Can I keep my UK bank account?


#1 Apr 18th, 2016, 17:16
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  • Bassoonery is offline
#1
Apologies if this is in the wrong section.

I'll be moving to India in July to get married and will then start the process of getting my T visa changed to an X visa and then hopefully getting my OCI.

When I have previously come as a tourist I have had no trouble using my card and managing my finances online with my UK bank account. I can see this would continue to be easy in the early days of my marriage before I can set up an Indian account or be added to my husband's account. I'm also aware that it's a good idea to keep an account running in the UK so that it makes life easier if ever you come back to the UK.

My question is, are the banks sympathetic if they know you are moving abroad? I have an appointment at my bank tomorrow to discuss my finances and I have yet to tell them of my plans. I am worried that they will force me to terminate my accounts when I move, leaving me in financial limbo at least until I am more settled in India. My account address is still my parents' address because I have been living away as a student, so I would be happy to keep it at that.
#2 Apr 18th, 2016, 17:50
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#2
There may be certain accounts that you cannot keep. A decade or so ago, there was some sort of savings scheme which my bank turned into a normal deposit on the grounds that I was no longer UK-resident, despite my protestation that I still paid UK tax.

Otherwise, there should not be any problem. I bet your bank has lots of customers that live abroad!

The only difficulty that I have had is with credit cards. The British CC companies will not post new cards to India.

Experience: Royal Bank of Scotland has had my India address (I have no other) for past ten years. It never even occurred to me that it would be a problem, and it wasn't.
~
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#3 Apr 18th, 2016, 18:07
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#3
Thanks Nick, that's really useful. I wouldn't mind combining my savings into a normal account if that's what they want me to do, and then transferring whatever I need into an Indian account when the time comes. Thanks for the warning about credit cards too!

I've also got my eye on the new Lifetime ISA announced in the recent budget that should become available next year. It would be amazing if I could keep my savings in one while living abroad, but I have my doubts as to whether it would be possible... Well, I suppose this is what tomorrow's appointment is for!
#4 Apr 18th, 2016, 20:40
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#4
I think it was an isa that I could not have. But current and deposit accounts... No problem.
(and don't let them tell you there is).
By the way.... You don't get it lose residency (in fiscal /tax terms ) just by moving. There is much more to it!
#5 Apr 19th, 2016, 18:26
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#5
Back from the bank! No problem keeping my current and savings accounts (including an ISA), and with online banking they encouraged me to transfer money to and from an Indian account however and whenever I wished. The only warning was that dormant accounts will be closed (after a warning is issued), so to maintain at least some activity within the accounts from time to time.

They said the eligibility criteria of the Lifetime ISA have yet to be announced, but if it is anything like the new 'Help to buy' ISA, then expats should in theory have no problem opening such an account.

Exciting times. Thanks for your help.
#6 Apr 19th, 2016, 22:08
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#6

Lightbulb

Don't use the bank's transfer system without checking their charges. You could be badly mauled. I use ICICI bank Money to India. You'll get a couple of rupees under the rate with low commission charges. Of course, there are Indian banks with branches in the UK which might be useful. Alternatively get a Halifax Clarity credit card and also MBNA Amex with no overseas transaction charges and Mastercard International rates. Amex rates are not so good. Transfer online immediately you know what your transaction is in sterling, otherwise you're charged interest on cash withdrawals. N&P current account don't charge on overseas transactions.

GoanGoan......here & there..Goa
#7 Apr 19th, 2016, 23:21
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by goangoangone View Post I use ICICI bank Money to India.
So do I! Have been doing all these years (11) and it is excellent.
#8 Apr 20th, 2016, 00:29
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#8
What a lot of great advice to get my head around! Thank you
#9 Apr 20th, 2016, 09:34
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#9
Just a word of warning, you are supposed to declare any accounts you have to the tax authorities.

Ps. Best wishes for your marriage.
Lord, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill because they pissed me off.
#10 Apr 20th, 2016, 13:22
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#10
Quote:
you are supposed to declare any accounts you have to the tax authorities.
I'm not sure if I ever did that or not*. But I do declare and pay Indan tax on the income that passes through them.

Bassonery will, as I mentioned earlier, have to do a bit of research on both the Indian and British sides to establish the meaning of residency to both sides. Employing a chartered accountant here is not expensive. Employing one in the UK is, but, a couple of years ago, I did so, just to be sure of my situation and how to represent it on the British tax forms which, for residency matters, are far from simple. By preparing my return for one year for me, he "taught me how to fish," because I now know the correct answers to give and can do it myself --- which is a task, post April 5th, that I can now spend the next several months telling myself must not be left until the last minute

*Oh... I recently opened a new bank account, and there was a section on the for to declare overseas accounts if resident in more than one country --- which I am not.
#11 Apr 20th, 2016, 15:39
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#11
All very interesting; I hadn't given this much thought yet since I'll be unable to be employed for the duration of an X visa, and I've been in full-time education up until now. However, I wonder what situation I'd be in if I was offered some paid work done at a distance from the UK. I can see where a chartered accountant in India might come in handy!

Thanks again for raising this flag, and I will look into the credit card and ICICI options you mentioned too.
#12 Apr 20th, 2016, 15:53
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#12
Income includes un-earned stuff: even stuff like interest on deposit accounts.

The tax threshold in India is much, much lower than it is in UK.
#13 Apr 20th, 2016, 17:38
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassoonery View Post All very interesting; I hadn't given this much thought yet since I'll be unable to be employed for the duration of an X visa, and I've been in full-time education up until now. However, I wonder what situation I'd be in if I was offered some paid work done at a distance from the UK. I can see where a chartered accountant in India might come in handy!

Thanks again for raising this flag, and I will look into the credit card and ICICI options you mentioned too.
You should be okay. I only mentioned it, as Indian Tax guys are very bad, they show no sympathy. If they smell blood they will go for it.

Just see a good CA and follow his advice as long as it is legal.

My previous CA was fantastic, unfortunately I had to stop seeing him as he refused to charge me, my new guy is not so good :-(
#14 Apr 20th, 2016, 21:01
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#14
You will only get your OCI after 2 years of marriage. And in the time you are not allowed to work.
I just handed in my application and they said it might take over a year to get it ... But that will be sorted out in two years time, hopefully.

Where will you live in India?
#15 Apr 21st, 2016, 13:26
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#15
Thanks Namaskaram, good to hear from you; it sounds like you would be a great person to learn from as I begin this journey. I was aware of the two year wait before applying for an OCI, so have factored that in to my plans. Didn't realise the OCI itself could take a year from the point of application though - here's hoping yours takes less time than that!

I'll be living in Aizawl, Mizoram.

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