Leaving the UK indefinitely

Hi there,

I’m hoping to leave the UK and move to Germany indefinitely. I’ve read on this site an old (2018) thread outlining that this should be absolutely fine, however, a lot has happened since then.

I know that most UK banks are closing expat accounts: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/11/eu-bank-accounts-closed-brexit/

Should I be worried / preemptively close my Monzo account if/when I leave the UK? Or does Monzo still not care about residency (as long as you were a UK resident when opening the account)?


You’d need to close your monzo account unfortunately. The rules changed and it’s implemented in the terms and conditions.


Depends how much you want to keep your account.

If you want to keep Monzo, don’t tell them and see what happens.


I moved to Germany for 2 years and I kept my UK accounts and there was never any issue. I reported to HMRC that I was moving and that was all that was needed. I had my student loan that was being paid in my UK account and I informed the student loans company and they turned it into a direct debit which then I paid via wise every month just so that I could be up to date and I did all this on my HSBC. There were no issues, however, I left knowing that I would come back home

I hope your move goes well, just be aware that Finance/banking is very very different in Germany despite neo-banks like revolut and N26 being available. You will require a traditional bank account for most cases and they will require proof of address and some places also employment and it’s a bit of a cycle. Just be prepared for that. Also, cash is king there, not all restaurants and other places take MasterCard either, or even credit cards. So if you’re to get a bank account a traditional one would be your best bet out there. But coming back to the point you can definitely maintain it while you move out there and once you’ve settled and you know for sure there are no outgoings in the UK, you should be able to close it. Don’t create unnecessary headache for yourself, especially when moving countries is a task in itself :slight_smile:


Not that I have any reason to doubt your more extensive experience but I’ve never had any issue paying for everything by card in Germany… have I just been lucky?

The only thing I can think of is one bar in Munich that was cash only and trying to get into toilets with an attendant.

I must just have somehow avoided it all!

If you go to main cities like Munich & Berlin then you’re more likely not to have such issues. The rest of Germany isn’t like that at all. Main city centres are fine but the trouble really starts when you go outside of the main popular destinations and especially if you’re planning on living there then this is something you have to think about

I left in 2018, of course, COVID has happened and more digital payments are accepted now, so it might be different and I am hoping its different because it was difficult to continuously have cash for everything during my time there

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Mainline train station, platform level takeaway coffee & cake kiosk, looked like a large national chain, is cash only, last week.

Thanks all, you’re great :slight_smile:


As above, but just to be clear, no you shouldn’t worry. The worst thing that could happen is that they would write to you to close your account with notice. It wouldn’t be cause to freeze your account or report you somewhere, or anything like that.

When I left the UK for nearly a year, I kept a mailing address where post could be delivered and never told any bank. They don’t need to know, and if they want to know, they’ll have systems in place to notify them if e.g. they see most/all transactions taking place abroad for X months/years, so they can notify you of any weird terms they may have about that.

It is important to have a trusted mailing address, not least because new debit cards will eventually arrive there, but also because other important notices like fraudulent transaction letters might go there (Nationwide does this); if any mail is returned, they will then place restrictions on your account.

Also, in the last few years of the UK’s EU membership, there was a scheme in place which many banks adhered to where they would open/keep an account open for you if you had an address abroad. I kept seeing it on many bank websites, definitely saw it on Natwest group websites. It was some sort of scheme where an EU citizen has to be able to keep a bank account in country A but live in country B. I don’t know if UK banks still do that or ditched it post-Brexit.