Can I use a UK robo adviser if I have a UK bank account but am not a resident?

28 September 2021

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Question by Ezekiel

I have a active UK bank account but do not hold a UK passport nor am I a UK resident. I am interested in investing in UK robo adviser or something passive with low amount of fees. I intend to invest long term - more than 10 years, and do not wish to keep earning pennies in my savings account.


Answered by Dale Kirkpatrick

Hi Ezekiel

As you aren't a UK resident, most of the robo-advisers won't let you open an account.

You also won't be able to open an ISA anywhere as you aren't UK resident or paying UK tax so you will be limited to opening a General Investment Account.

However, I have come across people who are Irish residents using Nutmeg, and they are allowed to open a General Investment Account, subject to certain conditions. These include things like:

  • All investments must be made in GBP

  • All money must be coming from a UK bank account and will be paid back into a UK account

  • You are 100% responsible for making sure any tax due on the interest and dividends, or capital gain when you sell up, is reported and paid to HMRC

You're biggest issue might be proving your identity as most of the robo advisers use electronic ID verification, which often doesn't work for non UK residents - we've even had issues getting Northern Irish driving licences through some of them because our Driving Licence numbers are a different format.

I was at a conference once and MoneyFarm were speaking, and they had some European presence (Italy and Germany I think), so depending on where you are, you may be able to get access to them as well?

I hope this helps. I've no experience of actually setting it up, but I've come across people who have managed to do it.

Many Thanks
Dale

Answered by

Dale Kirkpatrick

Director & Chartered Financial Planner

I’ve been working in Financial Planning since I graduated in 2012. I’ve worked my way up from shadowing a financial planner, working in the admin and paraplanning roles, to being a planner in 2014. After taking a break from exams and starting to work on everything else which is needed to be a financial planner, I then restarted my studies and achieved Chartered Financial Planner status in 2018.