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Setting up your finances outside the UK

In the lead-up to moving outside the UK, one of the main considerations is how you'll manage your money once you arrive.

Whether you’re moving to Paris, Beijing or Sydney, there are some steps you can take to get set up before you land.

Open an account before you arrive

You may be able to set up a bank account before you arrive. This can be either an international account that enables you to access multiple currencies, or a bank account which you can apply for online. 

Having an account set up means you can transfer money across straight away, so it’s ready when you arrive.

You can get more handy tips from our checklist for moving outside the UK.

Work out the best way to transfer

How much and how often you'll need to transfer may determine the best way for you to move your money. 

An international account will give you access to money in different currencies whenever you need. With an international money transfer you can transfer a set amount at a set time and at regular intervals.

You may also be able to link global accounts with some international banks. For example, HSBC Global View and Global Transfers enable you to send money without a fee and also see your international accounts in one place. For sending money to non-HSBC accounts outside the UK there would be a charge of £4 online and £9 for transfers made in a branch or over the phone. You might also be interested in knowing more about sending money to the UK.

Consider what you need

Before you leave, are there changes you want to make to your current financial situation? Perhaps there's a credit card you don’t need, or bank account that’s no longer required. 

Once you arrive, think about what you’ll need in your new home. Remember, not all financial products will work identically in different countries and regions. Before signing up to anything make sure you’ve done your research.

Sort out your pension and tax

Two of the bigger things to think about will be your pension and tax. You must tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you’re either going to be living outside the UK permanently or working outside the UK full-time for at least 1 full tax year. 

If you'll be working in your new home, you may have to make contributions towards a pension. How do you want this to work with the pension you currently have? This is likely to be something that depends on your longer-term plans and doesn’t have to be sorted out straight away, but it’s worth being aware of as you make any pension contribution arrangements in a new job.  Make sure you update your UK pension and investment providers with your new address, including any former workplace pension schemes.