The Girl and the Bank Account

Page Street, Westminster
Page Street, Westminster

Or 5 weeks in London, a wrapup.

Believe it or not (I am not even sure I do yet) but I have managed to open a bank account here in the UK. Wowee for that!
And if everything goes as planned, I have my bank card 5 working days from now, and I will be able to pay in shops, get money from moneymachines without having to pay enormous amounts on fees to danish banks for using creditcards to pickup UK money and well, life in London just got a whole lot easier. My check with my salary can finally be cashed, and things will be getting more normal on the economic level.

I can also finally become a member of Cineworld and eat as much films as I like for the price of one and a half cinematicket per month (they are going to lose money on me). And finally the theatre plays I want to see – I can’t wait !

Just to list what I needed to get a bankaccount over here:

  • a huge amount of patience and determination (and I mean HUGE !)
  • a very helpful lady in the UK bank who treated me as a human being in stead of just another annoying foreigner who wants to open a UK account
  • a copy of my passport
  • a salaryslip
  • a jobcontract
  • a letter of recommendation from my Danish Bank
  • 1 loooong phonecall and 2 personal visits to the bank
  • a very helpful lady in my Danish bank, who was willing to send me 3 months of account statements with my english address on it (this was the thing that got me accepted in the end)
  • a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy to make me laugh again after I got rejected again and again, or send back home to get even more papers and proof of me being me

And the bank ? Well it is the HSBC bank.
What that stands for ? Easy : Hitchhikers and Spacetravellers Banking Center.
Luckily they have a branch at Alpha Centauri which is just around the corner from where I live. And they have a website too. (a real boring banky one)

Of course they took me as a customer there, I am, after all, just a cosmic girl.

The somewhat weird picture in this post – well that’s where I live.
Game of checkers anyone?

8 thoughts to “The Girl and the Bank Account”

  1. I dont understand howcome it is that difficult to open a bank account… I simply cant believe it’s like that when you are a foreigner here in Denmark…

  2. Well I don’t remember having that much trouble in Denmark either, when I opened my bank account. But – that was before 9/11. I asked the woman in the bank why it was such a hassle, and she said it got worse after 9/11, the bombings in London, and the number of fraud cases rising.
    She also told me that it didn’t have anything to do with me being a foreigner, as the same rules apply to British people wanting to open an account. My problem was that I had no proof of address, because I moved so recently. And a proof of address (f.eks a council tax bill or gas bill in your name) is neccesary to get a bank account. My alternative for that was the account statement from my danish bank with my english address on it. :-)

  3. I can believe it. When I moved from the UK to Sweden getting a bank account turned out to be a huge hassle. The bank sent me to the Tax Authority who told me to go to my employer, then immigration, back to Tax and finally the bank. I needed a passport, evidence that I was in fact allowed to be in Sweden, evidence that I had a job and was paying tax and an address. Obviously work wanted a bank account before they payed me and the Tax authorities wanted a bank account before they gave me the certificate…. I believe it has become a lot easier now.

  4. In the 1980’s my father lived in one of those black and white buildings in Page Street. I think it was called ‘Tothill’. At that time it was a real ghetto and Dickensian. The place was really quite dangerous, with mainly those who were struggling to survive living there. Lots of shocking scenes of dire poverty, desperation and depravity. It was a sordid dirty place, very squalid and an air of abject unhappiness. In the end the tenants were offered money (by the council who I think owned it at the time) to move out so they could be spruced up and resold.

    Many tenants took this offer and bought themselves homes with the money they were given to move on. It was pretty much a slum clearance and gave some people the opportunity they never thought they would have (the chance of their own home).

    I found this site when I was looking for a picture of those black and white flats I remember so well to have a memento of family history. It is nice to hear that new life has been breathed into the place and that their attractive outside ‘chequer’ effects have been preserved. I presume the flats now include a bathroom too! In the 1980’s they just had a tub in the kitchen that was equipped with a lid, so one could lower it after bathing and presumably use it as another surface, though it is doubtful, from my memory of the tenants, that these baths were used very often.

  5. Yes Tothill House is the name, I actually live in that one (have done for 2 years). The area is a lively mix of many nationalities, in which I thrive well.

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