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How To Open an Isle of Man Bank Account in 2023 (Online Even as a Non-Resident)

Aug 3, 2023
Affiliate disclosure

As a crown dependency with a robust and well-regulated financial sector, the Isle of Man offers a compelling option for those seeking to open a bank account in 2023. Notably, the Isle of Man is not a part of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), or the United Kingdom (UK). The island's banks provide offshore accounts for non-residents, making it an option for individuals who need to manage cash in multiple major currencies while abroad.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the process of opening an Isle of Man bank account for both residents and non-residents. Additionally, we highlight multi-currency alternatives like Wise, Revolut, and Starling Bank, which can complement traditional bank accounts and cater to the diverse financial needs of a global clientele.

Whether you seek the convenience of online banking or require specialised services for managing international finances, this guide aims to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions and navigate the world of banking in the Isle of Man with confidence.

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In short, here's our recommendation for opening a bank account in the Isle of Man:

  1. Without proof of UK/EEA residence: Wise Account, which comes with GBP and EUR account details and a VISA debit card to spend in 50+ currencies, including pounds and euros.
  2. With proof of UK/EEA residence: Revolut gives you your own GBP and EUR mobile account and debit card. You can transfer £1,000 internationally per month fee-free.
  3. With proof of Isle of Man residence: See below for your extensive options as a legal resident of the Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man.

Key Facts About Banking in the Isle of Man

🏦 No. of Banks in the Isle of Man

11

👨‍⚖️ Regulatory Body

Isle of Man FSA

🏆 Best Bank for UK Residents
💸 Best Money Transfer to the Isle of Man

It varies. Compare now.

💻 Best Account for Non-Residents
  • Revolut (with EEA residence)
  • Wise (with another residence)
💷 Average Running Costs
  • Online banks: £5 /month
  • High-street banks: £30 /month

Banking in the Isle of Man

For non-residents and expats seeking a reliable and secure offshore banking option, the Isle of Man emerges as a compelling choice. Renowned for its stability and well-regulated financial system, the Isle of Man allows individuals to open bank accounts remotely, catering to the needs of international clients.

In this section, we explore the safety of banking in the Isle of Man, the ideal candidates for account opening, the numerous benefits it offers, as well as the potential barriers non-residents may encounter in the process:

Is Banking Safe in the Isle of Man?

The Isle of Man is widely regarded as a safe and reliable destination for banking and financial services. As a Crown Dependency, it benefits from the stability and oversight provided by the United Kingdom.

Despite its popularity among foreign investors and expatriates seeking to establish offshore companies, the Isle of Man is not technically a tax haven. It adheres to international standards, including the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). These regulations ensure transparency and cooperation in tax matters, ensuring that banks in the Isle of Man have an obligation under certain circumstances to provide financial documents to the competent authorities.

Overall, the stability of the Isle of Man's financial system, combined with its first-world jurisdictions and adherence to the rule of law, provides a secure environment for managing international finances.

Who Should Open a Bank Account in the Isle of Man?

Expats, foreign investors, and non-residents who are looking to open offshore bank accounts can consider the Isle of Man. One of the significant advantages is that the account setup process can be completed entirely online, making it convenient and accessible for individuals who are not physically present on the island.

Additionally, those seeking a cost-effective solution for holding multiple currencies will find the Isle of Man an attractive option. If you require a GBP account but prefer not to deal with a UK-based bank, the Isle of Man offers an excellent alternative. Moreover, the English-speaking customer service provided by the banks facilitates smooth communication and transaction processing, even for clients from different parts of the world.

An Isle of Man offshore account is an ideal solution for those living in regions that do not use British pounds but require access to GBP banking services, such as individuals who own rental properties in the UK and receive rental payments in GBP. Other use cases for offshore accounts may include:

  • travelling regularly between countries for business;
  • financially supporting family members living or studying abroad;
  • retiring abroad and receiving pension in a different currency.

Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man presents several compelling benefits for those seeking to open a bank account, particularly for non-residents and expatriates:

  • Remote account setup;
  • Relatively low minimum requirements for opening accounts;
  • Banks are experienced in working with foreign entities;
  • Availability of major currencies;
  • Deposit insurance provided by the Isle of Man Compensation Scheme;
  • Clean reputation in the global financial landscape;
  • Sophisticated corporate services.

Barriers to Opening an Isle of Man Bank Account as a Non-Resident

Each bank in the Isle of Man has its own set of requirements, and they may not accept every client profile. Some banks may require Isle of Man residency for personal accounts. Moreover, due to tax regulations, some banks may be restricted from accepting US citizens as clients.

Additionally, for companies intending to establish accounts, they must be prepared to comply with reporting requirements, providing information about directors and shareholders.

Types of Bank Accounts in the Isle of Man

Operating on a banking system based on the UK model, the Isle of Man provides a sense of familiarity, as most financial institutions are branches of well-established UK banks. The main categories for types of bank accounts in the Isle of Man include:

  • Personal current and savings accounts for Isle of Man residents;
  • Business accounts for companies registered on the island;
  • Offshore accounts for non-resident expats;
  • Investment accounts tailored for the wealth management of high net worth individuals.

Among the various account types, the Isle of Man offshore account for non-residents stands out as one of the most popular choices. Each bank in the Isle of Man sets its own requirements for account eligibility, so potential account holders should verify if their citizenship aligns with the bank's policies.

Requirements to Open an Isle of Man Bank Account in 2023

The requirements to open an Isle of Man bank account in 2023 vary depending on the type of account and the applicant's status. Let's quickly walk through them below:

Personal Current and Savings Accounts for Isle of Man Residents

To open a personal current or savings account as an Isle of Man resident, individuals must:

  • provide proof of legal residency on the Isle of Man;
  • be at least 18 years old.

Business Accounts for Companies Registered in the Isle of Man

For companies seeking to establish bank accounts with Isle of Man banks, you must provide passports and evidence of an address for:

  • Shareholders of the company;
  • Beneficiaries of the company, if any;
  • Director(s) of the company;
  • Representative(s) of the company.

You must also provide the following company documentation:

  • Proof of registered business address in the Isle of Man;
  • Proof of tax registration in the Isle of Man.

Offshore Accounts for Non-Residents

While non-residents of the Isle of Man can open offshore accounts, the banks will require documentation of proof of address and identity in order to determine their citizenship status and bank account eligibility. UK citizens, many EEA citizens, some Commonwealth citizens, and individuals from other unrelated countries may be eligible, but you'll have to verify directly with the Isle of Man bank of choice.

Individuals must also be 18 years of age or older and make the minimum required opening deposit, which varies depending on the bank and account type.

Investment Accounts for High Net Worth Individuals

High net worth individuals seeking investment accounts in the Isle of Man should directly consult with the specific branch they wish to use. These accounts typically cater to personalised wealth management services, and the requirements may vary depending on the bank and investment offerings.

Path 1: High-Street Banks in the Isle of Man

Håkan Dahlström (CC BY 2.0, modified)

The biggest high-street banks in the Isle of Man are HSBC, Barclays, Santander, and Bank of Scotland. Other banks regulated and licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Services Authority include Cayman National Bank, Conister Bank, Investec, Nedbank, Standard Bank of Isle of Man, Isle of Man Bank, and Standard Bank of South Africa.

All deposits in these high-street accounts are protected up to £50,000 in the case of bankruptcy by the Isle of Man Depositors’ Compensation Scheme, making them safe from a customer perspective:

Accounts at High-Street Banks

Below, you'll find the account offerings among major high-street banks that we found the most useful for newcomers to the Isle of Man. These include premium accounts, basic current accounts, and offshore accounts for non-residents. Please check with each bank for details about your citizenship for eligibility:

1. HSBC

HSBC is the UK's largest bank by market value and total assets. Most of the accounts are intended for use by residents of the island, but HSBC does offer an expat account, which is operated out of Jersey, Channel Islands.

  • Account: Expat account
  • Monthly fee: £0
  • Supported currencies: GBP, USD, EUR
  • Isle of Man residence: Not required

2. Conister Bank

Consiter Bank is registered in the Isle of Man and offers business accounts, personal loans, and savings accounts to Isle of Man residents or UK passport holders above 18 years of age.

  • Account: Fixed term deposit account
  • Minimum balance: £5,000
  • Isle of Man or UK residence: Required

3. Isle of Man Bank

Isle of Man Bank is an ideal choice for residents of the island. You must be 18 years or older to open an account.

  • Account: Current account
  • Monthly fee: £0
  • Isle of Man residence: Required

4. Isle of Man Standard Bank

Standard Bank of the Isle of Man mostly focuses on wealth management and corporate accounts, but also offers an international offshore account for non-residents (eligibility depending on your citizenship).

  • Account: Optimum current account
  • Monthly fee: £60 (waived if balance is over £5,000)
  • Minimum opening deposit: £5,000
  • Supported currencies: GBP, USD, EUR, AUD
  • Isle of Man residence: Not required

Path 2: Online Banks

Monito Monzo bank account mobile app virtual card

Online banks (sometimes called "challenger banks" or "neobanks") can be either registered banks or non-bank fintechs. They're characterised by not operating out of branches, with all banking services handled online instead. These banks generally offer a more limited range of services than the high-street banks we explored above, but at a fraction of the price and over a user-friendly web or mobile app interface.

If you want to open a GBP bank account without proof of UK or Isle of Man address, then the only online banks that may accept your application will be Monese and Revolut (although these will still require proof of residency in the EU/EEA or another country). On the other hand, Monzo and Starling Bank will require proof of address in the UK. Note that even if you don't submit proof of address, you might still need to supply a UK address to deliver your debit card.

Starling Bank: Best GBP Online Bank

Starling Bank is a fully-authorised bank in the UK that's well known for its fee-free current account.

Because this account is entirely free and gives you access to an impressively complete range of financial services (including overdraft facilities, loans, joint accounts, youth cards, pensions, a euro account, interest rates, etc.), we think Starling offers the best free bank account in the UK — one we think makes an excellent replacement for a bank account at a high-street bank.

  • Account name: Personal Account
  • Monthly fee: £0
  • Int'l transfer cost: 0.5% - 3% (depending on the currency)
  • Int'l card payment cost: 0%
  • Proof of UK residence required: Yes
  • More info: See our full Starling Bank review.

Monzo: Best Bank for Savers

Monzo is a regulated UK bank and probably the country's most famous mobile-only bank account.

An excellent choice if you're looking to avoid fees, Monzo (like Starling) charges no fees for day-to-day card use in the UK and abroad. Moreover, because it offers one of the most advanced and comprehensive savings systems we've seen from any challenger bank (allowing lots of flexibility over your time horizon and savings goals), we think Monzo is especially well-suited for managing and growing wealth, regardless of your individual goals.

  • Account name: Monzo
  • Monthly fees:

Account Name

Fee /Month

Monzo

£0.00

Monzo Plus

£5.00

Monzo Premium

£15.00

  • Int'l transfer cost: 0.2% - 2.5%
  • Int'l card payment cost: 0%
  • Proof of UK residence required: Yes
  • More info: See our full Monzo review.

Suits Me: Best For New Arrivals

Suits Me is a reliable banking alternative for new arrivals in the UK.

It offers an easy and fast account opening process without requiring credit checks or proof of address. Additionally, Suits Me gives you a prepaid debit Mastercard, online banking services, and the ability to receive payments from employers and other sources (e.g. Faster Payments, BACS, and CHAPS, although not international SWIFT transfers).

  • Account names: Essential, Premium, Premium Plus
  • Monthly fees:

Account Name

Fee /Month

Essential

£0.00

Premium

£4.97

Premium Plus

£9.97

  • Int'l transfer cost: Not available
  • Int'l card payment cost: £1.00 + 2%
  • Proof of UK residence required: No
  • More info: Go to the website.

Path 3: Multi-Currency Accounts

Online multi-currency accounts aren't full banks but rather fintech companies (known formally as Electronic Money Institutions or EMIs) that often compete to offer the cheapest ways to transfer money globally. However, in addition to money transfers and currency exchange, multi-currency wallets normally come complete with a debit card, multi-currency account balances, and even foreign bank details.

Below, we go over three of the most prominent multi-currency fintechs: Revolut, Wise, and Monese.

Revolut: Best GBP Account for EEA Residents

Probably the UK's most famous fintech, there's a good chance you've heard of Revolut.

Using its innovative personal finance platform, you'll not only have access to a broad range of financial services unique among free online accounts, but you'll also be able to take advantage of these services at a comparatively low price. However, because it's not yet a bank in the UK, we think Revolut is best used as a powerful spending tool next to a main bank account, as opposed to in place of it (even if that bank account is in your home country).

Although Revolut is also available in the US, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, and Japan, its GBP account details are only available to EU/EEA and UK customers who get both an EU IBAN account (in Lithuania) and a British current account number, sort code, and SWIFT code.

  • Account names: Standard, Plus, Premium, Metal
  • Monthly fee:

Account Name

Fee /Month

Revolut Standard

£0.00

Revolut Plus

£2.99

Revolut Premium

£6.99

Revolut Metal

£12.99

Revolut Ultra

£55.00

  • Int'l transfer cost: 0.5% - 1.5%
  • Int'l card payment cost: 0%
  • Proof of UK residence required: Not necessarily
  • More info: See our full Revolut review or visit the website.

Wise: Best GBP Account for Non-EEA Residents

The Wise Account is the best way to open a British pound account from abroad (especially if you're not from the EU/EEA and don't have access to Revolut).

Wise will work for you no matter whether you want to hold money in pounds, spend money on holidays abroad, shop online, or receive earnings from the Isle of Man. Fortunately, after opening your account online, you'll only be required to verify your identity; you won't need to show proof of residence in the Isle of Man or the UK to sign up and obtain the VISA debit card (although you will need to show proof of residence in the EU/EEA, US, Singapore, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand).

Here's what Wise has to say about opening an account without proof of residence in the UK⁵:

"You can then choose to either supply proof of address from a standard list of documents, or to send in a selfie, in which you're holding your proof of ID. This can be a great alternative if you're still waiting to move to the UK or haven't yet got bills and other paperwork registered in your name."

Wise's Top Features

Your Wise Pound account will be held by Barclays Bank and come with the following details unique to you:

  1. A sort code;
  2. An account number;
  3. A British IBAN (starting with "GB").

This means you'll be able to spend and be paid just like a local in the Isle of Man and convert your GBP balance into your home currency without the exorbitant bank fees. Here's an overview of the other features you'll get:

  • Local bank details, not just in the UK, but also in the US, EU, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Romania, Canada, and Hungary.
  • Hold, exchange, and top-up up to 56 currencies.
  • A multi-currency VISA debit card that's handy for paying in foreign currencies without hidden fees.
  • Access to Wise's powerful international money transfer service right from your account balance.

An Example of How Wise is Useful

To get a sense of how helpful Wise can be for expats and non-residents in the Isle of Man, let's say that you've just moved from Paris to London and need an active online account to receive and spend pound sterling. With a Wise, you'll be able to...

  1. send euros from your bank to your Wise euro account,
  2. convert all or part of your euro balance into sterling at a low fee of around 0.56% or €6.53 to add £1,000,
  3. pay with your Wise debit card, make or receive SEPA and SWIFT payments, and set up direct debits.

You'll also have UK bank details to share with an employer. Note that this account does not offer overdraft facilities, and you also won't earn interest on any in-credit balances.

Monese: Another Option for EEA Residents

Monese is a mobile-only challenger bank that offers fully-fledged checking accounts to more than two million customers in the UK and across much of Europe.

Because Monese doesn't require you to prove your residence to meet the minimum creditworthiness standards to open an account in the UK, we think Monese is especially well-suited for new arrivals to the UK from the EEA. Although we don't find Monese quite as feature-rich as Revolut, we do think it has an advantage over Wise if you plan to split your life between the UK and a country in Europe.

Although you only get a Euro IBAN (starting with 'BE') if you're an EU/EEA resident, you will be able to use this to receive British pounds too. It's illegal to discriminate based on the origin of an IBAN in the Isle of Man, UK, and EU.

Here's an overview of Monese's offering:

  • Account name: Starter, Classic, Premium
  • Monthly fee:

Account Name

Fee /Month

Simple

£0.00

Classic

£5.95

Premium

£14.95

  • Int'l transfer cost: 0.5% - 1.5%
  • Int'l card payment cost: 0% (0.4% - 0.8% for cash withdrawals)
  • Proof of UK residence required: Not necessarily
  • More info: See our full Monese review.

How To Send Money to an Isle of Man Bank Account

Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Once you've opened a bank account in the Isle of Man, you'll need to consider how to move your funds across, a process that can be exceptionally costly if you're depositing money from a currency other than pounds. To deposit money into your new pound sterling account from your home currency before you move, you'll need to go to your online banking and choose between one of two options:

  • Sending a wire transfer through your bank directly;
  • Sending a bank transfer via a money transfer specialist.

We don't recommend using your bank to transfer money internationally, as the fees can be exorbitant, and the waiting times can be lengthy. This is mainly because banks wire funds over the SWIFT network, which adds many timely and expensive steps to the money transfer process.

Send Money to an Isle of Man Bank Account Online

Instead, if the amount you'd like to send to the Isle of Man is in the order of several hundred or thousand Pounds or equivalent, then we recommend you use a money transfer specialist service (Wise is one among many.) To compare which services are cheapest for your transfer amount and your home country to the Isle of Man, run a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine here.

On the other hand, if you're moving large amounts of money from your home currency to your new bank account in the Isle of Man (i.e. anything upwards of £30,000 or equivalent), services such as Wise may not be your cheapest bet. Instead, we recommend exploring your options among the foreign exchange brokers that support transfers from your country to the Isle of Man. These services specialise in negotiating favourable exchange rates on your behalf. They are the most cost-effective option for transferring large sums of money (such as life savings or liquid investments) across borders.

To find out which service will offer you the best deal in real-time, run a search on our comparison engine below:

Find the best deal when sending money to the Isle of Man:

Recap: What Are the Best Online Bank Accounts in the Isle of Man?

To conclude, let's recap the main recommendations we explored in this non-resident banking guide:

  • Revolut: Best GBP non-resident account for EU/EEA residents.
  • Wise: Best GBP non-resident account for non-EU/EEA residents.
  • Starling Bank: Best low-cost online bank for UK residents.
  • Standard Bank: Best international account in the Isle of Man.
  • HSBC: Best offshore banking experience for expats.
  • Monito: Best way to compare money transfers to the Isle of Man.

See our guide on the best online-only banks in the UK for more options.

FAQ About Opening a Bank Account Online in the Isle of Man For Non-Residents

Compare Top Online Banks in the Isle of Man

Filters
Sort by
  1. Starling Bank Monito Score 9.1
    open
    • Languages
      English
    • Country availability
      United Kingdom
    • Services
      Full bank account
    • Monthly fee
      Very low
    • Card delivery time
      Mid
    • Best for
      Everyday banking
    • Bank details
      UK account no. & sort code
    • Supported currencies
      Pound sterling
    • Overdraft
    • Annual interest rate
      Low
    • Supports cash deposits
    • International transfers
  2. Monzo Monito Score 9.0
    open
    • Languages
      English
    • Country availability
      United Kingdom
    • Services
      Full bank account
    • Monthly fee
      Very low
    • Card delivery time
      Fast
    • Best for
      Everyday banking +1
    • Bank details
      UK account no. & sort code
    • Supported currencies
      Pound sterling +2
    • Overdraft
    • Annual interest rate
      High
    • Supports cash deposits
    • International transfers
  3. Wise Multi-Currency Account Monito Score 8.9
    open
    • Languages
      English +21
    • Country availability
      Austria +37
    • Services
      Multi-currency account
    • Monthly fee
      Very low
    • Card delivery time
      Mid
    • Best for
      Spending while abroad
    • Bank details
      Euro IBAN +11
    • Supported currencies
      US dollar +50
    • Overdraft
    • Annual interest rate
      Very low
    • Supports cash deposits
    • International transfers

Non-Resident Bank Accounts in the UK vs Other Countries

Many countries allow non-residents to open a bank account within their legal jurisdictions, but exactly what kind of requirements non-residents face can differ drastically from country to country and even bank to bank. See the list below to get a better idea of this:

Country

Which non-residents can open an account?

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

Parties with close ties, expats, immigrants, investors, students

🇮🇪 Ireland

Any interested party

🇩🇪 Germany

Parties with close ties

🇫🇷 France

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇮🇹 Italy

Parties with close ties, Investors

🇨🇭 Switzerland

Investors only

🇪🇸 Spain

Parties with close ties, investors, students

🇵🇹 Portugal

Parties with close ties, investors, expats, students

🇳🇱 Netherlands

Parties with close ties, investors

🇩🇰 Denmark

Parties with close ties, investors

🇳🇴 Norway

Parties with close ties, investors

🇸🇪 Sweden

Parties with close ties, investors

🇦🇹 Austria

Parties with close ties, investors

🇬🇷 Greece

Parties with close ties, investors

🇭🇺 Hungary

Any interested party

🇱🇺 Luxembourg

Parties with close ties, investors

🇱🇮 Liechtenstein

Investors only

🇬🇮 Gibraltar

Investors only

🇮🇲 Isle of Man

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

🇯🇪 Jersey

Parties with close ties, investors, expats

Last updated: 18/2/2022

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