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Relative over from South Africa and she wants to open bank account but....

(22 Posts)
mckenzie Tue 25-Aug-15 19:19:11

She's staying with MIL at the moment, rent free, but only temporarily so she has no proof of address at all. All the banks need proof of address before they'll let her open an account.
She can't be the first person in this predicament can she?
Does anyone know the way round it?

JustOneMinuteAtATime Tue 25-Aug-15 19:20:58

It's a money laundering requirement. She'll need to either find a long term address first or use her south African bank account.

Floggingmolly Tue 25-Aug-15 19:23:22

No, there isn't any way round it. Nor should there be...

mckenzie Tue 25-Aug-15 19:40:51

I wasn't looking for an illegal way round it smile
I was wondering if there was a temporary way to use your overseas address, or to be sponsored by a relative and use their address or something similar.

HappyAsASandboy Tue 25-Aug-15 19:46:47

Why does she want a uk bank account? How long is she staying?

Micah Tue 25-Aug-15 19:51:49

I think someone may be able to open an account on her behalf. But it may be children only, and savings accounts only.

A friend of mine opened an account for her South African niece. Nieces name, dob etc on account, but friend's address. Friend had deposit book and control of account until niece moved to the UK.

Banks should know. Haven't they asked?

JenesuispasJeffrey Tue 25-Aug-15 19:52:30

There is no way around it. You have to be legally resident to access the banking system if you are from outside the EU. This is a fairly recent change to the law (ie trying to get round it is illegal and no respectable bank will do it).

Your relative's best option is to open an offshore GBP account, for which they will likely need a minimum deposit of 20k, and to be in SA when they open it.

If they are just visiting, why can't they just use their RSA account and pay by card wherever possible?

thatstoast Tue 25-Aug-15 19:52:55

Check out the criteria for basic bank accounts. They will still need I'd/proof of address but might accept non UK documents. I think they would still question her reasons for wanting an account though.

BoffinMum Tue 25-Aug-15 19:57:59

Sometimes you can get an international bank account that offers easy banking in UK as part of the package. Might that be an option?

mckenzie Tue 25-Aug-15 21:42:08

Thanks for all the posts.
Her dad is SA and her mum is English and she has decided to come and work over here for a few years to expand her portfolio (she's a designer or some sort).
She has a flat share lined up in South London but doesn't want to commit to it until she knows where she'll be working and so she is staying with MiL temporarily.
The bank account is obviously necessary for salary etc.
I'm not certain what the banks have been telling her. MIL just told me today that they were encountering problems and so I said I'd try and look into it and came to my favourite place for advice smile

WorkingBling Tue 25-Aug-15 21:45:23

There are companies that can help. The only one I know of is 1st Contact but I am sure there are others. They can advise on documentation etc that she will need from here and from South Africa in order to open an account.

mckenzie Tue 25-Aug-15 22:04:13

Thank you WB. Much appreciated.

AdoraBell Tue 25-Aug-15 22:23:34

We know a British person who came back after living overseas and couldn't get an account for 6 months, despite having a job and needing somewhere to pay the salary to. They had to have the company pay salary into their parent's account for 6 months until the bank was satisfied that they live permanently in the UK.

I don't think your relative is going to get an account with a bank here without a permanent address and proof of said address in the form of utility bills or similar in their name, depending what the bank accepts.

AdoraBell Tue 25-Aug-15 22:25:33

Crossed post with WB.

MarchLikeAnAntAndKickJeffreysB Tue 25-Aug-15 22:27:49

Has she tried getting a prepaid debit card? You can usually get wages paid into them. The money shop etc does them, costs about £5 per month.

BoffinMum Sat 29-Aug-15 09:05:44

Every au pair I have had has managed to open a Lloyds Classic Account upon showing identity documents and with a letter from me. Puzzled as to why it is so hard for people.

bakingaddict Sat 29-Aug-15 09:11:59

I'm not sure if it will work but can't MIL have a rental agreement drawn up for her to show proof of address. She doesn't actually have to pay MIL rent just show the documents to the bank

BoffinMum Sat 29-Aug-15 09:14:14

She can register with a GP which will trigger a card with an NHS number arriving in the post. This can then be used as proof of address. On top of this a passport will provide additional ID. This may well be sufficient with a following wind.

Eminybob Sat 29-Aug-15 09:29:49

Does she drive? In which case she can apply for a UK driving licence in her new address? Then use that as address ID at the bank?

TheWildRumpyPumpus Sat 29-Aug-15 09:34:53

Some banks have 'partner' banks in other countries which may make it easier to open an account in this country if she is genuinely moving here soon.

Barclays certainly do in Africa (have a look at ABSA), HSBC have their own branches in the U.S. so when we moved there we could open a U.S. account before we'd even set foot in the country.

TalkinPeace Sat 29-Aug-15 17:53:05

Were your Au Pairs EU or EEA nationals?

Its just that I know South Africa is "high risk" for MLR so the banks get grief if they do not get every step spot on.

BoffinMum Sat 29-Aug-15 21:06:59


Various nationalities including non EEA

NHS card is the magic bullet I think.

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