Best UK Banks For Expats

Before you migrate to the UK, you might want to keep your finances in order, and in most situations, that means setting up your bank account.   You can’t do a lot without a bank account, except with your expat status, and that’s why this blog here. In this blog, we’re going to analyse and suggest some of the right banks to put your money in or at least pay for your bills. If you’re planning to travel to Wales, Scotland, England or Ireland, these banks will be the perfect place to begin.

All the reasons why you need a bank account in the United Kingdom

While it is not a legal necessity to have a bank account in the UK and you can see many British citizens going on without having bank accounts, considering the alternatives accessible on the financial sector, such as credit unions, construction firms, and even the National Savings & Investment Accounts, we suggest that expats find the right banks to make money or to make deposits.

A savings account would make it much easier for you to pay your utility bills. The excellent thing is that there is a wide variety of banks that provide simple bank accounts, which you can access with poor credit. But you don’t have an excuse not to have a bank account.

But before you decide to open your bank account, there are a few things you need to do before you open your bank account, or even pick the right bank or you.

In the scenario that you move to the UK before opening your bank account, you should know that you can handle all your investments from an international bank account as long as you have a bank account with a debit card or a credit card. Your Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card would support you well. So, why deal with a bank account because you can use your credit/debit cards? Okay, the key reason why you need a UK bank account is that Visa, American Express and MasterCard cards are frequently subject to very high transaction costs as well as currency exchange rates.

Types of bank accounts to open in the UK

If you are planning to open a bank account in the United Kingdom, you must first decide which type of bank account you want to open. Make sure to select the bank account type that synchronises with your banking needs and usage.

Basic bank account

A basic account is one of the most frequent forms of bank accounts in the United Kingdom. It’s a free account, and it’s perfect for those with low records, or even those unable to open or keep current accounts. Some characteristics of this account include a Visa Electron debit card and a direct debit payment option. However, this account does not allow you access to deposits, credit cards or overdrafts. Generally, this is the perfect bank account for someone who wants a basic banking structure while they wait for something to improve, from which they can open their current account. Remember that you can only access your current account if you verify the specifics of your credit check.

Current account

Current accounts are regular and essentially the most popular method of the bank account you will open in the UK. You will use your current account to cover your bills, collect your salary checks, or even to buy. Present accounts are low-cost deposit accounts, though some banks may offer free accounts. Through your bank account, you will have access to a debit card, a credit card and access to an overdraft service. You should also recognise that most banks in the United Kingdom provide specific versions of the current accounts to students and the youth.

Saving account

If you want to save as much money as possible, a savings account could be the ideal a place to start, particularly if you want to keep your money for a short period. There are various types of savings plans, so if you wish to take advantage of a high-interest savings account, you would need to invest a higher minimum investment and even decide for what period of time you want to keep the money out of control. Savings expected to last a long time would gain higher interest.

Digital/Mobile accounts – whether you’re looking for banking from your smartphone or some other mobile device, the UK banking industry has various digital banking solutions that you might pursue.

Best banks for Expats


Lloyds is the largest discount bank in the UK, offering a total of 8 current regular accounts, classic accounts, a basic deposit, an account under the age of 19, as well as a college account. Lloyds provides platinum accounts and insurance coverage, in addition to credit interest offerings of £19 a month. Along these, Lloyds also provides two international accounts that are ideal for non-residents as well as people moving abroad or having entry to foreign markets. With respect to savings accounts, the bank provides 12 local savings accounts as well as four multinational multi-currency savings accounts.

If you have a minimum salary of £25,000 as your balance of payments, Lloyd will provide you with free overseas money transfers.

Barclays Bank

Barclays Bank is one of the biggest and most prosperous banks in the United Kingdom. Barclays provides the largest variety of high-quality banking services to address the needs of both consumers and companies.

Generally, Barclays provides three standard transaction accounts – current standard accounts, regular accounts, and premium accounts. However, if you are involved in a school account or children’s account, you can still find the accounts set up. If you’re interested in spending or saving, you may like Barclays’ portfolio of decent savings and investment accounts, including an ISA account.

In addition to bank accounts, Barclays Bank also operates a foreign currency portfolio with 12 foreign currencies on board.

You can also avail a number of smartphone and online banking solutions, as well as the fact that you can configure your online account for a small fee, while also selecting from the tech and travel bundles.

saving account


Next to Barclays, HSBC would be the other major name in the UK banking sector. HSBC is one of the Top Four multinationals. It has a presence in more than 80 countries, and this global presence is the key explanation for HSBC’s success of expats joining the UK and several other countries around the world.

In addition to global scope, HSBC provides a wide variety of items, from the latest borrowing opportunities to mortgages, savings and even insurance solutions. Like Barclays, HSBC has free current accounts, but the distinction between the two is that HSBC has more current accounts – eight to be exact. These current accounts provide a standard account with a regular cash withdrawal cap of GBP 300 and a prime account with the greatest rewards, including travel insurance available worldwide. The bank also provides account options for students, teenagers, or graduates.

As far as savings plans are concerned, HSBC has nine savings accounts that suit the needs of various individuals. The savings plans include the Children’s Savings Account, as well as the Help-to-Buy Savings Account, which will help you save for your first home. Savings/investment options also include a tax-free cash ISA portfolio.

If it comes to the international facilities provided by the bank, you can enjoy the bank’s free overseas current account, which is accessible in 14 foreign currencies.

HSBC also provides with an HSBC app that helps you to control and fulfil all of your banking needs on the go.

Metro bank

If you’re searching for a bank with one of the younger and smaller UK banks, then Metro Bank will be a perfect starting for you. Metro Bank opened its doors for the first time in 2010 and now has 67 branches across the UK.

The key selling points of Metro Bank include: all of its branches are open seven days a week, all of them are readily available, and you don’t need to make an appointment to see a financial advisor.

But the Metro bank isn’t the perfect option. Despite your connectivity and ease, this bank provides fewer opportunities for account forms. There is a free basic current account, which is free for all UK citizens. This account provides free cash withdrawals for international trades.

The simple account has a maximum withdrawal limit of £300, and you would also prefer their (4) savings account plans, which include the quick access savings account and the fixed-term savings account. ISA cash accounts are also available


NatWest is a UK bank well-developed for expats, as well as foreign nationals staying in the UK. The bank provides a good range of alternatives for bank accounts that accept local and foreign currency deposits and transactions. The bank is suitable for expats making at least £40,000 a year.




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