I would like to explain again what it can be like to live abroad regarding banking so you understand better the situation of the citizens outside of the UE (where banking is easy, almost a second nature).
In France, they either never open accounts to andorran citizens or reverse their opinion early. Exemple, I was pre-acknowledged at Societe Generale, then they kicked me out without further notice as soon as I started to make transactions (wire transfers) after the director of the agency reviewed my case more in depth. Probably, my risk/reward generation was insufficient. They treated me like a dog, I was not even able to speak to someone to explain myself.
In Andorra, I got kicked out of 4 banks out of the 5 that exists for only doing wire transfers to forex brokers... It appears really silly on the outside but this is the truth. This oractice is against the risk sensitivity of their compliance department. Also they sell forex (and other trading) products themselves at 10 to 20 times our prices, so it may be a mean to force that business through them as well. I’m not sure. I rather think they just dislike it for money-laundering fears.
I have since used the 5th bank of Andorra which is the most easy going but it comes with a price to pay. It is the most expensive. They are also not practical at all: their web interface is dated and not functionnal, I cannot even initiate a withdrawal request by myself (online) without needing to visit the agency and sign papers. The card limits are low so I have to request to lift them always at each of my actions. They will also block my card when I’m using it too much (that is, multiple times of little amounts instead of single larger amounts) then I have to pass phone calls to explain them that a fraud is not going on so that they unlock it... it takes time and energy to work things out, you see ? Sometimes they inspect the incoming money movements and ask for precisions what they’re about.
In the end, I cannot try to initiate a wire transfer to a forex broker with them, because there is no way I can risk to lose my last onshore bank option or I’d fail to live here (there are some daily expenses which absolutely require a local bank account). The law in Andorra doesn’t force banks to keep opened at least a single bank account to the residents... you can be rejected everywhere and it happened to some. There’s nothing to claim afterwards. So I’m not tempting the devil. I already did my best with plenty of trials.
Then there are the offshore banking options, but again, there’s nothing easy about such move. Plenty of options now do not work with bodies outside the EEA or with specific exceptions (Andorra), so there are little options to begin with.
Lately I was using TransferWise and PaySera (described on another thread). TransferWise banned me 2 days ago
Again, no discussion possible... I don’t know why exactly
PaySera, well, I’m encountering a bug since 1 month : they suddenly fail to send SMS codes to mobile phones of Andorra, worth for all customers from Andorra (the numbers here are special, very short, only 6 digits. Often, I get complications with online services that are not ready to support it). So I cannot initiate actions at PaySera anymore.... because the SMS verification is a mandatory security measure.
I’ve exchanged 20 emails to fix the SMS bug since 1 month but the resolution doesn’t advance at all. The situation is stuck.
This is just a sample of the maze banking abroad can be. I’m running out of solution. I’ve got still little options to explore, where it’s likely I will also encounter troubles or suffer from the services really be not affordable.
Am I an isolated case ? Unfortunately, not at all... there are whole forums where foreigners are nowadays discussing banking problems.
People there desperatly seek solutions. I’m participating myself. Because a solution is generaly temporary only. There are services I used in the past that today closed or had untolerable issues. So you have to plan backup solutions in advance, etc... it’s always moving.
So yeah, being able to do large cards for me is the best option (not even perfect). That’s where I focus my attention and for now getting the least troubles from it.