International banks
Thread poster: nettranslatorde

Russian to German
+ ...
Mar 19, 2009

Hello everybody,

Upon searching the Internet for a UK based bank where a non-UK based freelance translator can open an account, I came across HSBC International:
Does anyone of you have experience with them and can recommend them?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Kerstin Mouhannaya

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South Korea
Local time: 19:37
English to Korean
HSBC is a premier, world-class bank Mar 19, 2009

Formerly Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, HSBC is a leading bank with branch offices around the globe.

Their services are excellent and speedy.

Compared to other banks, I understand that their financial strength and expertise is in the highest level.

I hope this will be of some help to you.


Kenny Kim (

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:07
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Offshore banks are for large investments Mar 19, 2009

If you have a considerable amount of money, offshore banks may be interesting. However for a translator to receive and make payments through them, it might be a very expensive option.

Most of them require keeping a USD 5-digit balance permanently, otherwise they'll charge you a hefty monthly fee to maintain the account.

FYI, AFAIK PayPal will NOT make direct transfers to offshore banks, even if they are physically in the USA.

[Edited at 2009-03-19 12:59 GMT]

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David Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
Danish to English
A good choice Mar 19, 2009

I agree with Kenny. HSBC is a very reputable corporation with a massive asset spread. If they went down in the current dismal banking climate, it would be an enormous shock. So you should have no misgivings on that score.
You might like to check with them if the money you deposit with them is covered by any form of guarantee. Onshore funds in UK registered banks are covered up to a certain limit by a Bank of England guarantee, but I don't know if that would apply to offshore funds.

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xxxMurielP  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:07
French to English
+ ...
HSBC are fine Mar 19, 2009

I bank with them in the UK and have never had any problems for the past 10 years, however, as José mentionend, offshore banking is very expensive and they do require a hefty minimum amount.

check with them but you should be able to open a normal current account even though you don't live in the UK.


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Russian to German
+ ...
Thank you for your comments, so far... Mar 20, 2009

...I'm still checking the opportunities. Is there any other possiblity to open a UK bank account for one not living in the UK?

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Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
HSBC account from abroad Mar 20, 2009

If you want to open a bank account with HSBC and cannot prove residency in the UK, you will have come to the UK and go to a branch personally.

I know somebody living in Germany who did this. She wanted a UK bank account so that she could have her private UK pension paid out in pounds.

Since the offshore account would have required a minimum deposit of 10000 GBP, she opted for the standard HSBC bank account. It's completely free of charge, but unlike the offshore account, you have to come to the UK to open it.

[Edited at 2009-03-20 13:31 GMT]

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Ansgar Knirim  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:07
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Difficulty with transfers France-Germany Mar 22, 2009

I have to report some reoccurring difficulties I had with HSBC, though not as an account holder, but as a receiver of payments.
A French Agency I regularly work for holds an account at HSBC, and I had regular struggles with that agency (and with my bank) due to belated payments - in the end it turned out that the agency had always paid on time, but HSBC did not manage to transfer the money correctly. They fixed the problem for once, but the same mistake happened over and over again (4 or 5 times). All we could do in the end was to agree upon payment by cheque. So all I can say is that I am not convinced about the professionalism of HSBC.

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