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    • Mackle
    • By Mackle 12th Sep 17, 1:14 PM
    • 70Posts
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    Mackle
    What to do with UK bank accounts and credit cards if migrating
    • #1
    • 12th Sep 17, 1:14 PM
    What to do with UK bank accounts and credit cards if migrating 12th Sep 17 at 1:14 PM
    I've been offered the opportunity to relocate from London to Frankfurt, and am wondering what the best thing to do with my UK bank account and my two credit cards is.

    As I don't want to rule out returning back to the UK after a few years, and would like to have some kind of credit history retained if I did one back, I was thinking that I should switch my bank account to the cheapest, most basic current account and have my credit cards running with a token amount in there being cleared each month, to keep the ticks ticking.

    Or is it best to cut all financial ties when moving abroad, and then just start afresh if I did decide to return?

    (I hasten to add that I've not decided to accept at this point, but will be expected to relocate very quickly if I do).


    Many thanks
Page 1
    • jadex
    • By jadex 12th Sep 17, 2:01 PM
    • 654 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    jadex
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:01 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:01 PM
    I would say that it depends whether you are British or not.
    If you are, then why cut all the ties?
    If you are not, chances are slim you will ever be back and banks will freeze your cards anyway when they receive annual statements sent back with note: addressee not known
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 12th Sep 17, 2:20 PM
    • 18,546 Posts
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    agrinnall
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:20 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:20 PM
    ...when they receive annual statements sent back with note: addressee not known
    Originally posted by jadex
    Why would that happen? Banks are generally fine with having an overseas residential address, at least for bank accounts, although they may not be so keen with credit cards.

    I would keep at least one current account going, inform the bank of your new address, and if possible provide them with a UK correspondence address belonging to a trusted friend or relative who can open mail and either deal with any requests or pass the details on to you.
    • jadex
    • By jadex 12th Sep 17, 2:36 PM
    • 654 Posts
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    jadex
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:36 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:36 PM
    Why would that happen? Banks are generally fine with having an overseas residential address, at least for bank accounts, although they may not be so keen with credit cards.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    I don't know the full rationale behind "why".
    I suppose there is a difference between having/using your own money sitting in your bank account (regardless of your residency status) and using "their" money by non UK resident?
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 12th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
    • 2,377 Posts
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    trailingspouse
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 2:45 PM
    There's nothing to stop you keeping your existing current account when you move abroad - they can cope with you having a non-UK address. But once you're living abroad you won't be able to open a new account, so make sure you make any decisions before you sell up.
    • Mackle
    • By Mackle 12th Sep 17, 3:31 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Mackle
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:31 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:31 PM
    I would say that it depends whether you are British or not
    Originally posted by jadex
    Yes I'm British.

    I guess if I accept relocation to Germany and 4/5 years down the line it turns out that Brexit is an amazing success, I'll be trying to get a move back!
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 12th Sep 17, 3:43 PM
    • 1,850 Posts
    • 2,644 Thanks
    Robisere
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:43 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 3:43 PM
    Yes I'm British.

    I guess if I accept relocation to Germany and 4/5 years down the line it turns out that Brexit is an amazing success, I'll be trying to get a move back!
    Originally posted by Mackle
    1 - Great expectations, unlikely to be fulfilled!
    2 - Enjoy Germany. I did. Most Germans are keen Anglophiles, but if you haven't already, learn the language. Almost everyone speaks English, but they really appreciate the effort.
    3 - I used the Dresdner Bank and always had a good relationship.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

    • Heng Leng
    • By Heng Leng 12th Sep 17, 9:01 PM
    • 4,219 Posts
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    Heng Leng
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 9:01 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 9:01 PM
    They might close the accounts once you are non-resident - it varies from bank to bank.

    Metro Bank currently give free usage in the SEPA Zone and Barclays gives reduced cost access to Deutsche Bank ATMs. Probably not worth opening either account but probably worth keeping.

    Maestro/V Pay debit cards (and cash) are king in Germany.
    Last edited by Heng Leng; 12-09-2017 at 9:03 PM.
    • Mackle
    • By Mackle 12th Sep 17, 9:05 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Mackle
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 9:05 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 9:05 PM
    1 - Great expectations, unlikely to be fulfilled!
    2 - Enjoy Germany. I did. Most Germans are keen Anglophiles, but if you haven't already, learn the language. Almost everyone speaks English, but they really appreciate the effort.
    3 - I used the Dresdner Bank and always had a good relationship.
    Originally posted by Robisere
    1) I didn't want to come on here and use the term that I've heard at work - "Opportunity to escape Brexit". I'm sure David Davis and Nigel Farage would have dismissive words to say to anyone they heard saying that! Anyway, who knows, it's not impossible that the UK models itself after Switzerland or Norway, with high wage high standard of living - not likely, but I never thought a few years ago that Donald Trump would be president.

    2) Absolutely, keen to pick up the language besides basic holiday stuff. Am spoilt in the sense that English will still be the language at work though. Don't know if that's a blessing or a curse, but the idea of getting to grips with the language faster than the rest of my ex-pat colleagues does appeal to my competitive side...

    3) Interesting. I know a lot of expats end up using Deutsche Bank because it's a brand they've heard of, or Commerz-bank. Not really looked in to who I'd use for banking actually, so what drew you to Dresdner Bank?
    • Mackle
    • By Mackle 12th Sep 17, 9:09 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Mackle
    They might close the accounts once you are non-resident - it varies from bank to bank.

    Metro Bank currently give free usage in the SEPA Zone and Barclays gives reduced cost access to Deutsche Bank ATMs. Probably not worth opening either account but probably worth keeping.

    Maestro/V Pay debit cards (and cash) are king in Germany.
    Originally posted by Heng Leng
    Not sure if the German arm of my employer will pay in to a non-German bank account.

    From my experiences on secondment to Frankfurt cash really is still king there. Only found one place with contactless (a Coffee Fellows) and the Barista looked gobsmacked when I tapped my phone - apparently you can't actually add a German bank card to Apple/Android Pay, so little wonder she'd never seen someone pay by phone.
    Last edited by Mackle; 12-09-2017 at 9:12 PM.
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 13th Sep 17, 1:38 AM
    • 2,927 Posts
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    eDicky
    I know a lot of expats end up using Deutsche Bank because it's a brand they've heard of, or Commerz-bank.
    Originally posted by Mackle
    I know several German travelers who bank with DKB and are convinced that their debit card has no foreign fees. I'm not sure how true it is, regarding exchange rates, but it may be a good option for using your euros on trips to UK and elsewhere.
    • JuicyJesus
    • By JuicyJesus 13th Sep 17, 10:40 AM
    • 3,042 Posts
    • 3,156 Thanks
    JuicyJesus
    A friend of ours opened an account with Nationwide for a year while she's here, and she was expressly told that after the account was opened she was welcome to keep it open for whatever reason even after she'd left the UK, so long as she kept her address up to date.

    Honestly I'd say that there's no real harm in keeping the account open so long as your address is kept up to date and you keep tabs on the account - this may also help if, say, you need to receive some money from the UK - Faster Payment then withdrawing in cash or spending on card overseas may well work out cheaper than a foreign transfer fee. Obviously this depends on the individual bank's policies.
    urs sinserly,
    ~~joosy jeezus~~
    • Joe_Bloggs
    • By Joe_Bloggs 13th Sep 17, 11:37 AM
    • 4,420 Posts
    • 1,559 Thanks
    Joe_Bloggs
    If the OP is worried about a transparent credit history/identity maintained across all borders then the recent hacking of Equifax in the US/(UK ?) could be a solution.


    J_B.
    Last edited by Joe_Bloggs; 13-09-2017 at 11:40 AM.
    OFT work merger decisions 2012:- MSE too small to be worth financial consideration ?
    • Mackle
    • By Mackle 13th Sep 17, 5:53 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Mackle
    If the OP is worried about a transparent credit history/identity maintained across all borders then the recent hacking of Equifax in the US/(UK ?) could be a solution.
    Originally posted by Joe_Bloggs
    What I'm worried about, is I move abroad, close all my UK accounts off and come back home again, I'd be starting off with no history and I'd like avoid that my keeping my record open.

    Also, thinking about it, it would be useful to have a UK account that I can use whilst I'm visiting the UK as well since I'd be periodically coming back to visit family, so presumably I could transfer from my DE account to my UK account, and what I don't use transfer back again after my visit.
    Last edited by Mackle; 13-09-2017 at 5:55 PM.
    • Wellard Mann
    • By Wellard Mann 13th Sep 17, 7:01 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Wellard Mann
    What I'm worried about, is I move abroad, close all my UK accounts off and come back home again, I'd be starting off with no history and I'd like avoid that my keeping my record open.

    Also, thinking about it, it would be useful to have a UK account that I can use whilst I'm visiting the UK as well since I'd be periodically coming back to visit family, so presumably I could transfer from my DE account to my UK account, and what I don't use transfer back again after my visit.
    Originally posted by Mackle
    I'd endorse this. I worked abroad for a number of years and kept a UK bank account and a credit card open for just these reasons. I used them a couple of times a year when visiting family and friends. I also knew I was very unlikely to leave the UK permanently and would most likely return. In the event when I did I could pick up my financial life seamlessly. Good luck with your new position.
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 13th Sep 17, 7:11 PM
    • 3,173 Posts
    • 817 Thanks
    Anthorn
    I'm not going to cite every U.K. bank but the main problem with a U.K. bank account if you relocate overseas is if you have an overdraft. Barclays Bank for example provides services for customers who are relocating overseas. But due to its lending policy it will not agree further credit.
    http://www.barclays.co.uk/help/international/accounts/moving-abroad/

    In theory a citizen of any E.U. country is entitled to a basic bank account in any E.U. country. In practise though that doesn't always apply to U.K. banks.
    http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/financial-products-and-services/bank-accounts-eu/index_en.htm

    But of course we are leaving the E.U. although E.U. laws are to be moved to U.K. law.
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