The Expat Banking Poll: Vote & win an iPad

Do you trust the banks in the country you’re living in? Or do you feel safer dealing with banks from home?

Whatever your opinion, we want to know what you think about managing money abroad. In fact, we’re so keen to hear what you’ve got to say, we’ve teamed up with Lloyds TSB International to offer you the chance to win an iPad!

Just answer two simple questions and tell us your story to be entered into the prize draw. What are you waiting for?

Update: This poll is now closed. Thank you for your participation.


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Nicole says:

Been banking in with local banks in HK and the Netherlands. Both are trustable and professional. From a service perspective, banks in HK are way more service oriented while in the Netherlands, calling the bank’s client service hotline is at your own expenses (varies from EUR 0.10 – 0.50 per minute), even when you are calling to amend something that is related to an error the bank made.
Anyhow, in general, client service is much stronger in Asia then in Europe, it’s a cultural thing which also embeds in the banking culture.

Minh says:

I’m living in France and having an account of BNP othe biggest bank in France, I believe. I firstly chose BNP when I came to France because I thought that it would give me excellent services but I was wrong. I think that France has a big bureaucratic problem with its banking system as its administration. I have experienced so many problems with BNP up to now. They charged me any fees without any notices before, that’s rude and illegal. For instance, they were trying to convince me to sign an insurance contract which they said that it wouldn’t cost me in the first 2 months. But I refused the offer since I see that it’s not necessary. But then, they charged le for the first 2 months without any explanation, then I came to the bank and they told me that i’d be weird and ashamed BNP is!!! It really made me feel frustrated. I think that I’m gonna change my bank soon, it might be an international one since I’m fed up with the french banks.

Richard says:

NZ Kiwi Bank, ASB, is Perfect:) also the Banks back home HSBC is Perfect:), also in the U.S. Wells Fargo and Chase Banks is excellant:) all the Banks have an international regulations agreement…but I have been with NZ National Bank for 14 months and one day my account was overdraft (- 0.003) CENT!
I were that time busy and I haven’t checked my account for a month, the bank just closed my account! I really pist off and get serious angry, then I called the bank asked them what’s going on??? they said : Oh your account has been closed because it was overdraft (- 0.003)CENT!!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD! they have closed the whole account for just (- 0.003) CENT!!!!!!!!!!!! just like that!!!?? and I have been with them for 14 months! I went to the bank and I submit a complaint to the head office explains what happened… they don’t even send me any notice or even a phone call!!!!!! that’s stupid I never seen that in my life in any country!

Wendy Marshall says:

Living in Greece an have done for the last 8 years. Have bank accounts in UK and Greece. Have had no trouble here in Greece with the banks so far. Will need to wait until next year maybe and see what happens. I’m not sure it’s the banks I will mistrust so much as the politicians here!

Lais says:

I have had a good experience with several banks in the US and Canada. I have only had bad experiences with banks in Brazil, where I am from.

Francisco says:

Banks in Spain allow the government to take the money out of your account without even asking for your permission, in my case is Banco Santander, and I find this outrageous. With this kind of policies, I don’t really think my money is safe here.

I wonder what would happen in the euro kicks Spain out of the club, will my money get frozen and reduced to peanuts or I will be able to send it somewhere safe?

Irina Herne says:

We live in Belgrade Serbia. A lot of banks here. Local and foreigners. We generally use the ATM machines. So far so good no problems.

Angie says:

Having used HSBC in HK and UK and both offers pretty straight-forward service and good online banking facility. While back in Spain the bank T&C are usually ambiguous and unreliable even though I have worked in one myself!

Mieczyslaw Antoniak says:

I am a client of the banks in Poland and Norway. Both of them are Nordea. I’ve never had any problems and the staff is very nice and helpful. I trust them…

Royston Dominic says:

I bank with Emirates NBD in Dubai, never had a problem so far, the transactions were smooth.
ATM card service also was good

Ritesh Lala says:

Hi! I Here in U.A.E almost completely trust my company account bank and Personal a/c bank Mashreq and Emirates NBD as i am experiencing excellent phone and online banking facility and professional service at their all over Branches.ATM service is also loaded with so much convenience and features.

Chris says:

I bank in Kuwait with NBK and most of the time they seem fine but at times communication is difficult. Back at home I have tried a few banks with mixed results although I have not tried Lloyds yet. It is certainly an option I will consider when I leave here

syed moosa raza says:

I am fully setified from my bank and I allso want my bank in my licing country

Ozohu Susan Otaru says:

I banked with Ish Bank in Northern Cyprus for 4 years and never had a problem with them. My transactions always went smoothly.
Now banking with Guarantee Trust Bank and its been without problems as well.
With the use of ATM cards and other services available, I really enjoy both banks, they are very good.

Francisco says:

having lived in a few countries I have some good and some bad experiences with local banks, most of them bad
The best so far in Spain, it took me 10 minutes to open a non resident account in BBVA and it worked perfectly.
Bank Hapoalim in Israel also opened an expat account for me very fast, the problem is that all the paperwork is in Hebrew which I dont speak so I just signed it blindly.
One of the worst experiences was in Colombia, due to money laundry you can not open a non resident account and you need to go through a bunch of paperwork with the banks and the government to get an account. Alternatively you can always have a Citi Bank account in your home country and withdrawal money there free of charge.
The worst of all is in Equatorial Guinea, where the only sot of international bank (SocGen) do not open accounts for individuals, thus you have to use one of the local options. Withdrawal of money was a 2 hr process, you need to get a signed authorization from the GM which is not always there and if he is is normally not available, then go back to the teller and make a 1 hr line to take your money. By the way, no ATM available and credit cards are not accepted anywhere.

mark smith says:

the banks here in Portugal are very bad, you find that money comes out of your account from time to time with no warning and sometimes without reason and when you question it they take ages to put it back. Cash machines work when they want to also!!!

Rute gabriel says:

As soon as I arrived in Canada from Portugal I knew I needed to find a bank I could trust with my savings. I arrived only two months ago and decided to go to TD waterhouse. I thought I was going to have a hard time setting up an account, having just arrived and not even knowing my address by heart. Fortune did smile at me that day, because the clerk helping me was Portuguese! I got my debit card ready to use that same day and the clerks help in anything I might need from now on 🙂 excellent experience for someone shy like me, who was dreading the day I had to go to the bank. Now I’m fearless of this new, much chillier country 🙂

Lisa Wallis says:

I bank with HSBC in the UK since I was 16 years old, and I have never had a problem. Here in Austria I bank with Easybank. Which as an internet bank has its advantages and disadvantages. I had some trouble to set up my account, and not just because of the language difficulties. Because it is an internet bank, I find that there is a reduced number of services. As the only “free” bank in Austria, I still think it was worth it to join. But next time, I would try another bank, which has greater accessibility.

lawrence says:

We are unsure what our banks have on their balance sheet. Are they solvent or not. I will spread my savings as confidence is still low in banking sector.

mohammad hossein says: our country we are very limited in iran.i wish i come a day that i havnt any filtering on just landed site and other sites.i thank u for ur attention.

mohammad ali says:

in Bangladesh, banking sector is very fine.

Rodrigo says:

I have lived in a couple of different countries and to tell you the truth I have always trusted banks, at least the “bigger” ones in the country I lived.

diogo says:

Well i do think the banks at netherlands some dont care much about people who are not native cause they put many problems when things are easy and they only talk in english if they want too…at my home bank all is clear and understandable! now i want my ipad2

Chris says:

I find that all banks are crooks, wherever country they are in. For instance changing interest rates to lower ones without notifying you.

John Cachia says:

I used to trust the local banks until I found out that they were promoting to their customers, and selling a property fund which required that persons investing in this fund were expected (in fine print) to have a thorough knowledge of the international property market and an even more thorough knowlege of financial matters. It resulted that investors lost substantial sums of money from this fund.

Nick says:

Having recently moved to the continent from the UK, I still feel that I have a better idea of how everything works in my home country!

Paul says:

My French (SocGen) bank account manager is hard to reach, slow to respond and rarely executes instructions correctly. My latest experience, they paid my rent twice and are refusing to refund the over-payment until they receive it back from the landlord.

I think we are spoiled in the UK with largely free, relationship-led banking that puts the French system to shame. But then, as my account manager said to me recently with a beautiful Gallic shrug, “of course we have high charges as we have to pay for these bautiful offices in Paris”. It’s just like the “champagne at the shareholders” adverts in the UK but for real!

Angela says:

Alior Bank in Poland is good bank,and so far they have done me well,i have alomost no problem with them at all. I just dont get to transfer online,but they have served me well.
But the language is also a problem,because if i call 24 hour customer care they dont have an English speaker server,or they tell you to call back after hours to ge t an English speaker and while you wait they charge you also. I think they should employ more English speaking staff because as the Bank grow international ,the language needs to be flexible as well. But its a good bank.

Alison says:

Being able to converse and understand what the banks OS are saying can be quite tricky, especially when there was a problem with the chip in my card, as there was with many others, and when I chose to close my account they “lost” 200€ … then through investigation I was told this was due to a “chip error” that occured on new years eve. I haven’t experienced this ever back home. So no trusting German banks for me!


The banking system in Pakistan is trustable and fullfilled the all requirements of modern banking. Online banking made more comfertable services to the all customer. Pakistan has 180 million population with strong banking network which is serving their customer excellently.



Kevin Sargent says:

I used to trust the UK banks implicitly until we – the nation – had to start sharing the risky side of their business, whilst they -you know who – continued to take the bonus’. Now I trust no bank more then I have to.

Having said that the day to day banking is an absolute necessity and I found it extremely useful to stay within the same banking group. I was able to set up my initial account in English via the UK based “overseas liaison department”. After living in France for some years a friend persuaded me change to a more local French bank, however after 4 years of the bad service, lack of web access, paltry opening hours etc, I decided to change back to my original “banking group” though now to a more local home branch.

I now enjoy predictable opening hours, web access, helpful service, senior staff with a modicum of English and best of all reduced exchange rates on the speedy transfers between UK and France.

Mohamed Fazly Zarook. says:

It is very interesting when we talk about banks, I am working in Saudi Arabia, I have got my account with a great Bank in Saudi Arabia, I got my ATM card from them and most important thing is I can draw money from any other Banks money machine from my ATM which is not posible in my own country I am happy to have my account with SAUDI FRANSI BANK. in Saudi Arabia.

Vishal Sood says:

Whether it is banking in UAE or in India, there is not much flexibility as to the clauses that we have to sign for. No matter what the bankers say, all the terms and conditions are skewed in their favor only. There is no such thing as a “buyers market” in Banking. Thus, the question of trust never arises, no matter how big or small a bank, consumer never can dictate any terms. Hence no trust !!!

Sonesavanh says:

yes, I trust in the bank that living here becase I can confrim my information to show taller when I give the money out and easy to check it. If you save money at your home how do you fell safe? someone will stole your money or burn , so you don’t get it anymore…

geminihzh says:

The different fee for using the bank card for different service always bother me. Some do not have service fee. That is thanks to the internet because no human resources are needed to handle the process. But some services do not deduct the fee each time when using the service, instead charge too much for the service monthly. This actually cost too much for some services.

Rob says:

In Switzerland UBS is good for transfering money and cashing checks. They also have automated machines for doing transactions and in payments. With an account of 10,000 or more on has no fees. Post finance gives one of the best interest rates with online banking. Also you can make transactions at all postal locations. with an account of 20,000 or more there are no fees. In addition one can use the post card to withdraw money at ATMs world wide at no extra cost. Through Migros and Coop one can get free credit cards.

Rob says:

Swiss Banks are one of the best that I have witnessed. They are perfect when dealing with on an international bases with forein currencies and transactions.

Morag says:

When moved to the Netherlands i had a lot of help from my sister she was living here for a while when i moved and even with her help i had to struggle with the bank system for this form and this form… after 2 years i can say that i trust the bank i am in and the system is very friendly to me now!
As it is in Netherlands i do not come to the bank i do everything through the internet so i am happy with the way of the web site and i get everything i need 🙂

Randy says:

Living in Germany I am pretty comfortable with the banks here, more than with alot of my home (US) banks.

Christopher Deogratius says:

Most of local banks were greately and negatively affected with the recent global economic recession, to an extent that they were unable to transact as accordingly.
We want banks that can never get shocked despite recession.

Matt says:

Bank at home in NZ with National Bank and have never had any problems with them. Now banking in Germany with Sparkasse and as yet still haven’t had any problems. They have some strange fees etc here at all banks in Germany that we don’t at home, however, I’ve found the Sparkasse pretty good. They even are happy to speak in English if needed. Still though, banking abroad in general is always a bit of a scary experience, in a foreign country with foreign rules and so on.