US account for UK customer


(Allie) #1

When you launch in the US, is there any chance you’ll consider allowing you UK customers to have a US-based account as well, with their UK address?

My issue is that I have a few credit cards in the US happy to have me as a customer here, but neither of my US-based checking (current) accounts lets me do so (and I need those to pay the credit cards). I have an address of a trusted person in the US on them, but it’s a pain. I’m playing with TransferWise borderless but the lack of FSCS (UK) and FDIC (US) protections terrifies me.

Allowing us a US account as a secondary account would be brilliant. You already know who we are and have done due diligence, so it isn’t taking on a new customer or anything.

Just an idea…


(Simon B) #2

Unfortunately my gut instinct is that US banking regulation wouldn’t allow for this. It almost certainly wouldn’t be possible for a UK citizen to have a US account. As far as I’ve seen, all US accounts require things like social security numbers or some kind of proof of residency.

So, for example, I’m not able to sign up for US based fintechs whilst here such as Simple.

If you’re a US citizen and living in the UK, you may be able to have both a US account and a UK account, but they’d be separate accounts running on different infrastructure - possibly even separate apps, or the app would direct you to the appropriate feed based upon your login, know what country your account “belongs to” and load up the correct infrastructure as appropriate.

A lot of this is unchartered territory, and it might turn out that there are things we can build to make this easier and more streamlined but only time will tell on that front.


(Allie) #3

For me, giving my US SSN wouldn’t be a deal-breaker at all. The biggest thing would be allowing my home address on the account so I didn’t have to use a friend’s address. The second biggest thing would be seamlessly integrating both bank accounts under one app and one sign in account.

Of course, I may not have a US SSN for long. Renunciation is looking pretty likely, and if I do that, there’s really no point at all in maintaining bank accounts in the US :joy:

Thanks!


#4

I don’t see monzo doing such a thing for the few dual British American people. And why would you renounce your citizenship?


(Allie) #5

It’s a liability, as long as I have American citizenship, fundamentally, I’m still subject to the laws of a foreign country, including annual reports with massive penalties if I forget them (despite the fact I’d never owe a cent with what I make).

More importantly, however, if I don’t renounce my US citizenship before I have kids, my kids will get US citizenship since I was born there (to a British family). Thus, I need to renounce it to make sure my kids don’t get it.

Finally, dual US-UK Citizenship isn’t that rare.


#6

To avoid FACTA reporting obligations, or because Trump is an @#%&+*!?


(Allie) #7

Thankfully, banks do the FATCA work for us. FBAR, 1040, and 8555 are the nasty ones that hit me. Trump will, hopefully, pass in two more years, so not really a factor.

Just generally, it isn’t as good as it seems to have citizenship you don’t need, and if I ever did have kids I want to be sure they aren’t stuck with that hassle.

But anyway, I’m not sure how hard it’d be for Monzo to offer this. Without getting into technical details… the bits and pieces (technical term) for multiple accounts look like they’re there on some level (to handle prepaid and current accounts… and the… something technical of monzo.me).


(Simon B) #8

Technically building it out wouldn’t be the issue - it’d be the regulatory and legal feasibility of it. Are there any examples of this already in play? I’m struggling to think of one. Apparently PayPal allow two accounts if you have two residencies, but one must be a business account, and it would seem they operate independently of each other.


(Allie) #9

The TransferWise Borderless is the closest thing I know of (yes, I’m still awake), and I opened one - got my debit card coming - but it terrifies me to put my USD savings into it - it isn’t protected by FDIC insurance. That’s also how they seem to get around the regulatory stuff, they’re pretty clear that it’s not a real US bank account, per se.

Monzo would, I believe, be the first bank ever to offer true multiple accounts. Of course, if something seems incredibly useful, and hasn’t been done before…


(Simon B) #10

It seems to me that TransferWise has agency agreements with banks in several countries and operates as the go-between.

Logging in now, from the US, brings up the following text in the footer

The TransferWise program in the United States is sponsored by Community Federal Savings Bank, to which TransferWise is a service provider, except in certain states in which TransferWise Inc. is a licensed money transmitter.


(Allie) #11

Yup, that’s the same bank my British ‘Borderless’ account uses for the US details. However, just because I have a routing (American sort code) and account number with them through TransferWise, doesn’t give me an account with them (for FDIC purposes) :frowning:


(Simon B) #12

Absolutely - your account is with TransferWise, and not CFSB - who UK citizens wouldn’t be able to open an account with unless they had US residency also.


(Allie) #13

As far as I understand, and maybe I’m wrong, the money isn’t even ringfenced in a client account the way, say, the Monzo prepaid was?