Banking options in Europe

I'm off to live in warmer climes shortly and I'm trying too sort out our finances (which is remenisant of a monkey with a rubics cube) and I'm steadily getting nowhere. Here's my probs and any advice would be gratefully recieved.

Moving to Portugal. Been there already, have a bank account there etc etc and that part is sorted, but, I get a pension which is paid into our UK current account and from that there will be one or two standing orders going out to cover some bills here. I've decided to keep this arrangement running, rather than shut everything down and have the pension transfered abroad, as it will continue to give us a 'Credit Presence' here in Blighty with the banks in case we should return. My prob is decided whats the most cost effective way of getting my sweaty little mitts on this pension cash in Portugal. Cashlines are freely available, I'm aware of International Money transfers etc but the banks don't half take a serious cut for these services. Is there a cheaper way ?

Also read that at least one of the Brit Banks, Barclays, have branches in the Algarve. If I had a current account with them would I be able to draw UK cash from the Portuguese branch for nothing ?

So, any advice, espescially re cheapness. I am a Sweaty and could it be simple please. I am a monkey with a rubics cube.


Ubique ya bass !!!

if Barclays do have services down there then you should attempt to sort this out with them. my own bank does not (so no point in mentioning that) banks usually are pretty good in setting up accounts that can be accessed for clients travelling.


1. check if the Royal or HBOS (whichever you have an account with) has either a bank or branch down there.
2. set up an Euro account with whichever bank you choose to go forward with. use that account for when you are swaning it down south.
3. get the bank to an arrangement where your GBP account deposits money in your Euro account on a monthly basis.
4. if you are truly re-locating to the Algrave, then you need to get some serious advice from the bank - tax implications - Gordon's arms are very long :!: :!:

if lack of advice is forthcoming from the great unwashed here, pm me and i will put you in touch with a RBS chap
I have used Barclays in the past, as I had an UK account I could draw cash out of a euro Barclays branch for free, I was never charged a penny, that said I never checked the exchange rate as it always appeared ok.

If you check with Barclays you may find the same is still true.
Just following on from Plastic Yank's post - do make sure you get the tax and social security stuff sorted before you go otherwise it can go horribly, horribly wrong - having spent three years working in expatriate tax I've seen people stung badly by the tax man, paying both UK and overseas tax in some cases.

This is IR20 - the revenue leaflet on the tax implications of moving abroad - unfortunately not a light read but the best summary available.

PM me if you need more info

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