Best Savings Accounts for Expats in the UK in 2020-2021

This article will look at some of the best savings accounts in the UK for expats.

It continues our analysis at savings solutions after I looked at options in numerous countries.

This has included Marcus by Goldman Sachs , Emirates NBD best savings accounts in Saudi Arabia and an expat-specific solution.

The article will look at the best options available in the UK, although it remains our position to in an era of 0% interest rates, saving money in the bank doesn’t make sense.

For any questions, or if you are looking to invest, you can contact me using  this form.

Introduction:

Expat – ‘Expat’ or ‘Expatriate’ is a person who lives outside their country of origin. Usually, people who either live on a temporary basis or a permanent basis can be called Expats. 

The most common reasons for people to live in other countries are Education, Work, Retirement, Marriage, etc. In most cases, Expats tend to live in other countries for a short period of time. 

The types of accounts that are generally beneficial to Expats are Current/Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts and International Student Bank Accounts. 

Pros and Cons of opening a savings account as an Expat – There are some advantages and disadvantages of opening a savings account as an Expat. Some of these pros and cons are listed below.

Pros:

  • Accessibility of Funds within a short notice of time.
  • Interest paid out to the funds deposited in the accounts.
  • The fees required by these savings accounts are also relatively low.

Cons:

  • The options and benefits offered to Expats are low when compared to the options available for residents.

Things to consider while selecting a savings account as an Expat – There are some important things that are needed to be taken into consideration before selecting a savings account.

  • The first and foremost thing that should be considered while selecting a savings bank for Expats is the ability to transfer money to their country. 
  • Forex services are another thing to consider so that Expats can easily convert funds between the currencies.
  • The ability to open a savings account should also be checked.
  • Other things that should be considered are online banking, banking fees and charges.

Best Savings Accounts for Expats in the UK:

We have made this list based on the popularity of the bank and not on the basis of the interest rates. 

Adding to that, these banks are considered to be the best available choice for Expats living in the UK region. 

Best Savings Accounts in the UK:

  1. HSBC Expat (Guernsey)

HSBC Expat offers bank accounts that can be accessed by individuals even if they move to countries other than their country of origin. There are 6 types of savings accounts offered at HSBC Expat, which are listed below:

  • ‘Currency Savings Account’

This account is offered to the individuals in 16 global currencies, which are UAE Dirham, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Swiss Franc, Chinese Renminbi, Danish Krone, Hong Kong Dollar, Hungarian Forint, Japanese Yen, Norwegian Krone, New Zealand Dollar, Polish Zloty, Swedish Krona, Singapore Dollar, Thai Baht and South African Rand.

There is no penalty applied to the customers for accessing their funds and the funds can be accessed via online banking, mobile banking, or phone banking.

  • ‘Fixed Term Deposit Account’

As the name suggests, this is a Fixed Deposit account at HSBC Expat. The Fixed Term Deposit Account is available in 19 currencies, which is 3 more than the Currency Savings Account (USD, GBP and EURO).

Fixed Deposits can be made between tenures of 1 month and 1 year and the interest rates depend on the tenure selected. Take a look at the table below for the interest rates of Fixed Term Deposits.

Tenure£5,000 or more£10,000 or more£25,000 or more£50,000 or more£100,000 or more£250,000 or more£500,000 or more
1 month0.00% AER0.00% AER0.00% AER0.00% AER0.09% AER0.09% AER0.19% AER
3 months0.13% AER0.13% AER0.13% AER0.23% AER0.23% AER0.23% AER0.33% AER
6 months0.11% AER0.11% AER0.11% AER0.21% AER0.21% AER0.21% AER0.31% AER
1 year0.11% AER0.11% AER0.11% AER0.16% AER0.16% AER0.16% AER0.21% AER

Interest on the Fixed Term Deposit Account is calculated on a daily basis and is paid out to the customer every month.

Early withdrawal charges are applicable on this account if the customer tries to withdraw before the time of maturity.

The minimum balance requirement for this account is GBP 5,000 or USD 5,000 or EUR 10,000, or any other currency equivalent to GBP 10,000.

  • ‘Little Expat Account’

The savings under the name of a customer’s child can be kept together with the help of this account. This account is helpful in creating the habit of saving and banking to a child.

The Little Expat Account is available to the customers in 4 currencies, which are GBP, USD, HKD and AED. 

A preferential interest rate is offered to the customers on the first GBP 2,500 and after that normal rates are applicable.

CurrencyPreferential Interest Rate (Up to £2,500)Normal Interest Rate (More than £2,500)
GBP1.50%0.25%
USD2.00%0.35%
HKD2.00%0.35%
AED2.00%0.35%

Interest is calculated on a daily basis and paid out monthly to the customers. Any person who is an already existing bank account holder with HSBC Expat.

The interest rates provided above are just for the estimation of the reader and the original interest rates might actually differ.

  • ‘Saver Account’

This can be said as normal savings account offered by HSBC Expat. Unlike the other accounts, this account is only available in three currencies (USD, EUR and GBP).

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in GBP is up to 0.01%.

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in USD is up to 0.03%

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in EUR is up to 0.00%

The minimum balance that needs to be maintained is GBP 5,000 or USD 5,000, or EUR 5,000. Interest is not payable to the accounts which do not meet with the requirement for the minimum balance.

  • ‘Quarterly Bonus Saver’

The Quarterly Bonus Saver Account is only available in two currencies, which are GBP and USD.

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in GBP is up to 0.01%, whereas, the bonus interest rate for a three-month period is 0.44%.

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in USD is up to 0.03%, whereas, the bonus interest rate for a three-month period is 0.30%.

The funds in the account can be accessed by a customer without having to notify the bank. The minimum balance needed to be maintained is $5,000 or £5,000.

The general interest is calculated daily and paid out to the customer on a monthly basis, and on a quarterly basis for the qualifying three-month period bonus interest.

  • ‘Online Bonus Saver’

The Online Bonus Saver Account offers bonus interest to the customers when they make no withdrawals in a month. This bonus interest is calculated daily and paid out to the customers on a monthly basis.

Even if a customer makes a withdrawal, they will get paid a standard interest rate. The funds in this account are accessible by the customer any time they want.

The Online Bonus Saver at HSBC Expat is available in 3 currencies, which are GBP, USD and EUR. The minimum balance that needs to be maintained is GBP 5,000 or USD 5,000, or EUR 5,000.

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in GBP is up to 0.01%, whereas, the bonus interest rate is 0.40%.

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in USD is up to 0.03%, whereas, the bonus interest rate is 0.25%.

The standard AER/Gross interest rate offered for deposits made in EUR is up to 0.00%, whereas, the bonus interest rate is 0.01%.

Note – Any of the above-mentioned accounts can be opened by already existing customers of HSBC Expat and the process of opening these savings accounts can be done completely online

I have done a review on HSBC expat before.

  1. ‘Lloyds Bank’:

There are 4 types of accounts available to the individuals offered by Lloyds Bank. However, these accounts are domiciled in the Isle of the Man and available to customers in many countries except Europe (excluding the UK).

There are 4 types of accounts available to the individuals offered by Lloyds Bank. However, these accounts are domiciled in the Isle of the Man and available to customers in many countries except Europe (excluding the UK).

The Savings Accounts and their details offered at Lloyds Bank are

The Savings Accounts and their details offered at Lloyds Bank are as follows:

  • ‘Fixed Term Deposits’

This account is available in the currencies GBP and USD. There are some other currencies available, but it depends on the country. 

The minimum deposit that needs to be made in the Fixed Term Deposits at Lloyds Bank is £10,000 or $10,000. A servicing account is opened in the name of the customer in order to pay out the interest.

The maximum deposit allowed is up to £5 million or $5 million. The interest rates aren’t provided here but you can find the interest rates by either approaching the bank or contacting us.

Customers aren’t able to withdraw their funds until the maturity period of the account is over. The terms available range from 1 – 6 months and other terms may be available upon the request of the customer.

 Customers can make withdrawals under special circumstances, but a part of the capital is lost in the form of withdrawal charges.

  • ‘International Bonus Saver Account’

The funds in the International Bonus Saver Account can be easily accessed by the customers and there are additional charges for withdrawals.

This account is only available in the currencies GBP and USD. There is a bonus interest rate offered to the customers in the first year. New deposits can be made into the account by customers whenever they want.

The banking services could be accessed by customers from anywhere in the world with the help of Internet Banking.

The minimum deposit that needs to be made in the International Bonus Saver Account is £5,000 or $5,000. Interest is paid out monthly and after 1 year the bonus interest rate is reduced to a normal interest rate.

The interest rates for the International Bonus Saver Account at Lloyds Bank are as follows:

Account BalanceInterest rate (Gross/AER, Gross/Variable)
£0 – £99,999Bonus rate – 0.50% Normal rate – 0.20%
£100,000 – £499,999Bonus rate – 0.55% Normal rate – 0.20%
More than £500,000Bonus rate – 0.75% Normal rate – 0.20%
Account BalanceInterest rate (Gross/AER, Gross/Variable)
$0 – $99,999Bonus rate – 0.52% Normal rate – 0.30%
$100,000 – $499,999Bonus rate – 0.70% Normal rate – 0.30%
More than $500,000Bonus rate – 0.90% Normal rate – 0.30%
More than $1 millionBonus rate – 1.00% Normal rate – 0.30%
  • ‘International Regular Saver’

This account also comes with quite a lot of benefits just like the International Bonus Saver Account. This account is only available in GBP and the residents of the Channel Islands or the Isle of the Man won’t be able to open this account.

The minimum deposit amount for this account is £500 per month. Customers can save money ranging between £500 and £2,500 per month with the help of a standing order.

During the first 12 months, customers are provided with a promotional fixed interest rate of 0.95% (gross/AER) and after 12 months, the interest is reduced to 0.20%.

  • ‘Money Market Call Account’

The Money Market Call Account at Lloyds Bank is available in many major currencies. Instant access to funds is provided with the help of PhoneBank or Internet Banking.

The minimum deposit that needs to be made in this account is £10,000, however, this requirement differs for other currencies.

The interest rates are variable and depend on the deposited amount. The interest is paid on a monthly basis to the accounts in GBP, EUR and USD, whereas, it is paid out every 6 months to the accounts in other currencies.

Note – Free transfers can be made through Currency Internet Banking, International PhoneBank, through a branch, writing cheques and transfers between accounts at Lloyds Bank.

Electronic Funds Transfer might be charged £30 and the corresponding bank fee will be charged between £12 and £20. Cheque collection and cheque settlement charges also apply.

3. Barclays

There are 4 types of savings accounts offered at Barclays, which are given below. 

  • ‘International Reserve Account’

The International Reserve Account is perfectly suitable for the people who want to save money in the form of GBP and are working in the UK while earning dollars as an Expat.

The deposits and withdrawals can be made by the customers very easily without any restrictions or penalties. This account is available in three major currencies, namely Sterling (GBP), Dollars (USD) and Euros (EUR).

The minimum deposit amount required to open this account is £1, $1 or €1 and the maximum deposit allowed per account is £25 million, $40 million and €10 million.

The latest interest rates offered to the customers at Barclays International Bank are as follows:

BalanceInterest Rate (Gross)
£0 – £49,9990.01%
£50,000 – £99,9990.01%
£100,000 – £999,9990.01%
£1,000,000 – £4,999,9990.01%
£5,000,000 and more0.01%
BalanceInterest rate (Gross)
$0 – $99,9990.00%
$100,000 – $999,9990.00%
$1,000,000 – $4,999,9990.01%
$5 million and more0.05%
BalanceInterest Rate (Gross)
€0 – €49,9990.00%
€50,000 – €99,9990.00%
€100,000 – €999,9990.00%
€1,000,000 – €4,999,9990.00%
€5,000,000 and more0.00%

The account at Barclays International could be opened with the help of Online Banking, Approaching a Bank, Barclays App, or Telephone Banking (for registered customers).

  • ‘Treasury Deposits’

People who don’t want instant access to their funds could opt for the Treasury Deposits offered by Barclays. The terms are available starting from 3 months and can be chosen for up to 5 years depending on the financial goals of the customer.

The Treasury Deposits at Barclays are available in currencies such as GBP, USD and many others.

The minimum deposit required to be made is £50,000 or $50,000, or equivalent to £50,000 in other currencies.

Once deposited, the funds couldn’t be withdrawn by the clients or the deposit cannot be canceled. The interest rates can’t affect the deposit, whether the rates increase or decrease.

  • ‘Notice Deposit Account’

Similar to the Treasury Deposits, Notice Deposit Accounts don’t give access to withdraw the deposited funds. Customers can choose between a notice period of 35 days or 100 days. 

The minimum balance required to open a Notice Deposit Account is £100,000 or $100,000 and the maximum amount that can be deposited is £25 million or $40 million.

The Notice Deposit Account at Barclays can be opened in Sterling or US Dollars. Interest is paid out monthly and based on the location, it can be transferred to the customer’s funding, Notice deposit, or any other alternative account.

People who want to withdraw their funds before the maturity period couldn’t have access to beneficial interest rates.

The Funding and the Notice Deposit Account should be maintained in the same currency as well as the sort code.

For a deposit of £100,000+ in the 35-day Notice deposit Account, the pre-notice interest rate is 0.21% and the post-notice interest rate is 0.01%.

For a deposit of $100,000+ in the 35-day Notice deposit Account, the pre-notice interest rate is 0.25% and the post-notice interest rate is 0.05%.

For a deposit of £100,000+ in the 100-day Notice deposit Account, the pre-notice interest rate is 0.30% and the post-notice interest rate is 0.10%.

For a deposit of $100,000+ in the 100-day Notice deposit Account, the pre-notice interest rate is 0.30% and the post-notice interest rate is 0.10%.

  • ‘Children’s Savings Account’

This is a savings account, which is helpful for a child’s education or securing their future or to make saving a habit for them. The person who is either a parent or guardian of the child can manage the account as a trustee of the child.

Withdrawals can be made with this account but the funds that have been withdrawn should only be used for the benefit of the child. This account is only available in Sterling (GBP).

Once the child reaches the age of 18 years, the bank will contact the guardian to come and change the account into an Instant Access Savings Account.

The minimum balance required to open this account is £1 and the maximum amount that can be deposited is £1 million.

BalanceInterest Rate
£1 and more0.01%
£1,000 and more0.45%

Note – To open any of the above accounts, customers should be an existing customer of Barclays International Banking or have at least £25,000 in the form of cash/investments to deposit and maintain in the Barclays International Bank Accounts.

  1. ‘NatWest International’:

NatWest International offers four types of savings solutions to the Expats, which are as follows:

  • ‘International Cash Management Account’

This account is useful for people who want to manage and transfer money between multiple currencies. 

The Fixed Term Savings Pot allows individuals to get an estimation of the details regarding their savings. The tenures can be selected ranging between 2 – 12 months based on the customer’s financial needs.

The Instant Access Pot allows individuals to access their funds and withdraw them whenever they want.

All deposit types are available in 25 different types of currencies including USD, EUR, GBP, etc.

The interest rates vary depending on the type of currency and early withdrawals are not permitted for the fixed term deposits.

  • ‘International Instant Saver’

This account is an everyday savings account that offers interest to the customers even when they make withdrawals. The funds in the account can be managed by the customer with the help of a Mobile App.

The interest rate offered to the customers having an account balance of more than £1 is 0.05%. The interest is calculated daily and is paid out to the customer on a monthly basis.

  • ‘International Premium Saver’

This account offers a bonus interest rate to the individuals when they make no withdrawals. Customers could access their savings when they need them, but they will get a standard interest rate instead of a bonus interest rate.

This account is only available to the current account holders at NatWest International.  

The interest rates of the NatWest International’s International Premium Saver account are given below:

BalanceInterest Rate (including Bonus)Interest Rate (Without Bonus)
£1 – £24,9990.01%0.01%
£25,000 – £49,9990.10%0.05%
£50,000 – £1,000,0000.20%0.05%
£1,000,000 +0.05%0.05%
  • ‘International Savings Builder’

Customers can earn higher interest rates if they could grow at least £50 more every month, with the help of this account. No minimum deposit is required, and the funds can be accessed by the customer whenever they want.

Like the International Premium Saver, the International Savings Builder is also available only for the current account holders.

BalanceInterest Rate
£1+0.00%, if the customer fails to grow balance at least £50 more every month
£1 – £10,0001.50%, if the customer grows balance at least £50 more every month
£10,000 +0.01%

Note – In order to open any of these accounts, Expat must a resident of one of the following countries:

Austria

Bahrain

Barbados

Belgium

Bermuda

Canada

China

Cyprus

Denmark

Finland

France

Hong Kong

Kuwait

Norway

Oman

Qatar

South Africa

Spain

Sweden

Switzerland

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

United States of America

5. Skipton International

There are 4 types of savings options (offshore savings) available at Skipton International that are available to the Expats. The details regarding these savings solutions are given below.

  • ‘International Select Access Plus’

This account allows the customers to save their money offshore while having access to their funds whenever they want. Withdrawals can be made without having to lose the interest, with the help of this account.

The minimum transaction for either a deposit or a withdrawal is £1,000 and the withdrawals can be made after the successful completion of opening an account.

The interest is paid out to the accounts having an account balance of £10,000 or more is 0.75% (Gross P.A./AER), and if a person fails to maintain this balance, they will be paid no interest.

The interest is usually credited to the customer’s account annually, which is February 28 of every year.

  • ‘Fixed Rate Bond (maturing 1st October 2021)’

People who don’t want access to their savings could opt for the Fixed Rate Bond offered at Skipton International. The fixed maturity date of this Fixed Rate Bond is 1st October 2021.

Customers won’t be able to access their funds before the maturity period. Moreover, if the maturity date is a weekend or a bank holiday, the funds could be accessible on the next working day.

The minimum deposit amount is £10,000 and the maximum amount that can be deposited is £5 million. The annual interest rate offered to the accounts having a balance of more than £10,000.

The interest rate provided for the accounts having a balance of more than £1,000 is 1.15%.

  • ‘International 120 Day Notice Account’

This account is useful for the people who can provide a 120-day notice in order to access their funds can choose the 120-day account. Additional deposits can be made to the savings any time (up to a maximum of £5 million).

Withdrawals can be made after the completion of a 120-day notice period without having to lose interest. The minimum transaction amount for deposits and withdrawals is £1,000 and no early withdrawals allowed.

The minimum deposit amount is £10,000 and the maximum amount that can be deposited is £5 million. The annual interest rate offered to the accounts having a balance of more than £10,000.

The interest rate provided for the accounts having a balance of more than £1,000 is 1.15%.

  • ‘International 40 Day Notice Account’

This account is useful for the people who can provide a 40-day notice in order to access their funds can choose the 40-day account. Additional deposits can be made to the savings any time (up to a maximum of £5 million).

Withdrawals can be made after the completion of a 40-day notice period without having to lose interest. The minimum transaction amount for deposits and withdrawals is £1,000 and no early withdrawals allowed.

The minimum deposit amount is £10,000 and the maximum amount that can be deposited is £5 million. The annual interest rate offered to the accounts having a balance of more than £10,000.

The interest rate provided for the accounts having a balance of more than £1,000 is 1.00%.

Note – The offshore savings are only available for private investors. Existing customers of Skipton International can open an account by filling a form and new customers are required to complete an application form along with submitting the id and address proof.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Standard Bank ‘International Saver 96 Account’

Interest Rate – 0.20%

Notice Period – 96 days

Interest paid – yearly

Minimum Balance – £10,000

Maximum Balance – £3 million

Early Access – No

Availability – Expats and/or Gibraltar Residents

  • Standard Bank ‘International Saver 36 Account’

Interest Rate – 0.05%

Notice Period – 36 days

Interest Paid – Yearly

Minimum Balance – £10,000

Maximum Balance – £3 million

Early Access – No

Availability – Expats and/or Gibraltar Residents

Bottom Line – These are the best savings accounts offered by the top banks available for Expats, located especially in the UK region. We can provide you with more solutions depending on your requirements as an Expat.

If you require further information on this topic or guidance in opening a savings account that suits your needs, please feel free to avail of the expert services offered by us.

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