Can we open a savings account for our grandkids if they live abroad?

Can we open a savings account for our grandkids if they live abroad?

Is it possible to open savings accounts for our two grandsons? They are aged five and two and live in Zimbabwe.

They both have British passports and they are the sons of our British-born daughter.

Anna Bowes
Tue, 06/02/2020 – 17:19


It is very hard to open a UK savings account if you live abroad as savings providers want to see proof of a UK address to satisfy their anti-money laundering Know Your Client rules.

If the children have any UK accounts that were opened when/if they ever lived in the UK, you could contribute into these for them. Equally, if their parents set up a Junior Isa (Jisa) before they moved abroad you are allowed to contribute up to the Jisa allowance each year. The annual allowance has just increased, so you could pay in up to £9,000 this tax year.

The other option may be to buy NS&I Premium Bonds on behalf of your grandchildren, as this is allowed, even if they live abroad. That said, you would need to check whether the laws of Zimbabwe allow them to hold Premium Bonds, because some countries forbid it.

You will need to nominate one of the child’s parents or guardians to look after the bonds until the child turns 16 and they may need to send proof of the children’s identity and address.

Finally, you could open an account in your own name and earmark the accounts for your grandchildren in your will. Bear in mind that there may be tax implications by taking this route.

Best current accounts

Switching perks

HSBC Advance

Open a linked 2.75% regular savings account

You must pay in £1,750 a month



2.02% interest on accounts

Rate available on balances up to £1,000


First Direct

Interest-free £250 overdraft



Santander 123

3% cashback on phone and broadband bills; 2% on gas and electricity bills

£1 monthly fees and must pay in £500
a month

Source: USNewsRank June 2020

Anna Bowes is the founder and director of Savings Champion.

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