You are well on your way to making your big move to the UK, but the process of moving your assets abroad is a daunting prospect. Along the way, you might have heard horror stories of a friend of a friend who had endless struggles, but fear not, this does not need to be your reality.
We have broken it down into 3 easy steps to help you get your money from SA to the UK in the simplest ways possible.
Step 1: Preparation
As the old saying goes, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. When planning to move assets it is crucial to have all the groundwork laid to make the transition as smooth as possible.
- UK sim card
Even in the 21st century, there is still a large disparity between easy online access to internet banking and needing a fax machine to contact banks. Banking security and authentication remain a risky business so be prepared to have to make a few calls or receive messages to access banking systems.
GiffGaff is a revolutionary mobile network that allows users to receive a UK number and sim anywhere in the world. These sim cards are delivered for free to South Africa and users can buy credit on their pay-as-you-go system. These monthly contracts allow for roaming and international calling.
At the very least, having a number secured before you land will give you peace of mind and have you connected as soon as you land.
Also, have a look at our UK induction program that will help you settle into your new life.
- SARS Tax Clearance Certificate
Requesting a SARS tax clearance certificate, now called Tax Compliance Status, is now easier than ever with a streamlined online process. Money laundering regulations require proof of compliance to move more than R1 million out of South Africa per year.
Simply log onto your eFiling account and find the “My Compliance Profile” section. Select the compliance request option and select one of the 4 categories you can request from. They are for “Good standing”, “Tender”, “FIA” (Foreign Investment Allowance), and “Emigration”.
You will be sent a pin that third-party organizations can use to log into eFiling and view your compliance status.
Step 2: Open a UK bank account
Traditional banking is a thing of the past and there are scores of independent banking and alternative banking solutions available that make the process of moving your money effortless. Here is a look at some of the leading ways to move your money from South Africa to the UK.
Suits Me is an excellent option if you want a quick and painless solution to moving your money. This is an alternative to banking, offering you many of the same services a bank would. You will have an account in minutes and receive a contactless card in a few days. It is not a credit service but offers debit facilities and international money transfers along with great rewards.
Additionally, UK employers can pay money into the account if you will be working in the UK. Signing up only requires you to upload a form of identification and your account will be ready to receive funds within minutes. The great news is there is no need to prove your residency in the UK. There is also a mobile application that allows you to manage your finances effortlessly. Sign up for a free Suit Me account to try it out.
Monzo is an authorized Bank in the UK that offers free accounts and plenty of financial services. The account is only available to UK residents but offers an easy solution for moving your money if you are already in that position. You can get instant access to a UK current account and enjoy many benefits if you upgrade to a premium account.
Revolut has taken the financial technology world by storm by centralizing each client’s online financial presence. Manage all your subscriptions, trading portfolios, and crypto accounts in one place all while enjoying the benefit of easy international transactions.
There is a waiting list for South Africans to join the platform so this might not be the quickest way to go about it but you can be bumped up the list by getting friends to sign up. Signing up with a UK phone number will make the process faster so if you have time on your side, wait till you land to start this process. This is a great long-term option as your Revolut account will offer interest and savings and give you long-term solutions to financial management.
Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, is a system similar to Revolut. Once you sign up, you are given banking details for a UK, US, and EU account and you can transfer money into that account as you would any other international transfer. Wise also offers a debit card but it must be sent to a UK address. This is a great solution to keep fees low and get a good exchange rate.
Step 3: Transfer the funds.
- Currency Partners
Currency Partners is an all-encompassing solution, perfect for people looking to immigrate all their assets. They will navigate all the red tape on your behalf and help you with every step of the process from tax compliance to securing the best exchange rates. They have Personal Dealers on staff that closely monitor currency trends so you don’t have to. Contact them today to get personalized service as a Move Up client.
Find a solution that best benefits you over the long term to avoid having to change operations again after settling in the UK. Our biggest recommendation is that South Africans open up bank accounts in the UK where their salaries can be paid directly into.
Based on our experience, offshore (Isle of Mann) bank accounts are treated as foreign bank accounts in the UK.
The purpose of this article is to help clarify ways to set up local accounts for local transactions.