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When a Top Recommendation Disappoints - Starling Bank

edited 17 May 2019 at 3:57PM in Credit Cards
10 replies 1.9K views
RabC2uRabC2u Forumite
1 posts
edited 17 May 2019 at 3:57PM in Credit Cards
Advice for all...
We are going on a European holiday and reading MSE recommendations on which card to take with us, settled on the top recommendation of Starling debit card.
Followed the account opening routine, from downloading an android app, to the uploading of a video reading a set sentence, to uploading a copy of my passport.
I then was told they were verifying the details. This went on for 3 days, I enquired daily as to the progress on web chat, finally calling Customer Services.
I was told because I had a US passport and no American tax details having grown up in the UK, they were unable to confirm my id.
Not having a driving licence, or any other form of acceptable photo id, they told me the only thing I could do was renounce my 65years American citizenship and provide a letter of renunciation.
Is that a joke?
Shocked and disappointed as I am sure not the only one in this predicament.

Replies

  • edited 17 May 2019 at 4:33PM
    Ben8282Ben8282 PPR
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    edited 17 May 2019 at 4:33PM
    RabC2u wrote: »
    Advice for all...
    We are going on a European holiday and reading MSE recommendations on which card to take with us, settled on the top recommendation of Starling debit card.
    Followed the account opening routine, from downloading an android app, to the uploading of a video reading a set sentence, to uploading a copy of my passport.
    I then was told they were verifying the details. This went on for 3 days, I enquired daily as to the progress on web chat, finally calling Customer Services.
    I was told because I had a US passport and no American tax details having grown up in the UK, they were unable to confirm my id.
    Not having a driving licence, or any other form of acceptable photo id, they told me the only thing I could do was renounce my 65years American citizenship and provide a letter of renunciation.
    Is that a joke?
    Shocked and disappointed as I am sure not the only one in this predicament.
    Yes it does sound like a joke especially as the letter of renunciation will not contain a photograph of yourself! Actually I think the suggestion that you do this was made in the context of US tax laws and not because you lack photo ID.
    You must admit though that not having a driving licence at your age is a bit unusual,
    You have gone to all this trouble to open a new bank account for what? To save a few pounds on any ATM withdrawals that you may make during your European holiday.
    Presumably if you have been resident in the UK for 65 years you do actually hold a UK bank account and credit cards?
    In view of the known problems involving US citizens and bank accounts, suggest you apply for one of the travel credit cards. Choose one that best suits your needs and apply. Otherwise just use your regular debit card and accept the charges.
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
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    US Citizen or dual nationality?

    Not a surprise as we have to declare the UK Tax ID's for any US Citizens connected to our banking facilities - even though these are established in the UK. Although the suggestion that you give up your US citizenship is a joke.

    How do you prove your ID for other financial products?
  • NoodleDoodleManNoodleDoodleMan Forumite
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    Apart from other points raised above - don't you also have to provide proof of permanent UK address to open a British bank account ?

    Perhaps that is the issue ?

    Just thinking aloud.
  • antrobusantrobus Forumite
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    RabC2u wrote: »
    .....
    I was told because I had a US passport and no American tax details having grown up in the UK, they were unable to confirm my id.
    Not having a driving licence, or any other form of acceptable photo id, they told me the only thing I could do was renounce my 65years American citizenship and provide a letter of renunciation.
    ....

    Why don't you have any US tax details?

    If you are a U.S. citizen you have to file with the IRS irrespective of whether you are in the United States or abroad. Your worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of where you reside.

    Maybe Starling takes a dim view of long term tax evaders?:)
  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
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    antrobus wrote: »
    Why don't you have any US tax details?


    Maybe the OP has never lived or worked in the US.
  • tehonetehone Forumite
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    MEM62 wrote: »
    Maybe the OP has never lived or worked in the US.

    If you are a US citizen then you have to file a US IRS tax return regardless of where you live (you don't necessarily have to pay any more tax, but you have to file the return

    https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers
  • SystemSystem
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    There is a list of ID that Starling accept on their website.
    You don't have any of them. So you can't get a Starling Card.


    It's that simple really.
  • yamsyams Forumite
    27 posts
    10 Posts
    Like others have said, the problem is you are liable for US taxes.


    The bigger issue for Starling is that the US will penalise banks who do not process this (even Swiss banks comply). It's called FACTA (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Account_Tax_Compliance_Act)
  • edited 22 May 2019 at 2:19PM
    stevenhp1987stevenhp1987 Forumite
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    edited 22 May 2019 at 2:19PM
    MEM62 wrote: »
    Maybe the OP has never lived or worked in the US.

    US citizens must file US tax-returns, and pay US tax on their earnings, regardless of where they live / what country their earnings are residing in.

    Some Dual-citizens have given up their US citizenship in order to avoid this double tax.

    If he's a US citizen, he must hand over his US tax details. It's the law, no UK bank would allow an account to be open without it!
  • penners324penners324 Forumite
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    So you didn't read the requirements of ID verification before applying for the account? And it's the banks fault?
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