- I am a UK citizen.
- I am not a resident of the UK.
- I have not lived in, worked in or visited the UK for the last 7 years.
- I currently do not have a UK bank account (I think?)
- I owe approximately £9,000 to a UK debt collecting company (So it is possible I have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against me.) from credit card debts.
- I have one(reasonable..ish) private ‘final salary’ pension and three small private ‘with profits’ pensions.
- I am over 55 but not yet 67.
- The cost of living in my resident country is (currently & for the foreseeable future) considerably lower than the UK; so whilst my current income is sufficient for my current needs, to save £9,000 would take approximately 5 – 6 years(Paying by instalment would be paying more money in currency transfers & differences in currency rates than off principle sum owed) I intend to stay in my resident country.
The debt part of this is really another question which I will ask later, but is relevant to this question.
What would I like to do? I would like to visit the UK open a bank account, claim some or all of my private pensions taking 25% as a cash lump sum; with some of this lump sum I would like to pay off the debt collecting company. Then return to my resident country to live off my existing income and my retirement pension.
- UK banks now insist on UK residency.
- UK banks now have such products named ‘International Bank Account’; these accounts appear to be for the considerably wealthy; not the average man in the street. For example Citibank listed in this answer requires a minimum deposit of £150,000.
- Due to the debt I would only be eligible for a ‘Basic account’ and I am not sure if foreign withdrawals or transfers are allowed with these type of accounts.
- Pension companies will only pay into a UK bank account in my name.
- Due to the circumstances my choice(currently none) will result in having to take the only banking option available which could have exorbitant bank charges. But then ‘beggars can’t be choosers’?
So the question is ‘How do I open a UK bank account’ so that I can pay off my debt and claim my pension. Any advice or guidance would be very welcome.
I am and continuing to research the following possibilities:-
- Non UK citizens(possibly only European Union citizens) are allowed to open a bank account so that their wages can be paid; but my understanding is they need to supply an address within a reasonable time frame. If this is the case it is possible to open a UK account without an address, but is this viable in the long-term?
- Will pension/annuity providers pay into a joint account? (I could possibly get a joint account with a member of my family)
- Opening bank accounts in my resident country with banks that have links/owners in the UK, this may allow their UK counterpart to permit me a bank account.
- Try and find out if any of my old UK bank accounts are still open or dormant (I have no account numbers or relevant info, just memory)
Please do include advice about the risk of taking pensions early in your answer; a)I have considered the possibilities and b)I have little to no trust in UK financial institutions;