UK banks are regulated by the FSA (Financial Services Authority). Money you deposit in a UK bank account is 100-percent protected up to GBP 50,000. UK banks offer a wide and varied selection of banking facilities. Most offer online banking, making it easier to manage your account from overseas.
Open a UK. bank account from the U.S. Choose a bank that has branches in the U.S. and the UK. This makes opening a UK bank account from overseas faster and easier.
Call a bank branch nearby. There are numerous banks with branches in both countries, although choosing a well-known UK bank will give you access to a network of branches throughout the UK. Ask the bank for its requirements to open an account from overseas. You will need a passport, proof of address and income details (payslips or bank statements from your U.S. bank). Check the deposit requirements.
Get an application pack mailed to you, or go to the branch in person. Complete the application form and hand it back to the banker with your documents. They must be originals. If you are mailing everything to the bank, use secure mail.
Wait for the bank to process your application, verify your identity and complete a credit check. It may take one or two weeks. Your new UK bank details will be mailed to you. Bank cards will arrive separately. You will receive your PIN number by mail shortly after. Bank cards need to be activated before use. Instructions will be enclosed with the cards.
U.S. banks with representative offices in the UK may open an account quicker, but the number of UK branches will be far less. Your debit card can be used, free of charge, anywhere in the UK. If you travel outside the UK charges may apply.
The U.S. government does not impose restrictions on citizens opening a UK bank account. However, assets of more than £6,500, held in an overseas bank account, must be declared in your annual income tax return to the Internal Revenue Service.