How do I open a bank account?

Opening a bank account is simple. You can open an account online by going to the bank’s website, or you can do it in a branch of your chosen bank. Either way, you’ll need two documents with you: 

  • Proof of identity - this could be your passport, visa, birth certificate, or national ID card. 

  • Proof of address - a utility bill, tenancy agreement, or driving license. 

Opening a bank account for international students

You should be able to open a basic bank account with a number of different banks. A basic bank account provides easy access to banking facilities for adults in the UK. Additionally, some banks offer a bank account tailored specifically for your needs as an international student. 

Providing the correct ID and documentation

You’ll probably also need to visit a branch of the bank you have chosen and take with you documents that show who you are. 

Please check what the bank requires, but usually you need to provide the following as a minimum:

  • Your passport with student visa, if that is appropriate 
  • OR your national photo ID card, if you are from an EU country. 
  • AND the letter from your university confirming your UK study details 
  • OR a ‘Letter of Introduction for UK Banking Facilities’ which your university will complete to show your UK study details 
  • Proof of your address in the UK.

If you want to open an online or a telephone account, the bank may need to see more documents to prove your ID. 

Bank staff will be able to tell you what documents they accept in these circumstances.

For further information about opening a UK bank account please visit:

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