What are the best UK bank accounts for non UK residents?

I’m in the UK at the moment and will be here from time to time over the coming year. I’d like to setup a bank account for use in europe & to make funding my revolut card easier. Does anyone know which banks accept non UK residents? I do have a european passport/ID, though I am technically a resident of south africa. Proof of address might also be a sticky point - I have an address which I can use but have no proof that I ‘live’ there (besides my revolut card).

Another nice to have would be bitcoin friendly (eg I’ve read about barclays accounts being closed due to being used in connection with bitcoin, not sure whether that is a general thing).

Your best bet will most likely be the mobile-only bank MONESE. They’re a fintech start-up, with their main selling point being ease of account opening. Have a look at them.

You’re from South Africa? Check out Standard Bank on the Isle of Man:

https://international.standardbank.com/

Bank accounts on the Isle of Man are considered British so you can use UK direct deposit services, withdraw free of charge etc.

@AlexLielacher thanks, will check it out.

@nomadtax Yep from South Africa. That’s an interesting option will investigate it further, thanks!

I went through quite the nightmare getting a UK bank account. You need to apply in person and have two proofs of address for most, like a council tax bill, phone bill, or other bank account statement. All of which, of course, you probably can’t get unless you already have a bank account. Lloyds was willing to set me up with just my passport, but they charge exorbitant fees to withdraw abroad. If you’re just moving money around via bank transfers, though, they’re an easy choice. Once I was with them long enough to get a statement I tried MetroBank, which offers free international withdraws and no-fee payments, but they wanted 2 forms of address proof or a NI letter dated within 30 days, which I didn’t have, so I went over to Nationwide, which has almost the same benefits (though can cost 3-10GBP/month for some premium accounts), and only required one form of address. I’m completely legal to live and work in the UK-it’s just a nightmare of red tape-apparently even UK citizens have a terrible time getting their first account-frequently their parents have to put them on utility or council tax bills to get their proof of address.

1 Like

As @rmeskill said, MetroBank would be a very good option but they require 2 proofs of address. I’ve heard that Barclays and HSBC make it easier to open a new account, and I’ve also heard that you can open an account with HSBC without a proof of address but you’d have to pay (not sure how or if this is true).

@rmeskill @anav thanks for the useful/detailed answer. It does seem like a struggle - once I’m back in London I’ll look into those options.