Banking as an expat - Can I open a UK bank account while living abroad?

There are many questions potential expats have when they are planning to move abroad or when they first arrive in their new country of residence, and, as specialist expat financial advisers across Europe and in Grand Cayman and USA, we have probably heard them all, but today we will tackle the question of banking.

Former Chancellor's comments on French residency spark expat indignation

As an expat financial services specialist, Blacktower is always keen to hear about Britons who are making the decision to live permanently abroad, but one recent news story has left us, like many others, feeling a little perplexed, to say the least.

Permanent expats in France will soon be able to count leading Brexiteer Nigel Lawson amongst their number as the former UK chancellor of the exchequer has applied for his carte de séjour (permanent residency card).

The former Conservative cabinet member and one-time chair of the "Vote Leave" campaign has been branded a hypocrite by many in the British media, as he seeks full resident's rights while he lives, as he has done so for many years, in his Gascony mansion in south-west France.

Do you know your "non-dom" from your "residency" status?

Your des-res might be a gorgeous sea-front apartment overlooking the med, or a rural stone cottage nestled amongst the vineyards of Burgundy, but wherever you live once you are settled understanding whether you are domiciled, non-domiciled or resident can be a bit confusing. However, clarity is essential: the amount of tax you pay hinges on knowing the difference and the relevance of each status.

Firstly, don't just guess your domicile and residency status, because if you get it wrong you could pay too much tax or pay it in the wrong place, and failure to pay can lead to large fines and penalties. Sadly, mis-payments are not tolerated; your tax planning may be well-intentioned, but if you don't pay the correct amount of tax in the appropriate jurisdiction, you could be in hot water, so it is vital to get it right.

Generally, we recommend that you speak to a financial adviser working in your local region who will understand the jurisdictional rules applicable to your location and personal situation, but as a brief guide read on and we will explain the fundamentals.

Stop message painted on road

Tops Tips to Avoid Pension Transfer Scamming

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has recently acknowledged that pension scammers are being caught out and hindered by action from the government, regulators, the Work and Pensions Committee, and the wider industry, but added that vigilance is still needed.

On 22 May, speaking at the Association of Member-Directed Pension Schemes' conference, TPR's Anthony Raymond said that the plan to ban cold-calling is a welcome step-forward in protecting consumers, and that a recent High Court ruling, which saw four scammers ordered to repay £13.7million they had swindled from 245 victims, sent a clear message to fraudsters.

However, while this court action to regain funds for scam victims is brilliant news, the recommendations for pension savers are clear: stay aware of fraudulent activity and seek independent, regulated pensions advice before signing anything.

Blacktower's top tips for scuppering the scammers

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