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UK Banking Issue


I have banked with Yorkshire Bank just short of 40yrs. They have been taken over by Virgin Money who are discontinuing the YB banking app, so VM write to me and tell me to download the VM Banking app on my phone. Guess what, it is not available in Belgium! My security token does not work anymore for either YB or VM. They are also discontinuing internet banking in Belgium (presumably in all the EU) at the end of 2021 but tell me I can still keep my accounts open. What bloody good is that when I cannot manage the accounts either online or via an app. Have tried NatWest, Lloyds, TSB plus a few others who claim to offer international banking but you need to be a UK resident to open an account. Now awaiting a call back from HSBC to see if they can help. Anyone got up to date info on who is offering a UK bank account for non-UK residents. It looks like everyone is abandoning us.


You have only been able to open a UK bank if you are a UK resident for many years past. I'm sure that it is at least 10 years. It's all to do with the money laundering legislation rather than being abandoned. I've been with the Co-op more than 40 years and wanted to open a savings account as well as my current account and I could not do it.

Aug 17, 2021 09:07

You are probably better off going for one of the new generation banks that offer the possibility to have accounts in several currencies. I use Wise but there are several others. You can do everything online, the exchange rates are good, and you get a physical card for a nominal fee. You can get a UK sort code and account number for free if you need one.

Aug 17, 2021 11:26

I'd agree with CM on this one. Trying the traditional high street banks will probably be a waste of time. The "know your client" / money laundering rules means that the high street banks just can't be bothered with non-resident customers.

Wise or Revolut both seem to have good reviews.

Word of caution, these are not actual banks. They are payment platforms and therefore the type / level of deposit protection is different. Use them to make payments, not for holding large amounts of cash.

Aug 17, 2021 12:07

Make a formal complaint to Yorkshire Bank, pointing out the impossibility of opening an account with another bank. They obviously(?) aren't going to change their minds (although the inability to load the VM app in Belgium may have been due to lack of forethought rather than bloodymindedness), but if they reject your complaint you can then appeal to the Banking Ombudsman.
Either way you might get a solution to your problem or, failing that, some compensation.

Aug 17, 2021 13:24

Activate the app next time you are in the U.K.? Use a friends or families address in the UK as a registered address? There are so many ways around this. Making a formal complaint about Yorkshire Bank, a bank that affectively no longer exists will be a waste of time.

Aug 19, 2021 09:49

Hi I hadn’t clock this yet we have yorkshire bank will have to investigate I gave up on them as a good bank a few years ago tried to open a savings account when despite having seen everybody pay check or mortgage or utilities bill payment I had made in U.K. for decades before moving here they told me they need proof I was a real person because when I opened my account in the eighties they didn’t take ID!
Just to be clear have you tried using a VPN to download the app? Changing your phone to say it’s in U.K. maybe. I will also be in the predicament I guess soon.

Aug 22, 2021 12:37