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Moving Savings Abroad?


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#1 LC1

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:11 PM

Please can anyone clarify to me the advantages/disadvantages of moving savings to another country (ideally with better IRs).

Is this even possible for a British national living in the UK?

I had previously assumed that this probably wasn't possible, but have seen a few posters on this forum casually remark in other threads along the lines of "we should all just move our money out of this country", or things to that effect....

Is there a serious point behind such flippant comments?

Cheers in advance :)

#2 rantnrave

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:05 PM

Please can anyone clarify to me the advantages/disadvantages of moving savings to another country (ideally with better IRs).

Is this even possible for a British national living in the UK?

I had previously assumed that this probably wasn't possible, but have seen a few posters on this forum casually remark in other threads along the lines of "we should all just move our money out of this country", or things to that effect....

Is there a serious point behind such flippant comments?

Cheers in advance :)

Any significant moves in the exchange rate could wipe out the extra gains earned through higher interest in accounts overseas. The reverse could also apply, with the exchange rate moving in your favour when you try to convert the savings back into . I've seen folk both proft and take a financial hit to a much greater extent than they ever imagined possible through this.

#3 Vested Disinterest

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

Please can anyone clarify to me the advantages/disadvantages of moving savings to another country (ideally with better IRs).

Is this even possible for a British national living in the UK?

I had previously assumed that this probably wasn't possible, but have seen a few posters on this forum casually remark in other threads along the lines of "we should all just move our money out of this country", or things to that effect....

Is there a serious point behind such flippant comments?

Cheers in advance :)


I think under EU rules you can bank wherever you like within it - obviously in the same currency as locals.

I don't have any experience opening an account in another country while based in the UK. I imagine there are bureaucratic hoops to jump through.

However, I did live in Sweden* a while back, and kept my current account open after leaving. A couple of years ago when I saw that the UK was going down the toilet I moved quite a bit of cash into a SEK savings account with the same bank which I opened over the phone (in English). They have my UK National Insurance number and my interest payments are taxed, but I'm not sure who gets it in the end. I'd be happy if it was Sweden. I feel that I've made enough effort not to evade tax, at least, and that's something you have to think about.

*In Sweden, you only exist if you have a social security number - banks will probably require one (and why not, things are a lot less complicated when you actually know who people are).

Edited by Vested Disinterest, 14 March 2012 - 01:15 PM.

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#4 Bruce Banner

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:11 PM

No problem as long as you declare any interest received on your tax return and pay any tax due to HMRC.

HMRC publish an annual spot exchange rate on their website as you need to convert the sum into Sterling on your tax return. It is then treated the same as UK interest for tax calculations.

I have a French bank account which I opened in person at the branch. They wanted a reference from my main UK bankers and usual proof of identity. I receive monthly statements and have online banking facilities. They provide an annual statement of interest paid (no tax is deducted) and also forward the information to HMRC.
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#5 Vested Disinterest

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:12 PM

Any significant moves in the exchange rate could wipe out the extra gains earned through higher interest in accounts overseas. The reverse could also apply, with the exchange rate moving in your favour when you try to convert the savings back into . I've seen folk both proft and take a financial hit to a much greater extent than they ever imagined possible through this.


+1 this

I'll add that I have some moderate attachment to Sweden - it's not unreasonable to think that I might retire there.
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#6 moneyscam

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 01:17 PM

Please can anyone clarify to me the advantages/disadvantages of moving savings to another country (ideally with better IRs).

Is this even possible for a British national living in the UK?

I had previously assumed that this probably wasn't possible, but have seen a few posters on this forum casually remark in other threads along the lines of "we should all just move our money out of this country", or things to that effect....

Is there a serious point behind such flippant comments?

Cheers in advance :)


You can open an account in Switzerland without being resident, most of the ones I've dealt with require you to be present physically with passport id / proof of address for the account opening. Forget about getting higher interest, they don't generally pay interest on USD and GBP, and low low rates for CHF and Euro.

You only put your money here if you're worried about safety rather than yield.



#7 sexton

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:25 PM

I think under EU rules you can bank wherever you like within it - obviously in the same currency as locals.

I don't have any experience opening an account in another country while based in the UK. I imagine there are bureaucratic hoops to jump through.

However, I did live in Sweden* a while back, and kept my current account open after leaving. A couple of years ago when I saw that the UK was going down the toilet I moved quite a bit of cash into a SEK savings account with the same bank which I opened over the phone (in English). They have my UK National Insurance number and my interest payments are taxed, but I'm not sure who gets it in the end. I'd be happy if it was Sweden. I feel that I've made enough effort not to evade tax, at least, and that's something you have to think about.

*In Sweden, you only exist if you have a social security number - banks will probably require one (and why not, things are a lot less complicated when you actually know who people are).

I've opened an account in Sweden without a person number or an address just a passport.The lady opening the account said "we''ll just use the bank address"!
Mind you I had just been brought in by the estate agent next door so i could get the account to transfer the money to buy a house.

No problem in Ireland either just a passport and a uk address for the statements.

#8 LC1

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for all the replies, it's very much appreciated. Confirms what I sort of expected.




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