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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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Old 14 Oct 2003
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Opening a foreign bank account?

I'm based in the UK but next year am heading stateside then south to Panama at least. The sterling/dollar exchage rate is very favourable at present so I thought I'd take the opportunity to buy some dollars - but how? I obviously don't want wads of cash lying around . ..does anyone know if I can open a USD bank account from London?

Many thanks

Huey
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  #2  
Old 14 Oct 2003
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A friend works in Italy and opened an account in the Isle of Man for tax purposes prior to moving.

Easy to open from the UK

Steve
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Old 15 Oct 2003
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Hi Huey

When we lived in the UK, we banked with Citibank - Global Consumer Banking division. You can open accounts in US$, Euros and a number of other currencies. As long as you keep 2000 GBP in the account (or in all accounts combined if you have more than one), there are no service charges, and you can get a cash machine card which will allow you to withdraw funds overseas or make purchases at Visa merchants. You can also bank over the Internet or by phone. Citibank has very few branches, but for its Sterling accounts you pay no bank charges to withdraw from any other bank's machines.

Citibank International
Global Consumer Banking
332 Oxford Street
London W1N 9AA
UK

0800 005500

It must be said that these accounts pay pitiful rates of interest, but then pretty much most bank accounts are in that category these days

Cheers
Susan

[This message has been edited by Susan (edited 15 October 2003).]
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Old 21 Jan 2004
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Hi, I'm a UK resident but when travelling Australia I opened a local bank account and deposited my TC's then used the cash card they gave me to withdraw cash as and when needed but that was 10 years ago, now you could use an ordinary debit/credit card with a visa logo virtually world wide. Last year I rode from the UK to Capetown and used my credit card to withdraw local cash everywhere except Syria,Sudan and Ethiopia cost's 3% mind per transaction. Regards Chris
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Old 7 Feb 2004
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Don't forget SWITCH cards, I used mine in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Nanning with no problems at all. I even tried it at China / Viet Nam border, Mao Cai (I think its called)and all was ok. It went ok in Thailand (Bank of Ayudhiya + Thai Farmers Bank) so maybe you could think of leaving your money here and only taking a small amount of travelling cash - not so much to lose should the worst happen?
Barclay give you a Visa backed Debit card with a normal current account, just a thought.
Cheers Oletimer (George)
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  #6  
Old 7 Feb 2004
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thanks for advice .. . .I ended up following up Susans suggestion and have opened a USD account with citibank. No charges for withdrawing from their cash machines worldwide - and they have one in nearly every capital city . . . .

Cheers

Huey
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