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Best way to close a British bank account and bring cash back to US

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This seems like it should be simple but my daughter keeps asking questions that I'm not sure I know the answers to. She leaves London on Monday and has about 1,000 pounds in an HSBC account. She wants to close the account. I suggested she send me the money on Paypal in dollars and I'd send it back to her in a few days. She says that Paypal will delay the transfer. Can she ask the bank to give her a check? If she arrives in the US with a British check denoted in pounds, will they just let her deposit it to her US account? She'd rather not carry the cash back. She also said that when she returned from Rome, US Customs asked her about how much money she was carrying (Euros, I guess.) I was never asked this so I'm not sure why she was. Any suggestions?

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