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Banking Suggestions? [UK > Vietnam]

So I'm going to be moving to Vietnam next month (for at least 2 years) and have most things organised but I'm still not sure what's best to do banking wise.  I've seen branches like CitiBank and HSBC offering expat accounts but you usually need a minimum account balance of about $100K which I don't have.  Is it better to just open an account over there and transfer funds as you need them?  I was thinking of doing that but was unsure if it'd be viable since I'd guess my account in the UK could possibly get locked for using it abroad?

Any advice is appreciated.

Keep your UK account open and open an account here in VN, I use HD bank, a small more modern type bank compared to most of the local banks.

There is a branch of the Commonwealth Bank, (which is the largest bank in Australia) at 65 Nguyen Du Street, District 1 in HCM, (Saigon). They all speak English there. You can have a VND or a $US account or both. They may do a pound or euro account. I wouldn't know. The manager is an impeccably efficient Japanese lady. She sits under the electronic board showing all the moving currency rates etc. They will open an account on a tourist visa. Their website is commbank.com.vn. The girl that looks after me, er... strictly on a financial basis, I must add! Is Van Nguyen. Email: Van.Nguyen2[at]commbank.com.vn. If there is a minimum balance then it's around 500 pounds, but ask them anyway. Sending money by electronic transfer gives you the best exchange rate but send it from your bank IN POUNDS! They do the currency conversion automatically when it is received giving you their exchange rate which will be better than anywhere outside of Vietnam, except maybe the money changer outside the central market in Phnom Penh. IF YOU BRING IN OVER $US10K ; as long as you leave your money with them then you can transfer it back out of the country within 3 years. If you move the money to another bank then you can't take the money out of Vietnam. They do internet banking with a global electronic tag. They have cash machines both in VND or $US. They operate a number tag system in the foyer so that everyone is seen by the correct person in the correct order. Only take a motorbike taxi if you are late and always take a Mai Linh taxi or a Vina Sun Taxi. I always walk to the bank as it's in a one way street. DO NOT EVER TAKE A CYCLO! Do not have your money in $US if Clinton gets in!

I forgot to say that I also have a bank account with Lloyds in the UK. t I've had that open for more years than I wish to admit to, they have kept it open under all circumstances and have dealt with me even when I was a mercenary in a country under heavy sanctions. Woooooooo Hooooooo for Lloyds. They may only be one horsepower but you can depend on them!

Tediuki :

There is a branch of the Commonwealth Bank, (which is the largest bank in Australia) at 65 Nguyen Du Street, District 1 in HCM, (Saigon). They all speak English there. You can have a VND or a $US account or both. They may do a pound or euro account. I wouldn't know. The manager is an impeccably efficient Japanese lady. She sits under the electronic board showing all the moving currency rates etc. They will open an account on a tourist visa. Their website is commbank.com.vn. The girl that looks after me, er... strictly on a financial basis, I must add! Is Van Nguyen. Email: Van.Nguyen2[at]commbank.com.vn. If there is a minimum balance then it's around 500 pounds, but ask them anyway. Sending money by electronic transfer gives you the best exchange rate but send it from your bank IN POUNDS! They do the currency conversion automatically when it is received giving you their exchange rate which will be better than anywhere outside of Vietnam, except maybe the money changer outside the central market in Phnom Penh. IF YOU BRING IN OVER $US10K ; as long as you leave your money with them then you can transfer it back out of the country within 3 years. If you move the money to another bank then you can't take the money out of Vietnam. They do internet banking with a global electronic tag. They have cash machines both in VND or $US. They operate a number tag system in the foyer so that everyone is seen by the correct person in the correct order. Only take a motorbike taxi if you are late and always take a Mai Linh taxi or a Vina Sun Taxi. I always walk to the bank as it's in a one way street. DO NOT EVER TAKE A CYCLO! Do not have your money in $US if Clinton gets in!

Thanks, that sounds like exactly what I'm after.  Did they ask many questions when opening the account?

Just wondering who said if you move your money to another bank that it can't be returned to your home country. This is the first time I have ever heard such a thing. The rule was and should still be, if you keep documentation to show what you bought in,you can take it back out.

They didn't ask anything unusual at the Commonwealth Bank and they were happy enough for me to have an Australian address. They did tell me that any money that I deposit into the account in Vietnam would need an explanation noted against it like 'wages' etc, but any money deposited has always been via electronic transfer in my case. They will need to see your passport! The electronic tag came in a nice leather case and they gave me a nice bottle of wine at Christmas! I stop at the Nguyen Thanh hotel at 19B Bui Thi Xuan, Ward Ben Thanh, Dist. 1 and I book any accommodation at agoda.com. They will keep your passport during your stay. At the end of the road near the park is a good donner kebab stall from 2pm for less than US$1/20,000VND. Mach's gym is at 1 Huyen Tran Cong Chua through the park. It's ok there before 3pm, nothing flash. They have lockers with a key and showers. It's about US$3.50/70,000VND per day. At the other end of Bui Thi Xuan from the hotel is decent size Co-op supermarket and a small chemist next door out on the street. I always go to Minh Khai Dentist, the best dental centre in Vietnam, at 199 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai st, Dist.1. Just search Minh Khai Dentist. No appointments needed. Cleaning is less than US$20, whitening was around US$600 and a cap was US$240. There is always someone there that speaks good English.  From the hotel I normally walk everywhere including the bank and city centre. If you want to meet some women then get on to Vietnam Cupid. I normally go for breakfast at the end of the road near the other park in Nguyen Van Trang. The lady has all the hot food in her elevated position. I normally get the dish with the carrots in for just over US$1/25,000VND. I just point to it and sit out the front. Sometimes I go upstairs. The Ice is ok in Vietnam and the iced tea they serve in the jugs. The best beer is Saigon special. The crushed sugar cane drink on the street is good. The price can vary wildly up to just over a dollar, 25,000VND.

Do not have your money in $US if Clinton gets in!

Why do you say that .?  Surely a Trump win would be a disaster for the USA ...

I suggest having financial redundancy in your home country. 2 checking accounts with ATM cards, both with internet banking setup. Plus 2 credit cards with 2 banks, and online banking. You never know when your card will be damaged, or become blocked due to 'suspicious activity'. And likewise, make sure the cards will not expire while you are overseas. We have heard unconfirmed reports of plastic not reaching expats in Vietnam through the mail.

Having online banking setup allows you to transfer money around and set travel notices when you travel. I have to update my travel notice every 30 or 60 days, depending on bank.

Jim.s867 :

Do not have your money in $US if Clinton gets in!

Why do you say that .?  Surely a Trump win would be a disaster for the USA ...

Oh yeah, like the pound is guaranteed to keep its value  :cool:

Sorry, I can't put anything on this site which is political. I have all the fact's though, which I am willing to share. Nevertheless, however, If you knew what has occurred from 2009-2016 it would mortify you. The Wall St journal has given the thumbs up to the alternative rather than four more years of the same which Is likely to end in bankruptcy. The current administration looks likely to continue however.

Yes, you are correct. If you bring over US$10k in physically and declare it, then the lovely customs lady gives one a small official slip in order to take it out before three years have passed. But, I was told by the Commonwealth bank that the bank holds the proof of the electronic transfer! When I decided to move the money to another bank in order to get better interest I was told that I cannot transfer the money without losing the right to send it back to the original account from whence it came. The answer is, of course, either not to move the money around, or otherwise simply bring it in physically. This is what I did with some of my money. The chap that asked the question originally, however, is not planning on staying for more than two years anyway. The secret of wealth within Vietnam though is not what you know but who you know.

The Commonwealth Bank has moved to 4B Ton Duc Thang . District 1 . HCMC near to the Ducati dealership. I now have an ATM card as they are not open on Saturdays! They also operate on short business hours so that you can't get there during the week! There is however a Vietcombank next door so I was able to change some US$ to VND there.

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