Business banking for overseas Directors

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

UK business account for overseas Director

Finding a business account for a company that is registered here in the UK, but Directors live abroad can be very difficult. Most high street banks and building societies will not accept applications from companies set up in this way.

The reason for this is that they are unable to credit reference outside of the UK and easily obtain documentation, therefore covering KYC (know your customer) required by compliance is very tricky.

Finding a business account provider for a Director who lives abroad

Although the options available to business owners living overseas looking for business banking are somewhat limited, there are UK based providers able to offer a solution. These providers will take a little longer to open the account, because due diligence checks have to be carried out manually. For example, to check your registered address the bank will send post overseas with instructions of how the Director (s) confirm receipt.


What to expect when applying for a business bank account with a Director domicile overseas

As touched on briefly, opening business banking with a Director abroad can take slightly longer than if they were based here in the UK. Therefore, packaging the application correctly is important to avoid unnecessary delays.

Prior to application, it is worth speaking with the bank directly to confirm they will accept applications from the country where the director is domicile. After confirmation, you’ll be expected to supply the following information and documentation;

  • ID
  • Proof of address – the bank will then write to you abroad with details of how to confirm your location, sometimes this will be a password confirmation or pin.
  • Business registration
  • Documentation to show business activity

Ordinarily the account will be approved within 2-3 weeks.

How Merchant Advice Service can help

Merchant Advice Service work closely with business banking providers to help companies with Directors based outside of the UK. Our team of experts can assist with opening new accounts, business finance and card processing.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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