How to tackle with Bank Account issues in the UK

Hi all,
here my recent experience that might be interesting for others. As you probably know it is difficult to get a bank account in the UK without a proof of address. Typically, the private lodger agreement when you rent a room is not considered valid and many banks refuse to open an account.
Finally, I can propose two solutions, both valid if you are moving in from another European country:

1. Open a bank account with HSBC before moving. HSBC has a basic account, sometimes referred as a starter pack, can be opened with an EU address before leaving for the UK. You cannot open once you are here, cause you need an address in the EU and you need to prove it.

2. Open a bank account with HSBC when you are in the UK using a letter from your employer that guarantee/confirm your current UK address. This is not a typical proof of address, but this bank is the only the recognise it and grants you to open an account. The problem might be that you need an account before starting or even applying for a job; hence, you could not be able to fulfil this requirement.

3. Use an online bank. Yes, it is possible. There is a bank called Monese, founded by an entrepreneur that had in past the same problem, that can be opened only online using an Android/iPhone app and provides in 5 minutes a full working account for salary and send a visa debit card. They do not require any proof of address, only a mobile phone. The account is totally valid. It costs actually 4,95 £/month, but it's worth it.

For the sake of clarity, there is also another online bank called Fidor Bank. It is totally free compared to monese. However, it does not allow you to transfer money from/to any other European account and does not accept incoming BACS payment in the UK (it might be an issue).

I hope it can help.

S

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