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A Guide For Zambian Expats To Open A Bank Account In The UK

25 Jul 2023

If you are considering moving to the UK as a Zambian expat or have already moved, you may need to send money to Zambia in the most secure and efficient way. For this purpose, you need a bank account in the UK which was quite difficult in the past. But now the process has become a lot easier. 

Here is a guide on how you, as a Zambian expat, open your bank account in the UK. You can then send money to Zambia online or through physical portals. 


What Documents Will You Need To Open A Account?

To open your UK bank account, you will require two documents, i.e., one to prove your identity and the other to prove the address you are living at. This applies to online and in-branch applications for opening a UK bank account if you wish to send money to Zambia. 


 Proving the identity is fairly simple. You will need your passport, identity card, or driving license. You will also have to prove the address by giving one other document. All banks have their list of acceptable documents in the form of proof of your address. These include:

  • The tenancy agreement 
  • Recent electricity or gas bill
  • Recent credit card statements which are printed from the internet 
  • An existing council tax bill


Can You Open A UK Bank Account Before You Arrive In The UK?

Yes, you can open a UK bank account before entering the UK. Your home bank might be able to set up your account if it has direct correspondent banking ties with the British bank. 


Most major UK banks have their so-called international accounts as well. They are designed for non-residents, so they are an ideal option if you still need documents proving that you are living in a UK address. 


You can apply for your international account easily online as well. Different service providers offer this service, including Lloyds, Barclays, etc. But opening a bank account from abroad or having an international account might not be fit for all. 


You must commit to your account through initial deposits and pay some money every month. A few banks will charge you a monthly fee along with these requirements. 


Why Should You Get A Bank Account Being A Zambian Expat?

When you think of moving to the United Kingdom, you must always understand how you will manage money. The best part is that there are many reliable banks in the UK, so if you are moving out for work, retiring, or studying, there will be many options. 


 Read more about whether you should have a bank account to send money to Zambia from overseas.

Why Is It Hard To Open A Bank Account As A New Resident?

The proof of address detail is where most people moving to the UK from abroad hit the wall mostly. It is tough if you have arrived in Uk, live with your relatives, and have no bills in your name or a rental contract. 

How To Send Money To Zambia As An Expat In The UK?

If you wish to open your bank-like account in the UK without proof of address, you can use the ACE Money Transfer service to help you set up your account without proof of residency. You can use this online money transfer service to send money to Zambia online


These services will come with their rules, and you will have to read them in detail to ensure you get the service that suits your needs. 


What To Prepare If You Are Planning To Open A Bank Account In The UK As A Zambian Expat?

Before you head over to open your UK bank account for an online money transfer to Zambia, you should know that you can still manage the account from overseas. To move to the UK as quickly as possible, you might need to:


  • Check with the home bank if your credit or debit card can be used overseas 
  • Make sure that you know the costs of transaction fees and also the currency exchange fees
  • Also, double check if the home bank you have can assist you in opening the bank account in the Uk if it has ties with the related banks in the UK

For non-citizens, some UK banks also have international accounts, which can be opened from your home country. Hence you can open up your account in advance before moving.


What Are The Easiest Bank Accounts To Open For Non-British People?

Here's how to send money to Zambia from your UK accounts. The high street banks may want proof of your UK address, mostly in the form of the Council Tax Bill in your name. This happens before they will let you open the account. But expats that have just arrived in the UK won't have this. 


And due to this, a few expats may also want one that offers them multi-currency accounts, mainly when they are digital nomads working in different countries. 


Money transfer to Zambia as a Zambian expat is now no big deal. You can use online money transfer methods to send money to your loved ones in Zambia. You can have your bank account far before landing on the land and owning your address details, which is mandatory for a bank account in the UK. Simpler and easier-to-use online banking services can help you out in this passe. 

Bottom Line

It is essential to have your bank account in Uk if you are planning to move to this land shortly. You can send money to Zambia through an online money transfer app account to smooth up the process and send money to Zambia whenever you want. 




Can Zambian expats open a bank account in the UK?

Yes, Zambian expats can open a bank account in the UK. The UK banking system is open to non-residents, including expatriates from Zambia. However, the process and requirements may vary between different banks, so it's essential to research and choose a suitable bank that caters to expatriates.

What documents are typically required to open a UK bank account as a Zambian expat?

The documents required to open a bank account in the UK as a Zambian expat usually include:

Valid passport: To verify your identity and citizenship.

Proof of UK address: This can be a utility bill or a tenancy agreement.

Proof of income: Such as employment contract, payslips, or a letter from your employer.

Visa or residence permit: To prove your legal status in the UK.

Zambian address proof: Some banks may request proof of your Zambian address as well.

Can I open a UK bank account before arriving in the country?

Yes, some UK banks offer the option to open a bank account remotely, allowing you to start the process before arriving in the UK. However, this service may not be available in all banks, so it's advisable to check with the chosen bank beforehand. If remote account opening is not possible, you can open an account in person once you arrive in the UK.

Will my Zambian credit history be considered when opening a bank account in the UK?

Unfortunately, your Zambian credit history will not be directly considered by UK banks when opening an account. The UK banking system relies on its own credit reference agencies, and as a newcomer, you will likely have a "thin file," meaning you have limited or no credit history in the UK. However, some banks might have international banking partnerships that could aid in the process.

Are there any specific banking options for Zambian students studying in the UK?

Yes, many UK banks offer specialised accounts for international students, including those from Zambia. These accounts often come with benefits like low fees, no minimum balance requirements, and additional services tailored to the needs of students. To open a student account, you'll typically need proof of enrollment from your UK educational institution and other standard identification documents.

Remember to conduct thorough research and compare different banks' offerings to find the most suitable option that aligns with your needs as a Zambian expat in the UK.

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