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Non-EU student setting up a UK bank account- is it worth it? watch

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    Hi,

    I'm a Canadian doing my postgrad in the UK for a year, and I'm wondering if it would be worth the hassle of setting up a bank account in London or would it be easier to just withdraw from my Canadian bank accounts. And how easy is it to apply for a credit card?

    Thanks!
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    It really depends on how much your bank charges for foreign withdrawals. If it's a small amount I wouldn't bother with it, because you will be charged monthly fees by the UK bank and you're very unlikely to be able to get a credit card without any income.

    Also, expect to lose quite a bit on exchange rate mark-ups. I don't know of a mid-market CAD to GBP service.
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    id say open an account here, i cant imagine itd be particularly strenuous and would save getting walloped with forex charges.
    As for the credit card imho your chances are bugger all, you wouldnt have a credit rating out here and if youre just here to study im assuming you wouldnt have a full time job either? although that being said it depends where you apply i guess, someone like capital one etc. might give you one.. who knows?
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    You will have to pay a fee for an account in the UK
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    (Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
    It really depends on how much your bank charges for foreign withdrawals. If it's a small amount I wouldn't bother with it, because you will be charged monthly fees by the UK bank and you're very unlikely to be able to get a credit card without any income.

    Also, expect to lose quite a bit on exchange rate mark-ups. I don't know of a mid-market CAD to GBP service.

    (Original post by balotelli12)
    You will have to pay a fee for an account in the UK
    Why would you need to pay a fee with a UK bank account? Couldn't you just choose one of the accounts with no monthly fee?
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    (Original post by ttoby)
    Why would you need to pay a fee with a UK bank account? Couldn't you just choose one of the accounts with no monthly fee?
    No you can't. The main normal free accounts are only open to UK residents. The only full fee-free (cheque book, normal visa card) that I could open as an EU student was with Lloyds TSB. The other banks charged in the region of 5-8 GBP/mo. LLoyds specifically state you need to be an EU resident to open one.

    There are also the free basic bank accounts (visa electron card) for people who otherwise don't have access to banking services - the government made banks offer these at some point. They're also only available to EU residents.
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    Wait wut?

    As a non-eu student, I'd say open an account. Just get the basic, Visa-debit attached current accounts. Don't know what others are saying, but you can get accounts which are free (sans cheque book n credit card, but a debit card's good enough to live on anyway) - I've got a Current acc, one savings account, and even an ISA, and I'm non-EU intl.

    Unless Canada has some pretty lovely banks which don't charge much for intermediary-based withdrawals (Visa, Maestro withdrawls etc.), I'd say it'd be pretty expensive to be withdrawing cash from Canadian banks.

    oh and opening the accounts took me half an hour, with all the cards and whatnot taking another week or so to arrive.

    Not much hassle at all (except for maybe having to book appointments at busy banks. I say just go to another bank/branch till you find an advisor who's free ! )



    *just to add on, the BBA (British Banking Association) even has a .pdf file on opening accounts... HERE
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    (Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
    No you can't. The main normal free accounts are only open to UK residents. The only full fee-free (cheque book, normal visa card) that I could open as an EU student was with Lloyds TSB. The other banks charged in the region of 5-8 GBP/mo. LLoyds specifically state you need to be an EU resident to open one.

    There are also the free basic bank accounts (visa electron card) for people who otherwise don't have access to banking services - the government made banks offer these at some point. They're also only available to EU residents.
    How long ago was that? I've got a Lloyds acc, with Visa Debit, and I'm just curious whether that's like an old thing or a current thing.
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    (Original post by AnonymousPenguin)
    No you can't. The main normal free accounts are only open to UK residents. The only full fee-free (cheque book, normal visa card) that I could open as an EU student was with Lloyds TSB. The other banks charged in the region of 5-8 GBP/mo. LLoyds specifically state you need to be an EU resident to open one.

    There are also the free basic bank accounts (visa electron card) for people who otherwise don't have access to banking services - the government made banks offer these at some point. They're also only available to EU residents.
    Yes he can open an international student account with a full visa card, with Santander there is a £5 a month charge, I know HSBC also offer it, alternatively you can have a basic account. So many branches don't like to open them, because it doesn't bode well for our targets and as well as that there isn't really any cross sale opportunities. Therefore, it makes it a bad appointment to have in a branch diary, so hence why a branch would say go online! No credit checks for both accounts, as you won't have any credit history!
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    (Original post by redhood09)
    Hi,

    I'm a Canadian doing my postgrad in the UK for a year, and I'm wondering if it would be worth the hassle of setting up a bank account in London or would it be easier to just withdraw from my Canadian bank accounts. And how easy is it to apply for a credit card?

    Thanks!
    Just walk into any branch in London of Santander and HSBC, they will open it for you, as for Santander, I can only speak as someone working in a branch. Its like bliss to hear an international student walk through the door, to open a current account because its a fee paying account £5 a month. After you develop a credit history you can change it to like an Everyday Account with no Fee, or a 123 current account with a £2 a month fee but has perks.
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    If you're planning on working whilst in the UK then you will *need* a UK bank account because employers won't pay into a foreign bank account.
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    (Original post by redhood09)
    Hi,

    I'm a Canadian doing my postgrad in the UK for a year, and I'm wondering if it would be worth the hassle of setting up a bank account in London or would it be easier to just withdraw from my Canadian bank accounts. And how easy is it to apply for a credit card?

    Thanks!
    You'll be hit with fees if you open a bank account in the UK and you won't be able to apply for a credit card although I say that, they don't appear to check (at least Barclaycard never checked anything I wrote on my application) so you may get lucky
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    (Original post by Krack)
    You'll be hit with fees if you open a bank account in the UK and you won't be able to apply for a credit card although I say that, they don't appear to check (at least Barclaycard never checked anything I wrote on my application) so you may get lucky
    Yes he might get lucky, but under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, a company such as Barclaycard has the right to revoke a card once issued.
 
 
 
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