Banking Options After Moving to a New Country

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The following is a guest post. Enjoy! 

When moving country as part of a permanent or temporary move, depending on how you see life, it is unlikely that banking products and their accessibility in your new country of residence will be near the top of your list of priorities. 

However, inevitably, if you plan on working or even having a long term stay with family, you will require banking facilities in your new country. There are many good reasons to hold banking products in your new country, such as a safe holding for your money so as to avoid carrying high amounts of physical cash or avoiding foreign currency usage/conversion fees.
A major advantage to having accessible banking in the country you are travelling to is having a bank locally that operates internationally. In these cases, many banks will have very efficient services for the transferal and opening of basic banking facilities and more when you arrive. As your originating country will have verified your identity and performed the usual credit checks in your home country, this greatly reduces the lead time for application in your new country.
As in most countries, the first step is to register for a basic current account, as this will allow you the access to more complex products (e.g. loans, savings accounts etc). Since moving countries will cost substantial sums of money and especially if you are looking to rent a property and need a deposit, some form of easy access savings account will be required to hold funds.
Many products when moving countries are similar to products you will have found in your originating country, especially when it comes to savings products. For example, in the United Kingdom, a particularly popular way to save money over a set period of time is through fixed rate bonds investing, which are also available in the USA as a certificate of deposit (CD). The application process for these products will be similar with similar terms of use, although as always, the fine print should always be consulted.

How about you all? Have you ever opened a bank account in a new country? Was the process more or less difficult than you expected it to be?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

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  1. Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says:

    Opening my UK account was really easy and uneventful. Last week I opened one in Guatemala and it was another story. Lots of paperwork, inexperienced staff, money laundering rules that prevent you from withdrawing your money, even though you have justified where it came from, etc. thankfully I speak the language but it can be daunting otherwise.
    My recent post What I HATE about Guatemala

    • Thanks for sharing Pauline! I have some relatives that live in Latin America, and they were telling me how sometimes, it's almost “expected” to pay people small semi-legal bribes in order to get certain things done in finances/business.
      My recent post Banking Options After Moving to a New Country

      • Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence says:

        Sadly, it is true. I refuse to pay but it costs me a lot of time. When I wanted to connect my house to the public sewage and water, they asked for bribes, I ended up having to install my own water pump to avoid paying. My boyfriend had negotiated a lower mortgage rate than at the start of the mortgage, when he sold the house, the bank kept $25K in concept of difference between the two interest rates because they arbitrarily reverted back to the old rate! Sometimes you just want to pay and get it over with, but I don't want to oil the system any more.
        My recent post Energy companies can’t hide behind complex tariffs

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