UK Bank Account for Non-Residents

UK Bank Account for Non-Residents

Non-United Kingdom residents and opening a bank account

For a non-UK resident, it becomes a little difficult to open a bank account in the United Kingdom. The reason for the difficulty is stringent Anti-money Laundering (AML) guidelines levied by the controllers. For United Kingdom high street banks, it amounts to a lot of hassle to verify details such as name of all the company directors, their credit history, and their background, and to verify the rest of the information when individuals are located outside the United Kingdom

All business need a bank account to perform business transaction, however, opening a new bank account has become ever more problematic owing to world-wide connectivity of data and anti-money laundering initiatives. Usually, banks are now opening accounts for businesses that have been acquainted with a licensed and renowned service provider that is on the bank’s ‘approved list’. Mostly, all banks now carry out due diligence, which is greater than before, not just while opening a new bank account but also on a transactional basis. Procedures of opening a business bank account vary extensively between banks, and occasionally even among different branches of a similar bank. Application to open a bank account can be problematical and official papers often need to be notarised or certified and even in certain cases translated

For a limited company, without a business bank account, it can be very problematic to manage business finances and classify business accounting records. Additionally, it will be more challenging for an individual to attain business financing for an organisation as he/she may not be treated seriously due to unavailability of a proper business bank account. A business will get more trustworthiness in the eyes of financial organisations if they see it running professionally with a committed business bank account. As a non-United Kingdom resident, an individual possibly will be entitled for a business bank account with few of the chief United Kingdom banks such as Lloyds Bank or Barclays International Bank. A company can also try is to open a bank account in a foreign country by authorising the company creation documents


It’s a normal process with banks to carry out credit authorisations on all aspirants wishing to get a business bank account in the United Kingdom. Verification is carried out to check an aspirant’s suitability. Verification process usually includes providing the bank with detailed ID proof of a United Kingdom address and photographic proof, both of which must be given in person at the bank an individual is applying to. Different banks have different documentation requirements – for example, with Lloyds Bank, an individual possibly will be permitted to open a business bank account if a minimum of one the account guarantors lives in the United Kingdom. However, with Barclays International, an individual may possibly be able to open an account if he/she can make available an initial security guarantee along with the application form. Also, if an individual is yet to incorporate a business, then he/she might be able to take benefit of Barclays Business Banking service accessible to listed clients

Details about the requirements of certain banks to open a business bank account in the United Kingdom:

Lloyds Bank

In order to open a business bank account with Lloyds, it will be appropriate for a limited company with a minimum of one United Kingdom-resident guarantor. Submissions can be made over the telephone or online. The United Kingdom based director will be requested to make available their proof-of-address and photographic ID submission in person at a Lloyds bank division. Out of the country company proprietors and account guarantors must send duplicates of their proof-of-address and photographic ID documents to the same Lloyds branch. All the documents submitted at the bank branch will have to be lawfully certified, prior to presentation, by a notary, banking official, government body, or legal representative. It is imperative to take copies of paperwork. Do not post any original official papers just for instance if they get lost in shipment. Get all the document copies endorsed and post those as an alternative

HSBC Business Banking

An HSBC account may be appropriate for United Kingdom listed limited companies with all non-United Kingdom resident director and shareholders. To meet with the requests of the bank, the shareholders of the business needs to travel to the United Kingdom to meet with an HSBC representative at their bank branch

Barclays International

Barclays makes available accounts that are appropriate for businesses with no United Kingdom-resident shareholders or directors. To file an application, an individual must approach Barclays International that is established in the Isle of Man. Typically, an individual will be requested for a safety pledge of £10,000 for the initial month after account activation. The bank account will be classified as being offshore, however, the business bank account will be established in London and an individual will have right to use the similar facilities as any other type of bank account, such as cheque books, credit or debit cards, online banking, and telephone banking

Using a Local Bank’s business account

An individual can check to see if their local bank has any presence in the United Kingdom. In case the local bank has a branch, an individual can go through them and he/she might be able to get an account unlocked at their United Kingdom branch

An International Bank with a Branch close to an individual

Usually, international bank are likely to have branch operations in the United Kingdom. A non-resident individual can check with them and seek information about setting up an account with their United Kingdom branch

Virtual bank account

Virtual bank account is a perfect option for non-United Kingdom inhabitant directors for whom visiting the United Kingdom is not easy. Features of a Virtual bank account include the following:

  • A non-resident individual will receive a United Kingdom bank account number, IBAN number and sort code
  • A non-resident individual can use virtual bank account to receive payments in £(GBP) via bank transfer or credit card
  • A non-resident individual can also make payment to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or a supplier’s bank accounts
  • A non-resident can also get payments from market places such as Amazon
  • A non-resident individual can send payments via ATM cards, bank transfer, or withdraw funds to their local bank account in their own country
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