How to open a UK business bank account without being physically present?


We are moving our company to Scotland in a few months. We wanted to open a business bank account in advance without using an agent.
We tried RBS, but to no avail.

How can we open a business bank account without being physically present in the UK?

Foreign UK Bank Bank Account

asked Jan 16 '13 at 23:48
16 points
  • Welcome to OnStartups! Please note that polling the community for a list of service recommendations is not allowed on the Stack Exchange network. We prefer questions in the "how do I do something" format. I edited your question so that it is in line with the rules of the site. Hopefully you will still find it helpful. – Zuly Gonzalez 9 years ago

2 Answers


Unfortunately, the money laundering regulations make it very difficult to open an account from overseas. You need to show proof of identity and proof of address for the company officers (usually Directors).

One option might be to choose a global bank, e.g. HSBC, and open a local account with them, then talk to them about your plans and see if they can open a GBP account for you at a branch in Scotland. It'll depend on where you are and how well, if at all, they know you, and to be honest how much money they expect to make from you. I used this approach to open an offshore account a while ago, but I had a long relationship with them, so they were happy to help.

answered Jan 17 '13 at 02:36
Steve Jones
3,239 points


I opened company in UK (fully online, you get it in 3 hours) and for it a business account in HSBC without going to UK or any of their offices. I called many other banks and they all had some rule that would prevent me that. Some had a rule that at least one of founders mush have an UK passport, other that you have to get to their local office to sign, etc.

At HSBC I found some online form that didn't specify in small text (only for UK residents) as other did, filled it, got some papers to fill, sign and send back by post and it was opened. It took a while but also because I wasn't doing my steps as fast as I could.

answered Jan 17 '13 at 20:23
Janko M
21 points
  • We will look into this, do you by any chance remember the name of the HSBC product? – Kraken 9 years ago
  • I recently contacted HSBC about doing this, and here's what they told me: "Due to a change in our procedures we are no longer able to assist you to open UK business accounts from overseas." – Sacha 8 years ago

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