What is Expat Banking? - Who is an expat?


What is expat banking

Expat is short for expatriate. An expatriate, according to the Oxford Dictionary is a person who lives outside their native country.  In recent times, however, the definition pertains to professional or skilled individuals temporarily or permanently living and working in another country other than their country of birth.

Expat banking is defined as banking services geared toward expatriates. A bank in Spain, for example, may have an English-speaking desk to cater for individuals from English speaking countries. Likewise a bank in London may offer the same services to Spanish speaking expats.

Services to expats include multi-currency accounts, wealth management, investment, mortgage and financial planning.


Expat banking services provide assistance in helping expats make the transition to their new country of residence easier, as they would require the ability to pay bills and everyday living expenses as soon as possible after moving.

Moving to another country, with the hopes of using your current bank account may not be the ideal situation, as the fees and charges to use your card in another country may be very costly and not financially practical. Also, most countries will not accept checks from your home bank.

Expat banking is a growing industry, with more and more people migrating and retiring abroad. A report on the UKs Daily Mail website, dated July 14th, 2014 said that there were well over 5 million Britons living abroad, this according to a United Nations report.

Another United Nations study in 2013 revealed that 232 million people live outside their countries of origin, in comparison to 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990. With those numbers you can definitely see why expat banking and other services geared towards immigrants are rapidly expanding.

A few of the industry players are Korea Exchange Bank, Shinhan Bank, HSBC, Barclays, ING, Deutsche Bank, Citibank  and ABN AMRO.

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