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Setting up your finances outside the UK

In the lead-up to moving outside the UK, you'll need to think about 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 gives you access to multiple currencies
  • 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

The best way for you to move your money may depend on how much and how often you'll need to transfer. 

An international account will give you access to money in different currencies whenever you need.

With HSBC, you can make international money transfers 24/7. You can send money online or on the app, so you can use the service wherever you are. You can either:

  • make ad hoc payments as and when needed
  • transfer a set amount at a set time and at regular intervals

There’s a charge of £5 for sending:

  • euros outside the EEA
  • any other currency in or outside the UK

If sending euro to euro in the EEA there’s no charge. This applies to transfers made online, in a branch or over the phone. 

You may also be able to link your global accounts with some international banks. For example, with HSBC Global View and Global Transfers, you can send money without a fee and also see your international accounts in one place. 

HSBC also has a Global Money Account which allows you to hold and convert money in multiple currencies. You can then manage, spend and send foreign currencies globally, at competitive exchange rates and with no HSBC fees. Other non-HSBC fees may apply.

You'll need the HSBC UK Mobile Banking app to open a Global Money Account. You must also have an eligible sole or joint HSBC UK current account in your own name. Some accounts may be excluded, such as HSBC Amanah.

Explore: Sending money to the UK

Consider what you need

Before you leave, are there changes you want to make to your finances? Perhaps there's a credit card or bank account you don’t need. 

Once you arrive, think about what you’ll need in your new home. Remember, not all financial products will work the same 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 & Customs (HMRC) if you’re either going to be:

  • living outside the UK permanently
  • working outside the UK full-time for at least 1 full tax year

If you're going to work outside the UK, 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. It doesn’t have to be sorted out straight away, but it’s worth being aware of. Make sure you update your UK pension and investment providers with your new address. This includes any former workplace pension schemes.