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Open a bank account in England online without residency. What it is needed and how to open one for personal use or for your LTD.

Opening a bank account in England online without residency is possible. The same applies if, as director of a LTD company, you are resident in Abroad and you want to open a current account in the name of your LTD. I have basically just answered the questions you were probably looking for an answer to.  

In this article, I will show you how to open a current account in England for non-residents and all the documents that banks require.

Why open a current account for non-residents in England

There are many reasons why so many want to open a bank account in England. 

  • The UK banking system is one of the safest and most technologically advanced in the world. 
  • With an English current account you will have the possibility to use payment services that in other countries always arrive after years …. (such as, for example, accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment or accessing US provider services).
  • England is among the nations with one of the most dynamic banking systems in the world. 
  • The UK has a strong currency which is the pound.
  • London is the startup capital of Europe.
  • A LTD company is an excellent business card for your current and future customers.

Despite Brexit, millions of business owners, due to lean bureaucracy, one of the lowest tax rates in the world, and English as their mother tongue, still choose England to open a personal bank account or their LTD. 

Furthermore, England is one of the countries with one of the highest rankings in the Ease of Doing Business rankings , i.e. how easy it is to do business in the country. 

As already mentioned above, the British pound is a strong currency. 

Therefore, receiving or depositing money in England can also prove to be a strategic choice for the protection of one’s personal assets.

Who can open a current account in England

The good news is that – at least in theory – you can open a current account in the UK as both a resident and a non-resident. 

Furthermore, with Brexit you can still open a personal current account or for your LTD company even if, as director, you reside in another country. So, nothing has changed compared to a few years ago. However, the theory does not necessarily match the facts. Even before Brexit many banks, at their discretion, could deny the opening of current accounts to persons or directors of LTDs not resident in England. 

Opening a current account in England for non-residents

If you are a resident of the United Kingdom (UK or GB) you will have no problems opening a current account in the United Kingdom*, both online and at an English bank.

* I remind you that the Kingdom includes four different nations, namely: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

All that the bank will ask you to open a personal current account as a UK resident will be:

  • Proof of identity. I recommend a passport (ed. proof of identity).
  • One or more proofs of address or copies of domestic utilities, such as: electricity, water, telephone bills, etc., in your name.
  • For European residents, it may sometimes also be necessary to demonstrate that you have pre-settled or settled status.

However, the requirements if you want to open a current account for non-residents in the UK vary from bank to bank.

Among the main requirements to open a current account for non-residents:

  • Many banks require a face-to-face meeting at one of their locations.
  • A passport is always required as proof of identity.
  • All banks require one or more proofs of address.
  • Often banks also require a tax certificate (ed. tax certificate) or to provide a tax residency of the country in which you reside.

Some English banks, including Barclays, Standard Bank, Lloyd, Metro Bank, Santander, HSBC and many others, at their discretion, can open a current account in England for non-residents even remotely

Alternatively, Wise , which offers multi-currency accounts is the right alternative for you.

Open a bank account in England for your LTD company if you are a non-UK resident director

There are many advantages of opening a company in England and working in another country, but without a current account in the name of your LTD you will not be able to receive and make payments.

Opening a LTD company in England, even if you reside abroad, is an advantageous choice for many reasons. The lower tax burden and the prestige of having a company headquarters, such as London, are just some of these reasons.

Therefore, if you already have a LTD company in England or want to open one, you necessarily need to also open a current account for LTD.

Many startuppers and entrepreneurs choose not to set up a LTD in England because they think they won’t be able to open a current account for their company.

As always, here too, the truth lies somewhere in between.

Some banks, as non-UK resident LTD directors, will require you to physically meet to verify your identity.

Other banks will require you to deposit a minimum amount into your bank account upon opening.

Still, others will allow you to open an online bank account in England for your LTD even remotely.

How to open a current account for my LTD without going to England

First of all, if you want to open a current account for LTD, I advise you to carefully consult the FAQs of each bank.

In their FAQs you will often find the answer to your doubt, namely “Do you open business current accounts for LTD of non-resident directors?”.

In many FAQs the answer is “no”.

At this point, send an email or telephone a branch of the bank where you intend to open the account.

Why do I suggest this?

Do I stand a chance?

Branches of the same bank could apply more flexible criteria for opening current accounts for LTD, so it is always advisable to contact the institution individually.

Other input: Usually bank branches in major major urban centers such as: London, Manchester, Birmingham or Bristol are generally more flexible to open LTD current accounts to non-resident directors. 

In other words, the possibilities of opening a bank account in England remotely online in the above cities increase considerably.

Never try to open a checking account without first conducting careful research to find out in advance whether or not the bank will accept your application.

A refusal by the bank could in fact reduce the subsequent probability of opening in other banks as well.

Documents required for opening a business current account for a non-resident director

As a non-resident manager in England, banks will ask you to present: 

  • Passport;
  • One or more proofs of address in your name of utilities of your current residence/domicile address (the Italian ones for instance);
  • Proof of address of your LTD in England;
  • Certificate of Incorporation of the LTD.

Can I receive payments in EUROs to a UK bank account? 

It will be possible to receive payments in EURO as well as in sterling.

Often some UK banks also offer accounts in US dollars.

Will I also get a payment card?

Yes. All current accounts opened by non-residents in England require the issuance of an associated payment card.

The card works on VISA or Mastercard circuits, so you can use it to make payments and withdrawals at all bank branches in the world.

Lets recap it

Despite Brexit, England is still today one of the best countries in which to open a personal or LTD bank account. Opening a personal bank account in England or for your LTD is an option to consider whether you want to protect your personal savings or whether you want to use it to receive and make payments with your LTD.The criteria for opening a current account in England without residence vary from bank to bank, so I always recommend contacting the bank in advance before going ahead with the opening procedure. 

Among the documents required by banks to open a current account online or at one of their branches, there are identity documents and proof of personal address or of the LTD if it is a company account. Furthermore, a payment card is always associated with the current account, even if it is multi-currency.