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Opening a bank account - International Students

  • Most International students are eligible for a basic bank account with a number of different banks.
  • With most banks you donot need to put in any money to open a basic account, with others £1 is enough to get you started.
  • Most basic bank accounts do not offer cheque books.
  • You will pay nothing for using most cash machines. You may be charged if you donõt have enough money in your account when a direct debit payment you have instructed is due (and therefore the direct debit payment is refused).

You may also be eligible for other types of account. You can speak to the bank.

Opening a Bank Account  

  • Need to be physically present in the UK to open a bank account.
  • Need an Identity Proof (for ex. passport or national identity card from your country).
  • Evidence of your current address (for example a letter from your university or college saying that you are their student and giving your UK address, or your tenancy agreement or student accommodation contract).

List of Banks where international students can open accounts

  • Abbey National
  • Alliance & Leicester
  • Bank of Ireland
  • Bank of Scotland
  • Barclays
  • Clydesdale
  • Co-operative Bank
  • First Trust Bank
  • Halifax
  • HSBC
  • Lloyds TSB
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest
  • Northern Bank
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Ulster Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank

Deposit money into this account from your home country

  • There may be a charge for accepting deposits from abroad, and, if this payments not in sterling, there is likely to be an exchange charge. The bank abroad, or any of their agents, may also levy charges.

Keeping track of the account

  • The bank will issue you with a statement at regular intervals.
  • You can also get information on your balance and sometimes a mini statement from cash machine whenever you want
  • You can register for and use telephone and internet banking with some accounts.
  • Consult your bank for more details of how to use these services.

Paying college fees or monthly rent

  • if you have sufficient money in your account you can use direct debits/standing orders for regular payments, and electronic transfer for larger one-off payments. Talk to your bank about how to set these up.
  • Electronic transfer usually takes 3-4 days.

Depositing money

  • Yes, once your account has been opened. But do remember to carry passport/identity card and letter from the university or college confirming your address (or equivalent proof of address).

Borrowing money

  • A basic bank account does not allow you to borrow money.
  •  If you wish to borrow money, then you will need to apply for a different type of bank account.

Carrying money to UK

  • The best method is to ask your bank abroad to issue a cheque drawn in sterling on a London bank. Make sure that
  • you take with you the proofs of identity and address as above when you do this.

Student can take help from

  • College/ Welfare office/Student union advice service.
  • If an international student who is sponsored, you should contact the
  • representative of your sponsor in the UK.
  • Your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
  • UKCOSA The Council for International Education
  • The British Council. If you are a student
  • managed by the British Council
  • Financial Services Authority Consumer Helpline 0845 606 1234

Related Links

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