00

Co-op in Guernsey will take deposits for british passport holders - do not need a UK address
Good (in comparison) rate of interest at moment.

see http://www.co-operativebank.co.uk/servlet/Satellite/1193206370390,CFSweb...

"We offer accounts to residents of Guernsey, Jersey, IOM, UK and British Citizens living / working abroad. Offering Telephone, Fax, e-mail and Internet communication options, you can stay in touch with your accounts 24 hours a day, wherever you are in the World."
Note limited to £50k compensation though and main benefit - it's not in IoM!!


As far as I can tell Guernsey

  • tonycBrisbaneOz
  • 12/10/08 31/05/13
  • a depositor
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  • Mon, 17/10/2011 - 11:04

As far as I can tell Guernsey is just as unfit for purpose as a finance centre as the IOM is.

Have a look at

http://www.landsbankiguernseyfiasco.net/

and

http://info.landsbankiaction.org.gg/

Regards, Tony.


I agree they are worse

  • calpespain
  • 12/10/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 18/10/2011 - 00:37

I agree, Guernsey are far worse, their MP's don't care about anyone at all as was clear with their bank scandal of Landsbanki....Never bank there...please


MP'S

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Tue, 18/10/2011 - 09:05

Oh so the MP'S in the Uk care do they??????? Wake up! you have a short memory ...Sealed papers and banks taking money before it reaches its destination like my was... with KSFUK..my account was opened on KSFIOM it never got there it was all a big lie the grading AAA so here we go again with the double dip ressession and every one is running scared!

UK Treasury got us into this bloody Mess in the first place!All because of the USA debt knock on effect..

Mp's are pretty much in it for what they can GET and cheat the System! remember expenses Claims and Mortgages on 2nd properties... Duck House and the Like!

I rest my Case Nowhere is Safe! perhaps under my Bed!!

Considering it!

Aurora


..

  • follow_the_tao
  • 11/10/08 31/05/09
  • a depositor
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  • Tue, 18/10/2011 - 09:11

..


Guernsey is ... offshore!

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 17:38

"main benefit - it's not in IoM!!"

I don't think the depositors of Landsbanki Guernsey would see that as a benefit! True, there is now a compensation scheme - limited as in IOM to £50k - but at the time of the collapse of Landsbanki there was none and the Guernsey authorities have done nothing to help them.

Out of the frying pan springs to mind ...


Non resident London banking

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 14/10/2011 - 16:16

Just found this (Barclays Wealth):

http://res-non-dom.barclays.com/london-bank-account/

"London based international banking services and bank accounts

An international bank account in London gives you access to a range of financial services created in one of the world's major financial centres.

Our London bank branch is in Knightsbridge, in the heart of London's West End, and offers a range of bank accounts.

London is the best place for your banking requirements if you are likely to visit the UK regularly as it will be easier to speak with staff in Knightsbridge and have your queries dealt with quickly. ...
...
Banking in London also means that your deposits are covered by the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which provides full reimbursement up to £50,000."

Clearly out-of-date re the compensation limit - but presumably not otherwise.

Probably a loop-hole somewhere, but may be worth investigating.


non-resident onshore bank account-london-knightsbridge office.

  • jamjar
  • 11/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
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  • Mon, 21/11/2011 - 15:56

dear anrigaut.in addition to your findings,and comments,i can confirm the sucessful opening of an account with barclays wealth,at the above address,with all the pre-qualification criteria handled very proffesionaly,since then i have had a few discussions with a personal relationsip manager,who is exeptionaly helpful in terms of acheiving " your goals" ,i did not have to visit the london office,and the whole shooting match was carried out over the telephone,should you,or indeed all other d.a.g. collegues wish to follow this up in opening an onshore account,with i think the only major bank,that hasn,t had a government bailout,and are i beleive as reliable as you get ,then i would advise giving them a call.the lady i spoke with is archana malliwal who kindly gave her express approval to the issue of placing her name and phone no on our website,she is contactable on direct line +44 0 2070682783,and/or e-mail archana [dot] malliwal(?)barclayswealth [dot] com ,should anyone wish to chat on this matter i should be only be too pleased to help.


Thanks for that jamjar.

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Mon, 21/11/2011 - 21:23

Thanks for that jamjar. I have been a Barclays customer for over 50 years, transfered to Barclays IOM when I moved to France almost 30 years ago and have already decided to simply get my account transferred to Knightsbridge - easy for me as an existing Barclays Wealth (as it's now called) customer. Am just waiting for the present dividend to be paid in before disturbing anything! The only thing I don't much like is being in a bank for the wealthy (part of the International arm of Barclays as in IoM), but they've never quibbled about my modest current account, which is all I kept with them when I moved my savings to The Derbyshire.

But your experience as a new customer may be helpful to others. My discussions with HSBC in York, following a chance 'encounter' with Ian, were undertaken with the aim of providing another possible solution for others. I gather several have taken advantage of this, so feel it was worthwhile.


onshore bank account-york

  • jamjar
  • 11/10/08 31/05/09
  • unspecified
  • Offline
  • Tue, 22/11/2011 - 16:17

dear anrigaut,i tried to follow up ian in york,following your details,but was un-sucessful,could,nt get them up on my monitor,could you re-direct me accordingly,thanks again,jamjar


onshore bank account-york

  • Ian_in_York
  • 10/11/11 n/a (free)
  • not a depositor
  • Offline
  • Tue, 22/11/2011 - 21:17

Jamjar
I have sent you a PM
Ian


BE AWARE

  • conned
  • 13/10/08 n/a (free)
  • a depositor
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  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 09:09

I don't remember the details of this but Lucky Jim phoned Guernsey where he understood his bank account to be. While talking to an employee he had a feeling something was not right and asked, 'where are you'? 'Jersey' was the answer. 'We moved your money to Jersey'. I don't have to tell you Banks tell you lies, as in AAA rating etc., In IOM speak that means 'avoid any accuracy' also Depositors, 'mugs ripe for plucking' As in my new dictionary for the IOM.


Offshore Accounts

  • Anonymous
  • Offline
  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 09:34

It is my Understanding that all ACCOUNTS are assessessed by IOM before any account is Opened..

Which ever Island monies are placed.

Just thought I would let you know that, as we are all familiar with the term Jurisdiction.

Aurora


Thanks, but I don't think

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 14/10/2011 - 16:43

Thanks, but I don't think it's a solution - it also says "we offer a range of services for those living and working in the UK as resident non-domiciled" - I get the impression they're catering for non UK citizens living/visiting the UK, rather than the other way around. I also get the impression that they're targeting individuals with higher incomes - I probably don't qualify!


Re Barclays Wealth

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
  • a depositor
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  • Fri, 14/10/2011 - 17:58

I agree the site text is confusing (probably because they in fact do both things), but I have just phoned them in London and they confirm that they can open onshore accounts for non-resident (expats) like us and I am now in the process of opening one.

As regards qualifying, I am actually already a Barclays Wealth customer (but in IOM) - not because I'm wealthy but because my ordinary UK Barclays account got transferred there 30 years ago when I moved to France (they used to be called simply Barclays International - and I think still are officially - this Wealth name is recent and I don't like it, but what can I do?!). Because it's a change from offshore to onshore, I have to open a new account and close the old one, but as an existing customer I guess they are not going to check out my wealth credentials! However, it says somewhere that new customers should either have an annual income of at least £24,000 or deposit at least £5000 across all accounts held with them.

The girl I spoke with asked why I wanted to change from IOM. She knew nothing about the Kaupthing collapse. She went off to check re the compensation scheme with her manager who asked her to point out to me that the IOM scheme had the same £50k limit as the UK one - apparently unaware even that the UK limit is now £85k (or 100k euros). So I set her right on that, plus the other defects of the DCS, pointing out that I certainly know a great deal more about that than she or her manager do - which she accepted nicely!

Update: The phone line cut before we'd done, and when I called back (the London number) I got a girl called Vanessa - in the IOM! Well, at least she knew about KSF!! And quite understood why I wanted to move onshore. Turns out calls go either to Knightsbridge or to IOM or to Glasgow (which - judging by the accent - must be where I was first time around). So worth asking where the person is who replies - and make sure you say you want to open an account in London. Vanessa did confirm that it is possible to open accounts in Knightsbridge without a UK address (and also that in fact I can have my existing account transferred from IOM to London if I send a letter and certified copy of my passport - which is much better for me as I'll keep the same account number, standing order arrangements etc; I will just have to sign the new T&Cs).

So many thanks ng for raising this subject again and giving me the push I needed. It looks as if I shall at last be getting the last of my cash away from the IOM.


Thanks anrigaut, I'll give

  • ng
  • 11/10/08 31/12/20
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  • Sat, 15/10/2011 - 11:22

Thanks anrigaut, I'll give Barclays a try. Currently waiting for Lloyds TSB to come back to me. It's arguably not the banks that are to blame here but the ridiculous "know your customer" regulations which they have to abide by. I call them ridiculous as I can't see what they might genuinely achieve in terms of combating terrorism and money-laundering - surely anyone involved in those activities would have access to the resources to forge the required documentation.

I'll report back if and when I mange to open an account somewhere.


@NG - know your customer

  • expatvictim
  • 10/10/08 01/11/10
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  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 13:10

Ng- I think you are being too kind to the banks. As I understand it, the 'know your customer' rules do not prohibit them from allowing an expatriate UK citizen from opening a UK bank account. It is the way they have chosen to enforce the rules; no doubt for their own benefit. Their offshore arms still require the same proof of address and identification.


A word of warning about Barclays........

  • Valentine
  • 18/10/08 31/05/14
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  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 04:21

Hi Anrigaut and ng

I have banked with Barclays all my working life. When I moved abroad they transferred all my accounts from my local branch to Knightsbridge "International Banking Centre" - it's probably got another name now.

Initially, I found them quite accomodating and efficient, but, to cut a very long story short, it was their unhelpfulness and indifference that led me to open an account with the Derbyshire IOM in 2006 and to move most of my funds there.

I still have an account at Knightsbridge but they refuse to send me a card or a cheque book, so the account is pretty useless to me - and as from September they have started charging me 5 pounds a month - for NOTHING. If I need to contact them I have to phone and get someone based in the IOM, which as you say, is a bit strange to say the least. I still have a six year bond thing, based, yes, in the IOM. It seems that any special deal that they offer as regards fixed deposits etc. seem to be based in the IOM and subject to IOM regulations. UK based accounts offer little or no interest.

With my EPS money and after a lot of fuss and bother I managed to open an account with HSBC in Jersey. Within a few days I had a cheque book and a card. I was very impressed ........ until after a couple of months they started charging me 15 pounds a month. With HSBC and with Barclays if you have under 50k or 60k they charge a monthly fee. I find that condition not only obscene, obnoxious, and grossly discriminatory, but I am quite sure that it would not stand up in a court of law if they were not employing a gang of expensive and canny lawyers. I closed my HSBC account a few months ago.

So, perhaps you can understand my frustration with the British banking fraternity, and why I advise everyone to 'consider the benefits' of banking in your country of residence if you possibly can.


Thanks Valentine. I fully

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Sun, 16/10/2011 - 08:50

Thanks Valentine. I fully understand your point about banking where you live and your frustration - which I share - with the British banking system. But I also understand ng's expressed need for a UK cheque account for his business needs and also for personal convenience when visiting UK (the latter of which I share).

Of course, I do bank in France and most of my funds are indeed here where I live. I have long considered giving up keeping a UK account, but remain reluctant to give up the convenience of a) having direct access to sterling when I visit UK, with a sterling debit card and cheque book (though the latter could perhaps be dispensed with these days) and b) managing a number of small standing orders (subscriptions to societies) in UK. Those are the rational reasons. But in fact, the irrational ones are probably stronger. Despite living all my life in France since nearly 30 years and having long since acquired dual nationality, I still seem to need to feel British when I cross the channel (I systematically exit France with a French identity card and enter UK with a British passport!); having a UK bank account is part of not feeling a foreigner in the land of my birth - irrational I know but logic doesn't always win out, even with a mathematician like me! Although I would never want to return to live in UK, my reasons for leaving it were not to escape it and I retain a strong nostalgic attachment.

Like you, I have banked with Barclays all my working life and regularly got p*** off with them, especially since being shunted off to the IOM when I left UK, and several times considered moving elsewhere. But by then I was stuck offshore and found no reason to suppose that any other available bank would be any better - so just not worth the effort of moving the current account. So, also like you (!), in 2000 I opened an account with The Derbyshire and moved most of my sterling funds there (and look where that got us!), just keeping a current account with Barclays. I was again unhappy when they started to charge £5 a month for this, but finally accepted it as the price to pay for the convenience I seek (after all, they do in fact provide a service, for which logically it makes some sense that I should pay - and to be honest they get nothing much from my custom otherwise).

With some of the funds recovered from KSF, I eventually opened an ns&i account to allow regular topping up of the current account. Logically, given the small amount I keep in it, I could perfectly well leave the current account where it is in the IOM. But again logic is not all - and psychologically I want it off the IOM! Barclays Wealth (Vanessa in IOM) assured me I could simply transfer my account to Knightsbridge, with no change of account number and no disruption in my standing orders. I presume this means I keep the same debit card and cheque book, but certainly intend to request confirmation of this when I write.

Your comment that you could not get Knightsbridge to send you either a cheque book or a card is somewhat worrying, at least for anyone (eg ng) contemplating opening a new account there who would need to get that clear. I find it surprising however as the first girl I spoke with, who thought (wrongly it seems) that I would need to close the IOM account and open a new one with them, started to take details and checked specifically that I would want both a cheque book and a debit card. The problem with all these banks is that the information you get tends to depend on who answers the phone - some are clearly ill-informed - and any offer should be confirmed by them in writing.

Just to be clear: I am not touting for Barclays - far from it. But each of us has our own needs and reasons (rational or not) for wanting or not to have a UK-based account. So I put this forward as a possibility worth looking into for those wanting to move funds onshore. The choice is limited - and beggars can't be choosers!


@ anrigaut

  • Valentine
  • 18/10/08 31/05/14
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  • Mon, 17/10/2011 - 12:09

I think many of us expats who bank offshore would admit that we do have a certain amount of inbuilt loyalty to the pound and to UK institutions as a whole. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say - never a truer word was spoken. And certainly true in my case, but my head is beginning to overrule my heart.

To address your concerns as to why Barclays wouldn't send me a card ; Barclays happen to have a list of countries that they regard as not safe to send cards, etc. to. Thailand happens to be one of them. I could quite understand their concerns and offerred to pay for a courier. They didn't even respond to that suggestion. And the thing is HSBC sent me two cards and a cheque book without any hesitation or subsequent problems. But get this : when they introduced online banking they said that they had to send me a 'membership card' wirh some sort of secure number. The card happens to be the same size and shape as a credit card, so they couldn't send me one. I suggested that they could send me the number by some other means, but no. How daft is that? The 5 pounds fee is neither here nor there, but it's the principle. In these hard times the banks are about the only businesses making profits but they feel that they can hit us again while the fat cats in pinstripes rake it in.

To get back to the loyalty thing. HSBC crept into London from the Far East in the mid nineties to cash in on the boom. They did cash in in no uncertain terms and were happy to be known as Britain's biggest bank.

And now?
When they are not weasling and whining about excessive government regulation, they are threatening to pull out of London, shedding thousands of jobs in the UK. Loyalty? - they don't know what the word means.
Rats leaving a sinking ship?
But let's not demean rats......


Hi ng, Have you seen the

  • anrigaut
  • 19/10/08 30/10/09
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  • Fri, 14/10/2011 - 11:17

Hi ng,

Have you seen the recent post by softlad66 on this forum: http://chat.ksfiomdepositors.org/forum-topic/dont-bank-iom-website ?

It is encouraging me to try again to find an alternative to my present sterling current a/c which I am ashamed to admit is still with Barclays IOM - where it has been since being directed to move there from UK when I moved to France nearly 30 years ago.

I have been able to open a deposit account with ns&i (national savings) which accepts opening without UK address, pays interest without tax deduction and is fully guaranteed by UK Treasury! Their on-line Direct Saver account is currently paying 2.75%. BUT - and there's the sting in the tail - they don't offer current accounts and you need a nominated UK current account elsewhere to be able to make withdrawals. In this instance "UK" includes IOM and CI banks (which operate in the UK banking system) - so I still have to keep the IOM account for this.