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London - Banking

Opening a bank account in the U.K. can sometimes be a lengthy – and frustrating – process. In addition to a passport or driving license, most banks require a proof of address, such as a telephone or utility bill, to open an account. Many expats will not have these documents until at least a few weeks after settling in London, so it is important to consider this when planning for those first few weeks after emigration. In the meantime, ATMs are plentiful in London, and most foreign debit and credit cards can be used to withdraw money in Sterling as well as to make purchases at local businesses and restaurants.

There are a number of international banks in London that offer international or offshore bank accounts in Sterling, US dollar, and Euros, making it easy and convenient to withdraw, deposit, and transfer money between accounts. The major international banks offering these and other financial services, such as savings, investments, and tax preparation, are HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and Citibank. The contact details for their U.K. offices are as follows:

Customer Relations Department
HSBC Bank International Limited
HSBC House
St. Helier
+44 1534 616 111 (for questions about opening a standard account)

Lloyds TSB Bank Plc
8-10 Waterloo Place
+44 (0)1624 638000 (from outside the U.K.)
0800 876 6555 (from within the U.K.)

Customer Service Team
Citibank International plc
P.O. Box 49930
0800 00 88 00
www.citibank.co.uk London branches are located at St. Paul's; Cabot Place, Canary Wharf; Canada Square, Canary Wharf; Monument; Hanover Square; and The Strand.

Many of the U.K.'s major banks also offer international or offshore accounts. These include Abbey National, Barclays Bank, Natwest, and Royal Bank of Scotland. Branches are located throughout Greater London. Information about opening an account or finding a local branch can be found at the following web sites:

Abbey National

Barclays Bank


Royal Bank of Scotland

There are also a large number of banks that cater to particular expat groups. Some of the these include Bank of America, The Bank of Ireland, The Bank of Thailand, Deutsche Bank, Emirates Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, State Bank of India, and Turkish Bank, just to name a few.

Normal banking hours are from 9:00 or 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; some banks are also open Saturday mornings.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.