Money

Money is most often the reason people move to London. Offering great career prospects this is still one of the most expensive cities in the world, so find out what to expect on salaries and tax, how you can protect your money and where you can get the best currency exchange rates.
 
You can calculate your net salary here:

Find out more about how much different jobs pay in London:

If you take the big step to live in London you need to open a UK bank account, as this will save you money on ATM withdrawals and bank transfers. Also bear in mind most UK companies prefer to transfer salaries to UK bank accounts. Banking is quite competitive in the UK so banks often provide incentives to attract customers. Remember you need to show 2 valid documents to open a bank account; proof of ID (usually your passport) and proof of your current UK address (usually a full UK paper driving lisence OR utility bill OR UK or foreign bank/credit card statement less than 3 months old and not printed from the internet). The utility bill needs to be under your name, if you live in a shared property and you don’t have a utility bill in your name then it’s best to present a UK or foreign bank/credit card statement which shows your UK address. You can get a printed copy from your bank.)You can shop around to find out which bank best suits your needs.

A list of British banks:


Smaller banks

  • Co-operative Bank owned by The Co-operative Group
  • Harrods Bank owned by Harrods, a department store in London
  • Sainsbury’s Bank: 50% owned by British supermarket company Sainsbury’s and 50% owned by Lloyds Banking Group.
  • Tesco Bank: owned by British supermarket company Tesco
  • M&S Bank owned by the British department and supermarket chain Marks & Spencer, operated through HSBC.
Yes, you will need to pay taxes in London. If you are employed by a company all your taxes (national insurance and income tax) are automatically taken out of your pay and you always get a payslip with details on your earnings and the tax you pay every month. Bear in mind the tax year in the UK runs from 5th April to 4th April. Whether you choose to pay your taxes in the UK or in your home country, here are a few links that can give you more information about the UK taxing system:
The most convenient place to exchange currency is at any airport when you land in London. If you travel by train you will most probably arrive at St Pancras International where there is a Bureau Du Change. If you bother to go to town you will find the best exchange rates at the Post Office or Marks and Spencer (they don’t charge commission fees either). You can also check their rates online before you go in store: Be careful because thefts are common in crowded streets and places so it’s safer to withdraw small amounts (£10 or £20) from any ATM in London. No one carries a lot of cash on them and most everyday transactions happen with credit/debit cards which makes life much easier.
The best currency converter online: