Top Foreigner and Non Resident-Friendly UK Banks

17 May 2024 - Category: Blog /
best banks

Settling in a foreign country is a challenging task that takes courage. New in the UK? Welcome and congratulations on making it!

We understand that finding a suitable bank is the number one priority for most foreigners, expats and non-residents for their financial security in a new country they want to eventually call home.

But choosing the right bank can be quite a hassle, especially in the UK, where you’re spoilt for choice.

Opening a bank account in the UK requires various authentication steps for citizens. So needless to say, most foreigners, expats and non-residents look for banks offering international accounts and flexible banking plans in the UK.

In this article, we will talk about the best UK banks for foreigners/non-residents such as Barclays Bank, NatWest Bank, Santander Bank, Lloyds Bank and HSBC UK Bank

Want to know more? Keep reading!.

What Makes Bank Accounts For Foreigners Special?

Bank accounts for foreigners, non-residents and expats have several key features, but the main one is currency conversion efficiency.

These bank accounts usually have lower transfer costs to facilitate international currency transfers in comparison to their peers.

Some banks in the UK even encourage foreign account holders to engage in foreign currency exchange by reducing or outright removing the transfer fee or giving non-residents/expats/foreigners better exchange rates than the average account holder.. .

In addition to these benefits, non-resident or expat accounts are much easier to open than domestic accounts opened by customers with permanent residence in the UK.

Opening them requires much less documentation, and you can open bank account in UK as a non-resident or foreigner through the Internet from many countries. These accounts are great for people who don’t have the necessary documents to open a current account.

However, opening accounts online is not an option that every UK bank offers. You will need to find an eligible bank that offers account opening services in the UK with little to no documentation.

Now that we have discussed the many advantages and benefits offered by non-resident accounts to expats and non-residents, let’s take a deep dive into the banks that offer non-resident bank accounts for expats.

Banks That Offer Foreigner/Non-Resident Bank Accounts

The saturation in the financial industry has empowered the customer to find a financial institution and services tailor-made for them.

Non-resident bank accounts in the UK are designed for individuals who don't have a permanent residence in the UK but still want to manage their financial activity in the UK.

This could include professionals who have relocated to the UK for work, students or anyone staying for an extended period of time in the country.

Non-resident accounts offer more or less the same services offered by regular UK bank accounts, such as online banking and debit cards. Customers can easily open a non-resident account by providing proof of identity including passport, driver's license, and a utility bill or bank statement from their home country.

Some banks, however, may require more documentation like proof of income for non-resident bank accounts in the UK.

While customers are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a bank they want to manage their finances with, here are few options that could help you while you research for the perfect fit.

HSBC bank

HSBC is one of the largest and most prestigious banks in the UK. They offer a wide range of banking-related services in many countries.

The HSBC expat account is a bank account that offers the features of a regular account to non-residents, expats and foreigners. . This account is primarily for people who travel a lot, are studying in the UK and/or have to deal with various types of currency.

HSBC offers UK bank accounts without proof of address or any other residential identification documents. So it’s a good option for people who are always on the go.

Moreover, the whole account opening process can be completed online from any country. So customers can open a non-resident account even before they land in the UK.

This is especially helpful for people who are relocating to the UK for leisure, work or undergraduate/postgraduate studies. The bank also has 24/7 customer service to cater to their global clients so it’s convenient to seek help no matter which country you’re sitting in.

HSBC Bank UK’s expat account comes with various services geared towards international trade, including a debit card, lower fees on international exchange, and a foreign exchange banking app that lets you control your finances from foreign countries.

The HSBC Expat Account supports trade in pounds sterling, USD, and euros by default. They also offer better exchange rates if you have a preferred account. Preferred accounts are accounts that have a dedicated banker to manage your business and investments. These accounts are ideal for seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs.

You can also check out HSBC Bank’s International Account if you feel the Expat Account doesn't meet your needs to a T.

Overall, it is one of the best bank for expats in the UK.


Barclays is another top choice for non-residents, expats and foreigners looking to open an international account in the UK. It boasts considerable reliability and integrity as one of the oldest banks in the UK.

As a heavyweight in the banking industry, Barclay offers a wide range of premium services to non-residents and expats in the UK.

Barclays’ global bank account is called the International Bank Account. It’s a banking system geared towards serving global citizens. The Internal Bank Account service by Barclays supports multiple currencies and a decent exchange rate on foreign transfers.

This account is easy to open, has full online features, and great flexibility.

They offer two types of accounts to non-residents in the UK. The first is a general global account that can handle your usual currency exchange, and the second is the international reserve account which is geared towards savings rather than everyday transactions.

Interesting fact: The international reserve account is very lucrative for people planning to move to the UK after retirement as it can help them accumulate funds gradually.

Lloyds Bank

Another prime choice for international clients is the Lloyds Bank. The Lloyds Bank is a bank in the UK that offers world class financial services in the region.

Lloyds also supports global citizens with their international banking services.The international banking service of Lloyds bank is called the International Current Account. It’s a standard account that offers a full range of banking services to non-residents and international clients. Lloyds Bank also has a separate account service for UK citizens living abroad as well as crown citizens.Some features of the International Current Account include no monthly fee, support for up to three currencies for the debit card, exemption from fees on international transactions, and so on.

These features make it one of the best bank for expats in UK.

You can also apply for travel insurance if you fall within the eligible category. However, Lloyd’s Bank does not provide any savings service for non-residents.

The lack of a savings account makes it a poor choice for long-term investment.

Your One Stop Finance Solution In UK

The first thing foreigners in the UK do is open international bank account UK. Banks are crucial for non-residents because it’s one of the only ways to receive international funds.

Banks are also convenient for safeguarding their hard-earned money, a secure payment option.

Students and expats living in the UK rely on foreign funds to establish a foothold. But bank-to-bank international transfers are not cheap.

Foreign students in the UK have to face this issue quite often.

While most prominent UK-based banks offer international banking services, there are certain caveats.

The “favorable” exchange rate and fee exceptions in international transactions sound good on paper, but you’ll still lose quite a bit of money with every transfer.

That’s why most expats agree that online brokers are the most reliable way of transferring funds across countries.

We can help you send money to any UK-based bank from anywhere in the world. We aim to break the barriers of nationality for global citizens by providing a reliable way for them to transfer their money across the world.

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