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Moving to London: Banks and Money

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I moved to London two days ago to start my new job here. So this is an attempt to collect information and sources that I found useful. This article is specifically about Money and basic Banking stuff.

Choosing a bank account for your income

When you are working in the UK chances are that your employer requires a UK bank account that holds your money in Pounds. “Current Account” is the technical term for an account that is designed to collect your income and pay your bills. I used money super market to find an account suitable to my needs. They have good how-tos that cover the basics without being lengthy.

You want to start this early, about 2-3 weeks before you move to the UK. This way your account is already set up and you can wire money into it, which can take days. I missed that and had to hustle with different account debit card limits and long money transaction times. As soon as you arrive you want to make an appointment to be authenticated. This will require you to turn up in person at a branch of the bank with your passport. Only after you have been authenticated can you withdraw money from your new account.

You might get only a standard migrant account, since you will not have a local address yet. The account you have chosen online will only be available once you can provide a credit score and a local address.

Moving money between the UK and your homeland

The Current Account might be your primary account for any money business inside the UK but if you want to transfer money to a different country it will probably get very expensive, because they might charge you as much as 30£ for each transfer. They might also give you a slightly worse conversion rate, compared to what is possible.

However there are money transfer institutions that specialize in moving money to different currencies. I used to get a list of institutions to choose from. Again which is the best depends on your circumstances, do you transfer money frequently, do you have to transfer large amounts and so forth. helped me to find a good fit for my needs (many low amount transactions to my private pension found).

bitcoin as an alternative?

If you only want to make a few transactions, and want to circumvent the cross country fees, you could try to use a crypto currency like Bitcoin as an intermediary currency. I found CoinDesk to be comprehensible. However at this point this is just an idea I might try in the next days / weeks.


As I said I’m reporting to be best of my knowledge, which isn’t much. If I got something wrong or if you have any remarks please let me know, in the comments. If this article help you I’m also happy for any shout out or comment.

Let me know what you think!


Everything written is my personal experience. I’m not an expert on this topics.

For now all of this is strictly theoretical. As of this writing I have not signed any contract, because it is a Sunday and all institutions are closed. Should anything turn out to be totally off or different I will post an update.

I do not receive any money from any of the mentions websites or institutions.

I’m writing this disclaimer just because if came to me :). I have no idea what I’m doing ;) . Think for yourself ;P.