Lloyds Bank International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lloyds Bank in the United Kingdom, which is in turn part of Lloyds Banking Group, one of the largest banking groups in Europe.
The bank's overseas expansion began in 1911 - and the Lloyds Bank International name, historically a major international commercial bank, is now used for its offshore banking interests.
Lloyds International accounts are based either in the Isle of Man or Gibraltar. Both jurisdictions have strong reputations for political stability and effective regulation.
Strategically, Lloyds is focusing increasingly on its British customer base and offering.
Recently, and somewhat controversially, Lloyds prevented expat savers from switching accounts as interest rates halved. They also ended their ‘Lloyds Overseas Club’ account openings for non-British residents.
Lloyds has an International Private Banking business for those with £500,000 or more. However, more accessible current accounts offered are across Sterling, Euro or Dollar with Visa debit cards in each currency.
The basic monthly fee for such accounts is £7.50 (or currency equivalent) and the minimum gross income to be eligible is £50,000 per annum.
Lloyds International's ‘Everyday Banking’ (basic) offering also requires a £50,000 gross income OR £25,000 to save or invest. Many countries of residence are excluded from the expat list for eligibility (although the UAE is covered).
Accounts opened with a different name (i.e. accounts also accessible to a spouse or family member) will be charged per account rather than once for all currency accounts combined.
Cash withdrawals are charged at 1.5% (min. £2) and currency exchange is charged at 2.99%. Both planned and unplanned overdrafts are fairly costly as is the norm (15.8% AER for significant amounts as well as a £15 monthly fee if unplanned).
Lloyds International has a team of advisers whose job it is to provide investment advice.
Whilst they can recommend from a range of third party investments, the investment solutions are more likely to be recommended from their in-house solutions, so you can conclude that the advisers are not independent!
If you have £2,000,000 or more to invest – they do offer a bespoke discretionary portfolio solution though!
Lloyds International offers a relatively comprehensive FX service, but it is not without its limitations. Banks tend to make big margins out of FX, and we believe there are better alternatives when you need to change money.