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Traps for "expats" returning to the UK - bank account and tuition fees

Varsovian 91 | 634  
26 Sep 2015 /  #1
My daughter (UK passport holder) has just started university in London.

Setting up a bank account is a problem - they state online that the applicant must be 18 and a UK resident. What they don't say is that, for them, UK resident means 3 years' addresses in the UK. Santander offers the most god-awful banking service - maximum of GBP 500 on the account and a monthly charge for the pleasure of having the world's worst bank account. Santander and HSBC both rejected her regular bank account applications.

Next thing - this affects non-EU resident Brits, not Brits living in Poland. If we were living in, say, Hong Kong, we would have to pay the same tuition fees as non-EU citizens. About GBP 20k a year, instead of GBP 9k a year.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3856  
26 Sep 2015 /  #2
Santander and HSBC are shyte anyway.
Did you try NatWest at all?
I know our children are in quite different situations but they were v helpful for my 16 year old last week and he got an account with no problem.

Do you have a relative in the UK who would let her use their address? Now I think of it, yes tehre were those questions about the last three years residence.
Buggsy 8 | 98  
26 Sep 2015 /  #3
That's why they are called "Banksters". Santander, with all due respect, were a reputable Spanish Bank once.
It all started when they started snapping up banks that had gotten too greedy and went under during the 2007-2008 crisis.
They also snapped up BZ WBK and ever since their charges for everything have skyrocketed.
They need to make money somehow but it's just ridiculous how they are literally stealing from their customers.
HSBC are probably the worst bank in the UK. With the scandals they were involved in- they are now
making the lives of their customers difficult. The fines they had to pay, amounting to billions of pounds, now have to be recuperated from somewhere.
26 Sep 2015 /  #4
Your daughter could try the Lloyds Classic current account.
No monthly fees or deposit required, and just passport or ID card needed.
Obviously individual circumstances vary, and it's possible they may ask for more documentation, but worth a try.
delphiandomine 86 | 17823  
26 Sep 2015 /  #5
Your daughter could try the Lloyds Classic current account.

Lloyds have always been quite good for new arrivals.
OP Varsovian 91 | 634  
27 Sep 2015 /  #6
HSBC said UK passport and proof of address, e.g. letting agreement with a reputable letting agency. But when you go to any branch, they refuse you if unless you have uk addresses for 3 years. Online support at HSBC is totally unaware of this.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3856  
27 Sep 2015 /  #7
Has your daughter got a UK national insurance number?
Possibly that would help.?
27 Sep 2015 /  #8
It could be that she would be best off asking the university, they will help her with a bank.
cjj - | 281  
28 Sep 2015 /  #9
"a UK national insurance number?"
This isn't given out until they're "actively seeking work" (in other words -- I've been there, tried that)

I had a similar experience in August. We went with something like NatWest in the end - but it took effort and some degree of pleading.

Straining at gnats and swallowing camels, sprang to mind at the time.
OP Varsovian 91 | 634  
28 Sep 2015 /  #10
You can get a university letter - and that helps with getting an international student account. It doesn't help with getting a regular bank account. Quite simply, when a UK bank says 'Proof of ID and address. UK residents only' it means you have to be living in the UK 3 years, regardless of what they write on their website or what their online support says.
28 Sep 2015 /  #11
I opened a current bank account in UK after 2 months I've been here. Lloyds. I tried Co-op but they were silly about my Polish ID so I decided I don't want to do business with them. I went to Lloyds and had an account within half an hour. They didn't even look at my proof of address (one bill with my name).
28 Sep 2015 /  #12
Lloyd's are a crap bank that's why they let you open an account !
OP Varsovian 91 | 634  
30 Sep 2015 /  #13
Interestingly, HSBC followed up her rejection with a letter inviting her to the branch ... to open an account. There seems to be some confusion in the market - not least because there's no legal definition of what "ordinarily resident" means.

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