Get an alternative UK bank account for expats

When you decide to live in a country other than your home nation, it raises the question of how you will manage your finances – especially if you expect to split your time between the two countries.

Is it better to keep your home bank account and pay foreign exchange fees on everything you buy in your adopted country, or to switch to the new country for your banking and face foreign exchange fees during your visits back home?

Of course it would be ideal if you could have a secondary account while in the UK – allowing you to keep a balance in pounds sterling during extended stays here, whether you are a British expat who has come home for a visit, work contract or family emergency, or a foreign national living in the UK for the time being.

But how do you get an expat bank account fast when you arrive in the UK – and why shouldn’t you just use the same account regardless of which country you’re in?

Tighter rules on UK expat bank accounts

If you’re a British expat living abroad, the market has tightened a lot in recent years, as the number of UK-based accounts for people who normally live outside of the UK has fallen significantly.

Some of the banks still provide international accounts or basic bank accounts for expats, but generally speaking, if you want an account with a UK bank or equivalent provider, you’ll need to normally live in the UK.

That can be problematic if, for example, you tend to make quite long visits back to the UK, but not long enough to satisfy the banks and their desire for lots of proof of address and UK residency.

With an Arro Personal Account you can apply and be approved in just three minutes when you arrive into the country – giving you an account you can immediately start using to manage your money in pounds sterling.

UK expat accounts for foreign nationals

If you come to live in the UK as a foreign national, you can face similar problems. The banks might expect more proof of UK address than you are able to provide, or might be unwilling to give you an account if you are only here for a fixed period of time.

That doesn’t help you manage your money effectively – and there’s no reason why you should suffer just because you were not born in the UK.

Anyone coming here to work, study or live deserves the right to a good financial service and an account that you can use to fund your lifestyle, no matter how long you are here or how recently you arrived.

The Arro Personal Account for expats

If you are an expat living in the UK – either a foreign national who has moved to the UK, or a UK expat who has returned for an extended visit – the Arro Personal Account is available quickly and gives you the essentials you need from a current account.

You get a UK sort code and account number, a MasterCard® debit card you can use on the internet and in ‘real-world’ shops, access to ATM withdrawals for pounds in your pocket, and the Arro Money online dashboard for account admin.

It’s only available to people who are currently living at a UK address, but you can apply in just three minutes once you arrive in the UK.

Whether you are a repatriating British national or a foreigner who has just arrived as an expat in the UK, all we need is your name, date of birth and UK address, along with some contact details to send your account number once you are approved.

How we verify expat ID

Our online ID authentication process checks databases for 160 countries, all without accessing your credit file, so there’s no damage to your credit score when you apply for an Arro Personal Account.

This means we can quickly confirm that you are who you say you are – and as long as you are currently living in the UK, are over 18, and meet our basic Fair Fit criteria, we promise to accept your application.

You get your dashboard login and account details immediately, so you don’t have to wait any longer to start managing your finances.

We even send you your MasterCard® debit card details via SMS – the physical card still follows in the post, but this lets you start shopping online without any need to wait too.