I rang HSBC's international department on Monday and they took our application over the phone for a UK bank account. The pre-filled application form was then emailed to us. Now we print the form, sign it, and take it to a HSBC branch with our identification and to pay the application fee of $200. We will also need to open an Australian HSBC account at that time and we'll be able to transfer from our Australian account to the UK one.
Once the accounts are opened, I don't see why we can't just use Ozforex to transfer to the UK account.
During the conversation with HSBC I discovered a major difference between Australia and England's banking. We can have a Visa or Mastercard as a debit card on an ordinary transaction account in Australia. HSBC said you can only have a card for use at an automatic teller machine on an ordinary account. If you want a Visa or Mastercard it has to be a credit card. This used to be the case many years ago in Australia. So, we also applied for a credit card account in the UK as well.
It's all been easy so far. The cards will be sent here to us in Australia in the next month or so. We will have to go to Melbourne to take the paperwork to a branch. There isn't a huge number of HSBC branches in our state and all of them are in Melbourne. We have another item on our list almost ticked off!
*** See update 22 May 2012 ***
Hi Elly & Mick, a debit card here is also usually visa, a credit card is usefuk just in case though!
I now have an account through Barclays, went into a branch in person and all done, all they wanted was Id, I used my UK passport, but they said an Aussie drivers licence would be ok. They will not give me a credit card though till a month or so, but thats cool I just want access to ATMs
Hi Elly & Mick,
I don't know why you have to pay $200 to open a British bank account. I must have opened dozens of bank accounts over the years and have never heard of being charged to do so.
I also don't understand why you can't have a debit card on your account they are standard on British bank and building society current accounts; with the exception for a few specialised accounts for people with a negative credit record
Perhaps you could do some more research before you give your money to HSBC?
Regards, and good luck,
Hi Mick & Elly,
Further to my last comment I thought that you might find this website useful, http://www.moneysavingexpert.com
You can even sign up for a weekly newsletter if you wish.
Martin Lewis deals with al sorts of money saving issues, most of which will not interest you but some can be very useful. In your present situation the sections on banks and savings would be relevent.
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