Moving your money

Living in Europe | Banking | United Kingdom

Making your money mobile is important when moving to the UK. You will need to consider the effect of exchange rates if you are moving away from the UK and vice versa. It is also important to know how businesses set up regular payments from your account.

Moving money internationally

Most bank accounts are free but many banks offer additional services such as insurance packages, for which you will have to pay a monthly fee. Think carefully about whether these are useful for you.

Be aware some banks charge for exchanging money into different currencies. There is also a variation in the amount that banks charge for international money transfers.

Effect of exchange rates on salary and funding

If you receive a grant in Euros that is paid through your institution, you should check the terms of your agreement regarding exchange rates. Policy for this differs between institutions and within the bounds of specific contracts.

Some contracts specify a fixed amount in pounds sterling for the duration of your contract, while others would pay the current sterling equivalent each month, meaning that your monthly income could fluctuate depending on exchange rates. Make sure to check your contract carefully to be aware of any fluctuations due to exchange rates.

Direct debits and a standing orders

Both standing orders and direct debits move money away from your account to pay for bills or suppliers.

Standing orders are an instruction you give to your bank to pay a set amount, usually each month, to a particular person or supplier. The amount can only be changed by you.

A Direct Debit is an instruction to your bank to allow a supplier to receive money from your bank account to settle your bills. The Direct Debit would most often be set up as a monthly payment upon receipt of your bill on a certain date. Normally the amount can be changed by the supplier so long as they give you ten working days’ notice of the amount so that you can cancel the direct debit if you are not happy. You can set up Direct Debit to your account when signing a contract with your supplier, for example for a mobile phone bill. 

You can cancel direct debits and standing orders by contacting your bank. If there is not enough money in your account to pay a standing order or direct debit, the bank does not have to pay it and you may be charged a fee.

Use of Irish and Scottish bank notes throughout the UK

Scotland and Northern Ireland's banks issue their own notes. These can be used elsewhere in the UK though some shop owners refuse to accept them. If you have any trouble you can ask a bank to swap them for Bank of England notes. This can be done free of charge.

The Republic of Ireland's currency is the Euro, which is not accepted in the UK.

Useful links

Check out the latest foreign exchange rates

Learn about banking in the UK