When you first move to the UK, one of the things you might need to do is set up a bank account, especially if you are planning on setting up a business or staying there for long. Of course, if you are an English local, you will find this easy to do. However, as you are a foreigner, this might be a bit more difficult than anticipated, especially if you are not careful. Some of the things you will need to do in order to make it easier include:
The first thing you will need to do is pick the ideal bank in which you can open the account. This is usually based on the kinds of needs you have. For instance, if you want to be moving money internationally, getting a bank with a global presence would be easier for you. You can also ask if your selected bank has an international link with your Thai bank back home. Most reputable banks in the UK do service Thai banks such as Kasikorn and SCB on a large and regular scale.
Make sure you have proof of residence
Perhaps the most important documentation you can have when opening a bank in the UK is proof of residence. This is normally a legal requirement as part of anti-money laundering efforts. However, you need to remember that proof of residence is distinct from proof of identity. The documents you use to prove your residence should have your name as well as your address.
The importance of referees
For most bank accounts, you will also need referees to show that you are a legitimate client. This usually depends on the bank involved, so you might need to go through their requirements before starting the process. If you can’t get any referees, you could explain to the bank that you have just moved in to the country, and they might just make it possible for you to open an account without this requirement.
When opening the account, you might also be subject to a few technical issues depending on the kind of bank you choose to work with. For instance, some will require that you maintain a minimum balance, which is deposited when you first open the account. Some will also have regulations about how active the account should be. If the account is inactive for too long, it might be terminated or you may face any number of penalties.
In summary, opening a bank account as a foreigner might seem daunting. However, as long as you follow the tips mentioned above, it should not be very difficult for you to do so. Good luck!