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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10226
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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When starting the process of opening a business bank account

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Hello, when starting the process of opening a business bank account in the UK for new Ltd that has as Director an EU citizen (not from the UK), which are important points to keep in mind for the negotiation with the banks to be successful? Is it difficult opening a business bank account in the UK?

It is extremely difficult a bank account in the UK even if you don’t want an overdraft and you are a UK resident. There is no legal reason why anyone who is not a UK national should not have a UK bank account but sometimes, banks just decide that they don’t want an account, for no particular reason. If they will not let anyone have an account, there is no appeal process. The Financial Ombudsman cannot make the bank open an account if the bank does not want.

It is not case of negotiating, it’s a case of being as open with the bank as you possibly can.

Some banks are more pedantic than others I am aware that Co-op bank seem to be more flexible in their approach because they will take people who have been bankrupt or have other financial problems course will not provide any overdraft facilities.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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Best wishes.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, thanks for your answer. I am discussing here for business accounts. 10 years ago as a University student in the UK I opened easily a bank account. Does co-op bank do business accounts? Anything specific you could tell me in order to maximise the chances of success?

I don’t know whether they are still taking on business accounts but certainly, they did business accounts for a long time.

Over the last few years, banks have become more and more paranoid about money laundering and hence the difficulty with opening bank accounts even for UK residents, unless that UK resident even is absolutely squeakyclean.

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