UK banks that accept companies with overseas (foreign) directors and owners

May 4, 2022

It can be tough to get a business bank account in the United Kingdom when your own business falls into the following categories: 

  • UK limited company where all directors are non-resident 
  • UK limited company with one or more UK resident directors, as well as one or more foreign or non-UK resident directors 

If you fall into the above categories, it is likely that you have struggled to obtain a bank account, so you would be forgiven that the UK has a law restricting foreign or non-residents from having a UK bank account. 

This is not the case; UK registered businesses can be 100% owned and directed by non-UK residents and there is no law restricting the provision of bank accounts to these types of businesses. The reason many bank accounts may reject these types of applications or simply provide too many hurdles to make the application viable is down to the strict Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements imposed on banks in the United Kingdom. 

Foreign individuals, or simply those individuals that are not resident in the United Kingdom, can be harder for UK banks to conduct their AML checks. 

The issues you might face are: 

  • Requiring that you are physically present for the bank to identify you 
  • Banks simply do not accept companies with non-resident Directors or Persons of Significant Control (PSC) 
  • Banks not allowing non-resident directors to become signatories on the bank account 

Whilst there are multiple traditional banks (like HSBC) that accept these types of business – they will all require that you are physically present in the bank at the point of identifying you for their AML checks.  

With this in mind, the following institutions are those that allow entirely online applications: 

Wise 

To get an account with Wise you need to be: 

  • A business registered in the UK, Canada, Australia, USA, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, or the EEA 
  • Accepted Business types include sole traders, freelancers, limited companies, public companies, Charities, and partnerships. 

 

Revolut  

The eligibility requirements for Revolut are: 

  • A business registered in the UK, Switzerland, or the EEA 
  • Accepted Business types include sole traders, freelancers, limited companies, public companies, and partnerships. Unfortunately, charities and companies incorporated by guarantee are not currently accepted. 

While you are applying for your bank account in the UK, Spondoo Accountants can assist you via our client monies/escrow services to allow you to pay suppliers, employees, government authorities, and even accept payment from your customers.  

We can even support you to obtain a UK workplace pension scheme without a UK bank account. 

Our services 

Spondoo Accountants is a UK licensed accountancy practise that offers services to companies with overseas ownership and directors. These services include: 

  • Preparation and filing of your Statutory Accounts with Companies House in the UK 
  • Preparation and filing of your Corporation Tax Return with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) 
  • Company Secretarial Services 
  • Registered Address and Postal Collection 
  • Bookkeeping in Xero, QuickBooks, Sage, FreeAgent, Zoho Books, NetSuite and KashFlow 
  • Payroll & Workplace Pensions automatic enrolment 
  • VAT filing and compliance 

You can get in touch by:

Call – 02033 259 341

E-mail – info@spondoo.co.uk

WhatsApp –  +447395534661 or click here to chat with an accountant.

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Information provided on the site is merely guidance that may change in line with UK law and regulations. Users must not consider this to be financial advice or their sole resource when making any financial decision. Spondoo is a trading name for Accounting SQL Limited, authorised & license accounting firm under the Institute of Financial Accountants.

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