Moving to The Falkland Islands with Monzo 🇫🇰

Hi there, I’m moving to the Falkland Islands in August for a couple of years, and out there… well, things are a little behind the times when it comes to modern banking.

Their only bank is the Standard Chartered Bank, whom I’ll be required to have an account with because that’s where all wages on the islands go to (I’ll be working locally, more than likely with the Government since that’s where the vast majority of jobs are out there), however, SC bank do not have any online banking, and additionally, you don’t get a debit card until you have been there, and with them for 6 months, additionally, I do have subscriptions I will want to continue to use (Spotify, Disney+ etc) all of which I have connected to my Monzo card, and then there is my Flex account which I’m not using, but paying off.

Is there any issue with me keeping my Monzo account open, so I have a UK based account? I’d use my home address in the UK as the registered address.

It’s also worth noting, that The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territory, if that makes any difference.

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Your best bet is to find out if ATM and debit card purchases are free (as they’ll be in £GBP Sterling) or if they’re counted as ‘overseas’ and then work out of this aligns with Monzo’s limits.

Someone else here might be able to confirm if transactions on the Falklands are internal or overseas.

You might find that Revolut or Wise suits you better, as they are designed for longer–term overseas. There should be no FX on sending money Standard Chartered to a UK bank, but I guess SCB will probably charge fees!

Once in Rev or Wise there won’t be fees to send on to Monzo for your ongoing card payments.

Hah! They don’t even have an ATM machine there! (well, I think there is one on the RAF base - but I’ll very rarely be there)

RE: Wise, today they have just announced they are no longer supporting the Falklands, but I’ll look at Revolut! Thanks!

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I would just do this without informing Monzo.

As you have noted, there are no ATMs there now, so I would make sure I had another UK high street bank account (and credit card) in case you need a cash advance while there.

Not sure how Monzo would deal with a request for something like a cash advance

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All the Gen Z staff at Monzo won’t know what one of those is!

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Reminds me of when I went to an event a fintech held - and the staff had never heard of a paper driving licence.

They stood around and kept asking the person who had one to show it to them!

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Hah! Even this elder ( :sob: ) millennial isn’t that sure…

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What on Earth does everyone do in those 6 months then? Seems odd.

Out there, people pay by cheque in the shops a lot, or have an account they settle at the end of the month. It’s going to be Quite An Adjustment.

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So, I think you’re not entitled to keeping your Monzo account - as you don’t live in the UK Full Time at that point anymore - once you’ve moved to the Falklands.

Monzo may be able to find out you’ve moved (location data etc on transactions/phone etc), and therefore close your account.

You could risk it, and some have, but you’re ultimately moving out of the UK, so no longer entitled to the account.

This is the answer I thought may be the case, didn’t want to be the case, but appreciate it may be. Dang. I guess they’ll have to keep my account until my Flex is fully paid off (November) - but after then… hmmm.

I guess Revolut is going to be my best bet to maintain subscriptions, and for birthday/Christmas money etc, unless any legacy UK banks will let me have an account in the UK that I access from the Falklands.

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They will. Try the likes of HSBC etc.

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In-app support article says that if you move abroad permanently you will have to close your account.

But, a couple of years? I’d leave it open. Maybe Monzo will contact you to say they will close it, but you never know. You may still have it when you move back.

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I think the answer is “it depends”.

If you’re going on detached duty (so a UK public sector worker doing a tour of the Falklands) or you’re a spouse of someone who is, then that typically doesn’t count as having moved.

Similarly, if you maintain a financial presence in the UK (own property, have money paid in here) then I think that also counts in some circumstances.

If you’re selling up and “emigrating” then it’s probably a different kettle of fish.

So it depends, but I think you’re probably okay with keeping the account (at least for the first few months whilst you get yourself sorted).

(I’m not Monzo, nor a lawyer, so that might all be completely wrong, but is how I understand it).

Why not open an account with SC in the UK before you go?

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I actually can’t set up an account with them until I’m there, but it’s more of an issue that I don’t get a debit card until I’ve been with them 6 months, and they have ZERO online banking. So I can’t keep useful subscriptions open with them until I have a debit card.

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Hey There @KrisWhoBanks

Sorry to hear about the trouble it seems youre going to have with setting up an account to use in the Falklands, 6 months seems like a long wait!!

Unfortunately if you’re no longer a UK resident you wouldn’t be able to keep your account open with us, we previously allowed customers a workaround for this but this has been updated.

There are some exceptions such as returning to a permanent UK address within 12 months, or working overseas for a UK employer which you intend to return in the future, or finally you spend part of your time in the UK and overseas but still have a permanent address in the UK.

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You might not be able to open an account with SC in the Falklands before you are there, but what about an account with SC either in the UK or an offshore one (Channel Islands?)?

You should check if you can keep those subscriptions if you’re not in the UK. I suspect that Disney won’t work for instance unless you use a VPN.

There won’t be any FX as the Falklands use sterling but they aren’t plugged into the UK banking system. I would try Revolut as someone said. They offer most features of a current account in GBP.