This part of the FAQ is pretty much everything we know about money and making sure you get the best out of it. We are not licensed financial advisors so much of this advice is from non experts from our community. We will link to any financial gurus in this section as well!
This information has been provided by members of our community, if you find any of it is out of date, dodgy or does not work – drop us a DM on Kiwis in London!
WHERE TO OPEN A BANK ACCOUNT
The banking system here is a funny one. For years we could open an account without proof of address only for banks to then insist upon this and then changing their minds again. This has led to many of us moving towards the online banks like Monzo, Wise, Revolut etc. The situation keeps on changing about the “high street banks” so it does pay to ask on the KIL Chat group.
There has been an update on getting a “high street” bank account with LLoyds and others, read this
In short, Lloyds, HSBC, Halifax and Barclays will allow you to open an account using only your BRP card, so no proof of address. In the past the banks made the proof of address a compulsory element to open an account but this looks like it has maybe/potentially/possibly changed. However – and this is a warning – policies like this can sometimes not work in some branches. If you are told no, go to another branch and try again!
The Banking Situation keeps changing thanks to banks loving us and then not loving us. And each branch is not consistent, so if one bank says no, another may say yes.
You can always change your address with your home bank to your UK address and try that too. This is what we have been doing for years.
We also have spoken to a company called Unizest who can open an account for you before you come to the UK, it is worth investigating!
WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO SEND MONEY HOME?
To transfer money to NZ or to the UK, simply use Wise. Here’s our code to help you get low to zero fees and a great rate: https://wise.com/invite/ih/clinth
We also recommend chatting to HALO! Whether sending small or big amounts, Halo is a service that has saved our community heaps in fees and at rates at least as good as Wise. If you’re sending money, you should always shop around anyway, and Halo has a Kiwi running the show there so Geraldine will look after you well!
Speak with one of their currency experts to lock in great GBP to NZD and NZD to GBP exchange rates and other worldwide currencies. Or simply register with Halo to keep up to date with NZD/GBP or other worldwide exchange rates at the link below Give them a call at +44 (0) 20 7350 5470 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and register here
I AM A CONTRACTOR AND WANT TO SPEAK TO EXPERTS ABOUT MY INCOME
(OR MAYBE YOU WANT TO MAXIMISE YOUR PAYE?)
Easy! We really like Atom! Have a look at how they can help you here!
Have a chat to them about all things payroll!
CAN I WORK HERE WITHOUT AN National Insurance NUMBER- HOW DO I GET A NI NUMBER???
YES you can work without a NI number but you will be taxed at a higher “emergency rate” which you can claim back later on. The procedure on getting a National Insurance Number (NIN) changes often but right now you can just apply for it online WHEN you are in the UK (not before!)
Here is that link! Do not pay to get this number, it is free. Any other website you use for it will charge you, so only use the Govt website and pay nothing.
WILL I PAY SECONDARY TAX ON MY SECOND JOB?
Apparently not. Have a look at this conversation (and calculations!) to get an idea.
UMBRELLA COMPANIES? LIMITED COMPANIES, PAYING LESS TAX?
Is this normal? Yes, it is. Very normal. And very legal! Companies come and go on this one so it’s best to ask on the group to get a better update on who is legit and doing this!
WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY NI WHEN I PAID A HEALTH SURCHARGE?
We all have to pay NI when getting paid. It does’t just cover NHS but a few other things… and you cannot claim NI when you leave either. Nor can you get any of your surcharge back if you leave early.
I HAVE SO MUCH LEFT OVER CURRENCY FROM A RECENT HOLIDAY, HOW CAN I GET RID OF IT AND MAKE SOME £££
Easy! Go to https://www.leftovercurrency.com
HOW DO I GET MY TAX BACK WHEN I LEAVE THE UK?
No problem, go to this link! It will link you to the P85 which is the form you need!
I NEED SOME HELP UNDERSTANDING PENSIONS! ANY ADVICE?
Have a read of this post on our website. It covers some of the information you need. I will warn you that it can change at any time and we recommend speaking to an expert or asking on the KIL Chat group as well if you are not sure.
AND KIWISAVER? – Yes, have a look here too at that. We even have a contact for an expert in there who can help with this!