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Expats Free to Open Bank Accounts

The Payment Account Regulations 2015 makes PAD operational in the United Kingdom. It means you cannot not be refused a payment account on the sole basis of your residency.

EU Payment Accounts Directive (PAD)

A new banking regulation allows expatriates to open a United Kingdom bank account.

The new legislation states that you do not even need to provide a fixed UK address.

People living overseas are now free to open the account even if they have no physical address here. Implementation of the 2014 EU Payment Accounts Directive includes:

  • Right of access to a payment account.
  • A non-discrimination clause.

UK Banks Have 10 Working Days to Decide

British banking institutions will have 10 working days to either open or refuse an account. Even so, giving you a refusal means they must explain their grounds for doing so.

Bank account refusals are mostly confined to areas of money laundering and those linked to other criminal activities.

Banks will also need to explain the next step for any customer who gets refused an account. That includes informing them about their right to appeal to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

It’s uncertain if all banks in the United Kingdom will comply to the new banking regulation. There has been little confirmation by the big high street banks thus far.

Only the RBS Group and Barclays confirmed in advance that they would follow the new banking rules for expats.

These groups said that basic bank accounts would be available to people living overseas in other EU countries. They were confident that the possibility for applications would soon be an option over the Internet.


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Expats Free to Open New Bank Accounts in the United Kingdom