Trying to set up a bank account so it is ready for us when we get to Sweden is being a pain.
Handelsbanken (the Swedish bank we want to use) require a signed letter from our current UK bank that simply states that yes, we are who we say we are and we have been customers for however many years. It’s a very simple reassurance to the Swedish bank that we can be trusted, as we are long time established customers of a UK bank.
The trouble is, our particular branch (the signature is at the branch managers discretion) hadn’t seen this type of letter before, so they said they couldn’t sign it due to bank policy. We know it isn’t bank policy as we called head office. It is purely the branch manager’s decision. He didn’t want to check it out, so made a quick ‘Nope‘ there and then. Didn’t even ask his superiors. Lloyd’s have always been good to us, so this was a kick in the teeth and a possible rethink regarding who we bank with.
We went to HSBC and yes, they can do international banking and it will allow you to take your account to any country, along with any history (which is good for credit, mortgages etc)… but you need to have £50,000 in the account in the first place. So that’s no good as we aren’t quite up to that in our savings account. By a long shot.
The other option might be Handelsbanken, the bank we actually want to go with. They are a Swedish bank now running in the UK. I don’t think the UK and Swedish branches are linked as such – in fact I believe they are independent, but as they are all under the same umbrella it might be the way forward. A branch/office has opened up locally so we’ll be trying to get in contact with them.
More as it happens….