Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Opening a UK Bank Account While Abroad

Opening up a bank account in the UK can be a nightmare or it can be an easy & smooth process. Canadian & American teachers should take advantage of the current exchange rate & buy pounds sooner rather than later. Usually, the exchange rate for pound to dollar is double. But right now, 1 GBP is $1.73 Canadian dollars. It was $1.67 yesterday morning.

Let me explain. When you open a UK bank account with Lloyd's, you have to send a cheque for 100 GBP to yourself. That's your money & sits in your new UK bank account until you need it (presumably when you arrive to teach in London, England). So, if you go to your bank & get this cheque today it will cost you $173. Or you could get that same cheque when the pound eventually recovers for $200. It's like the pound is on sale!

If you're planning on teaching or working in the UK in the near future, you should just apply for your bank account now. Read this post to see what you need to do to apply for your UK bank account. You don't need to work through Classroom Canada to get the account (although it is easier!). Just quote 222320 on all correspondence & provide all the proper documentation.

Here's some more good news for Canadian teachers. Lloyd's TSB has just opened up 2 offices in Canada.

They now have one office in Vancouver and one in Toronto. This is amazing news for teachers in a hurry to open their UK bank accounts. Instead of sending your documents to the UK, you can now send your documents to Vancouver or Toronto, which is a gazillion times cheaper to send express post. The Lloyd's staff will check your documents to make sure you will actually be able to get a UK bank account and then they courier your documents to the Isle of Man Lloyd's. So in the end, you'll save time & money.

Sign up for our newsletters to read more about teaching in London, England. Download a free chapter of the ebook, Guide to Teaching in London: A Survival Guide for Canadians. If you like that chapter, buy the ebook! If you're not satisified, I'll give you your money back. I've never had to refund anyone yet so I'm confident I won't have to!

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!

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