Opening accounts in UK banks

Today we will talk about one of the most relevant topics in the field of international business - opening accounts in UK banks. Great Britain is known for its reliable and conservative banking system, which attracts foreign investors from all over the world. However, even promising foreign companies often have to face numerous difficulties when opening an account in an English bank. In this article, we will take a detailed look at why such difficulties arise, what are the advantages of opening accounts with British banks, and how to successfully navigate the process.

The banking system of Great Britain is quite conservative, even for a promising foreign investor it is not always easy to open an account in an English bank for the following reasons:

  • foreign companies, including their representative offices in Great Britain, cannot open accounts with British banks.
  • if its head of a UK company is not UK resident.
  • opening an account in a British bank is possible only if the head of the company has a long-term visa or PMP status in Great Britain. This gives him the right to legally reside in the country and manage the activities of a company registered in the United Kingdom, even if it is a subsidiary of a foreign firm.

Advantages of opening an account in UK banking institutions:

  • Reliability due to strict state control;
  • Developed internet banking system, convenient program interfaces;
  • A large number of branches and representative offices both in Britain and abroad;
  • The possibility of issuing Visa and MasterCard cards.

The ranking of the best banks in the UK includes: The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, Barclays plc, HSBC Bank plc, Credit Suisse International, Bank of Scotland plc, Lloyds Banking Group plc, Standard Chartered.

For example, Barclays plc: Specializes in savings and current accounts. Minimum balance requirement is £3,000,000. Barclays is known for its long history and wide range of financial services.

HSBC Bank PLC: offers a wide range of services including deposits, loans and mortgages. It issues Visa and MasterCard cards, does not set minimum balance requirements, which makes it attractive to different categories of customers.

Lloyds Banking Group plc: offers both personal and corporate accounts. There are no minimum balance requirements. Accounts are managed through Internet banking, which is very convenient for modern business.

In order to start the procedure for opening a corporate account, the following documents are required:

  • Founding documents of the company (certificate of registration, charter, company structure, extracts from registers regarding company participants, management bodies, place of registration, etc.);
  • Documents confirming the identity of shareholders/directors/beneficiaries (their passports, receipts for utility services as proof of residence, CV (resume describing sufficient experience and education to manage the company), bank recommendation certificates (confirming the good business reputation of the company's management);
  • Information about customers and suppliers, drafts of contracts, orders, invoices that confirm mutual relations, etc. may also be requested;
  • Documents confirming the company's financial condition (for example, the company's balance sheet, statements, etc.);
  • Letters of recommendation from other banking institutions.

This list of documents is indicative, because in the process of compliance, the Bank may have questions, the answers to which can be provided and confirmed with the help of other documents.

In addition, against the background of political and economic events in the world, the UK banking system notes changes in both regulatory requirements and customer behavior patterns.

The term of opening an account in English banks varies from 3 to 6 months. A personal visit to the bank by the director or other authorized person is also required.

In order to get a positive result, we are ready to share our own experience, because:

  • we know exactly which banks to contact;
  • we have direct contacts of bank employees, due to which the terms of consideration of applications are significantly reduced;
  • we provide information in a specially designed "BankSummary" format, so that the Bank immediately has complete, necessary information for making a decision on the possibility of cooperation;
  • we accompany the process on a turnkey basis, we undertake the paperwork for filling out the forms, coordination of the necessary documents, the Client needs to provide an agreed list of documents.

So, opening UK bank accounts, although a complicated process, has many advantages for foreign companies looking to expand internationally. Reliability, developed internet banking system and global presence of British banks make them attractive for business. Meeting all the requirements and having the necessary documents will help speed up the process and achieve a successful result.

Contact the Antwort Law team for professional support to successfully complete this process!

Alina Natalushko

Antwort Law

What are the main advantages of opening an account in UK banks?
Opening an account in UK banks offers a number of advantages, including high reliability due to strict government control, a developed Internet banking system, a large number of branches and representative offices around the world, as well as the ability to issue Visa and MasterCard cards.
What documents are required to open a corporate account in a UK bank?
To open a corporate bank account in the UK, you will need the company's incorporation documents, documents confirming the identity of shareholders, directors and beneficiaries, information about customers and suppliers, company financial statements, as well as letters of recommendation from other banking institutions.
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