Depositing USD Cheques

We received a cheque from a relative in USD yesterday. I’ve checked Monzo and Starling, neither of them will accept it. Has anyone here recently deposited a USD cheque, or even any for a foreign currency? Which bank did you use? How much did they charge?

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Natwest and it’s an arm and a leg because, like all high street banks, they use a crappy exchange rate. And it takes ages, I think 28 days was advised, ended up being more like 14. But thems the breaks with banking foreign cheques, unfortunately.


Pity the relative can’t use an alternative payment method.

Here’s a little rumour I’ve heard from the grapevine down in Edinburgh, but apparently, when Chase implements cheque support next year, they’ll have a nice solve for American cheques by leveraging the bank back home.

For right now though, Barclays are probably your best bet for those. Should be fairly speedy for USD. How much it costs depends on the value of the cheque.

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I would be looking at HSBC.

If the cheque is large, Multi Currency Account | Foreign Currency Accounts - HSBC UK may be of particular interest.

This would allow you to choose when to convert the USD to GBP which you can do free via their Global Money account.

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Ulster Bank cleared one in about a week with rather a good exchange rate. I’d have thought that NatWest would be similar.

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Ulster is actually NatWest now.

It’s owned by NatWest and always has been, but is not the same. For example, they have that 5% instant access account which NatWest don’t and don’t have the regular saver that NatWest does.

True, it’s run as a separate brand and the operation therefore differs slightly.

However, what I suspect @Oberoth was referring to, which is also correct, is that since NatWest Group reviewed their Ulster Bank operations and decided to withdraw from the ROI, Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland has changed from being an independent bank (Ulster Bank Ltd owned by NatWest Group) to a brand name of NatWest - so it is no longer legally separate and now shares a banking licence with NatWest. Presumably this is to cut costs in the wider operation and simplify the legal structure, puttting Ulster Bank NI on a more sustainable footing to allow them to continue running it without the ROI business. This change has been in place since 2021.

But yes, cheques in foreign currency are a nightmare and I would agree that opening an HSBC Currency Account is probably the best way forward, if you can. You can use the account after 48 hours and it’s possible to apply online, but you must be an existing HSBC customer (not including First Direct).