Opening a bank account in the UK

By BzSarah 04 Jan 2016

If you are planning on opening a bank account in the UK, first of all you should browse different banking websites or visit them to see which services would best suits your needs.....

Popular UK banks include: NatWest, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, Halifax, Co-operative, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander amongst others.

  1. Once you have chosen your bank and account and arrived in the UK, go and visit a branch to set up your account.
  2. Most banks will offer you a “basic” bank or savings account to pay in and take out money.
  3. If you haven’t decided on which account would be best for you, advisors are on hand to help.

When you’re sure about what you want to take out and where, check with your bank what you need to bring along to open the account. The most common things include: 

  • Your passport with your student visa or your national photo ID card - if you’re from the EU.
  • A letter from your university/college confirming your UK study details or a ‘Letter of Introduction for UK Banking Facilities’ which your university/college will complete to show your UK study details.
  • Proof of address both in the UK and in your home country.

If you do decide to open your bank account online or by the telephone, the bank may need more documents to prove your identity. If you change your address always write to your bank as soon as possible to let them know.

This leaflet expands on the services banks can offer and explains UK banking terms. The UCL international support service (ISS) are also available for friendly guidance with any money, or general queries you may have to help you transition to university as easy as possible!

BzSarah is part of the team and plays the saxophone.
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