Savings Accounts for US Expats in UK

Go Back   Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad > Europe > Britain Expat Forum for Expats Living in the UK

Britain Expat Forum for Expats Living in the UK The Britain Expats forum is a community of people that have moved to the UK from overseas. This is the place for Expats to meet and discuss anything about the British way of life.

Savings Accounts for US Expats in UK


Reply
 
Subscribe to this Thread Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2020, 11:48 AM
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 4
Rep Power: 0
NYTOUK1991 is on a distinguished road

Default Savings Accounts for US Expats in UK

Hi everyone,

I did some searching, but couldn't find a recent post that could help with this question, but apologies if it's been posted already.

I moved over to the UK earlier this year. I'm finding it difficult to find a good savings account to move my money into. I really liked the look of the Marcus Online Savings Account, but I was informed that I am not able to open an account with them because I have tax ties to the US (I guess it's issues with FATCHA). I also was unable to open the account jointly with my husband. I then went shopping around for a number of other banks and was told something similar. I have opened a checking account (with interest) with no problem, but the savings accounts seem to be a different story.

I currently have my money in my husband's account at Marcus, but ideally, I would like my own account OR at least a joint account with my name on it as well.

If i understand correctly, I will be required to file U.S taxes for the rest of my life (unless I renounce my citizenship), so it's been frustrating to think that I'll be limited in terms of accounts i'm eligible to open. I've found a handful of accounts that are open to me, but with less reputable banks or newer competitors, so I was feeling a little nervous about opening with them.

Have any US expats had luck finding savings accounts that have let them open accounts? Ideally looking for an easy-access savings account. Don't particularly want to have to open a current account to be able to open a savings account, but I will do if I am able to get a better deal.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2020, 12:04 PM
Bevdeforges's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: deepest, darkest Essonne
Posts: 47,801
Rep Power: 23366
Bevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond repute
10454 likes received
1522 likes given

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

It's a very common problem for US expats in the UK and around Europe. Also, the banking rules on this side of the Pond tend to be rather different from what you may be used to in the States. Generally speaking, you'll do best with opening a savings account in the same bank and branch where you have a current account. (In some countries you may have to open a current account first in order to open any savings account.)

And don't forget that once you have a combined total of $10,000 in all your "foreign" (to the US) accounts, you'll need to do a yearly FBAR report of the account details and high balance - this is completely separate from your US income tax filing requirement. Any joint account you hold with your husband will also have to be reported under the FBAR rules. (Some NRA spouses don't appreciate this.)

But yes, as long as you retain your US citizenship, your savings and investment options will remain somewhat limited outside the US.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2020, 01:49 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 4
Rep Power: 0
NYTOUK1991 is on a distinguished road

Default

Thanks for the reply, Bevdeforges!

I am learning quite a lot about the differences in banking norms/rules over here! I opened a Starling account pretty early on and really like it, so I've been trying to avoid opening a 2nd current account, but it looks like that might be the best way forward.

In regards to the FBAR - I did do some reading about that and am aware that I'll need to file that once I move my money over to an account in my name/joint account. I wasn't exactly a tax expert when I was still living in the States, but never felt that I needed an accountant or tax expert. I'm wondering if it will be worth paying for someone who is experienced in expat taxes for the first year or two of filing since it seems it will be slightly more complicated!

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2020, 08:03 PM
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 1
Rep Power: 0
juiceboxfairie is on a distinguished road

Default

I just moved last year and personally have found it pretty easy to get a general savings account. I had a previous account with TSB from when I went to uni in the UK in 2015, and my husband and I have been able to open a joint account at Santander. Didn't seem to have any problems with either bank. You could also look into companies that do ISA's (Individual Savings Accounts, as long as you stay away from stocks and shares ISA's). And, yes....a big fat yes....your tax life is going to become immensely complicated smh. My taxes were always so easy and now I am thinking, like you, of hiring someone to do them for me!

I know you asked about savings accounts but I thought I would add a bit about investing if you're interested. Because looking into retirement savings was what gave me a crazy shock. Please ignore the below info if that's too off topic.

The biggest hurdle I have found is investing. For the most part you won't be able to open any investment retirement accounts in the UK, because of FATCA. And US investment companies won't want to touch you with a ten foot pole if you don't already have an account. I have a TD Ameritrade IRA back in the US and the best advice I have gotten is to not tell them I have moved (at least as long as I can use my parent's American address as my home address). Luckily you can have a work pension that is invested, and the IRS doesn't much care about those. It's personal investments they want your taxes on.

I did end up talking to a investment company that works with US expats, Tanager, they actually employ American expats to handle accounts. However you need 500,000 in order for them to open up an account. But she gave me some good advice when I was feeling hopeless.

1. deposit as much into your employer pension as possible
2. Like the other poster said file your FBAR and possibly a Form 1116 (Foreign Tax Credit)
3. If you have a Roth IRA you can still contribute to that from your UK earnings
4. You can open an ISA, but don't do a stocks and shares
5. If you do plan on investing with your spouse, do it under their name and not yours.

Hope this helps! Good luck :-)

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 30th June 2020, 08:35 PM
Bevdeforges's Avatar
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: deepest, darkest Essonne
Posts: 47,801
Rep Power: 23366
Bevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond reputeBevdeforges has a reputation beyond repute
10454 likes received
1522 likes given

Users Flag! Originally from usa. Users Flag! Expat in france.
Default

A couple further stray thoughts on this:

You may want to look into an organization called AARO (Association of Americans Resident Overseas). It's an American expat organization headquartered in Paris that puts out quite a bit of information on US taxes for expats for its members. https://aaro.org/

And, be careful of things like ISA accounts and anything considered a "tax free" savings account in the UK. Technically speaking, while such accounts are tax free in the UK, the US does expect you to report the interest and pay US taxes on it. However, in most of the Bilateral Agreements regarding what the banks are supposed to report back to the IRS, the most common forms of tax-free accounts are specifically exempted (for the banks' reporting). If the bank isn't going to report it, there's not a lot of reason for you to report it - either for FBAR purposes or on your tax return. But that's a decision you have to make for yourself.

Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
Location
Where you live
Expat From Country
Please select the country you originate from. This will appear as a flag when you make posts on the site.
Expat To Country
Please select the country you have either moved to or want to relocate to. This will be presented on the site when you make posts.

Log-in


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


FORUM PARTNERS

ExpatForum.com is owned and operated by VerticalScope Inc.

Retiring Overseas Guides | Moving Overseas Guides | Cost of Living | Health Care Guides


All times are GMT. The time now is 02:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.