Information for EU students about setting up a UK bank account.
Many aspects of opening a UK bank account as student from the EU will vary from bank to bank. These aspects include such details as:
A useful comparative resource for international students organising a UK bank account is the banking comparison table made by the University Edinburgh Global group (updated in May 2017). This table compares seven different banks that operate in Edinburgh, under different parameters from the type of bank accounts available for international students to what to bring to the branch when you are setting up your account.
When opening a UK bank account as an international student most UK banks will require an 'introductory letter' from the University to the bank. This is just a letter confirming your residence in Edinburgh and your attendance at the University.
It can be printed from MyEd if you are staying in University accommodation or otherwise, Student Administration can provide a letter, depending on whether you are a fully matriculated as a University student yet or not, if you are living in private accommodation.
The Student Administration website gives lots of detailed information on how to get your bank introductory letter in all of these situations.
It is important to note that not all banks will accept a bank introductory letter, and some may have other specific requirements for proof of address and University attendance. The following bank chains operating in Edinburgh will accept introductory letters:
If you arrive in the UK with large amounts of cash you should open a bank account as soon as possible in order to deposit it securely. Please note If you bring €10,000 (or equivalent in other currencies) in cash or more, you will have to declare it at Customs when you arrive in the UK. Further informtion on bringing cash into the UK can be found on the UK Government website.
Travellers' cheques may be a safer alternative than cash, as they require your matching signature to be used, and can be replaced if lost or stolen. There is further information on ordering and collecting travellers' cheques on the UK Post Office website.