A friend gave me his clever expat trick some time back but it’s only been recently that I’ve had the opportunity to put it into practice.
Banks don’t like dormant account. I know this because I have two bank accounts in the UK and I regularly receive letters in the post from each, asking why my account’s not received any payments for so long.
I remember calling one of these bank up a few years ago to ask about increasing my overdraft limit and pretty much being laughed at because my account had so little historical activity on it.
This method will satisfy the banks that your account is both active and in good standing. I’m using this strategy to prepare for a time where I may return to the UK again and may need to get friendly with a bank to acquire a mortgage or loan.
Here’s the method …
1) You need two bank accounts and a ‘spare’ chunk of cash. This cash is only going to be used as your savings. There’s no risk involved and you’ll be able to retrieve it if you need it.
My friend suggested £2,000 (about $3,200) which I think sounds reasonable. Ultimately your goal is to imply that you’ve got a monthly salary coming in to your account so don’t be too cheap when deciding on an amount.
2) Set up a standing order from each bank sending the money to the other account every 2 weeks. I have mine set up so that on the 1st of every month £2,000 gets moved from Account A to account B. On the 15th of the same month the money is returned back to Account A.
This shows on your bank records that every month you’re depositing £2,000 into both accounts.
3) When you finally need to return home and to use your account again you should find that you’ve got 2 bank managers welcoming you back with open arms.
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