New Students

Open a UK bank account

Learn about your options for opening your first student bank account in the UK and banking safety.

Why should I open a UK bank acccount?

If you plan to make any regular payments via direct debit (rent or household bills), or are receiving any support loans, we recommend you open a bank account in the UK. You can arrange to pay your tuition fees before opening a UK bank account. 

Pay your fees

All students who are studying at the University for one year or longer are eligible to open a UK bank account. For shorter visits the choice is more limited, and we recommend that you seek more information from banks directly. This process may take up to two weeks if you have all the required documentation ready to go beforehand.

To open a UK bank account you will need:

  • A local semester address recorded on your student record
  • Your passport - banks will not accept your University card as proof of identification
  • Tier 4 students only: Your Biometric Residence permit
  • University bank Introduction Letter - this will be accepted by a selection of local banks as proof of student status and proof of semester-time address

Read more about your Bank Introduction Letter 

Bank Options

You should spend time before your studies working out what type of bank account will work best for you.  We cannot recommend which account you should open but can help you in making your own choice. 

Digital Banks Who can apply
Moneze UK and EEA only
Monzo all students
Revolut UK, EEA, US, Canada 
Wise all students
Traditional Banks  
Bank of China China
Bank of Scotland UK residents (17 years and over) for the past 3 years
Barclays all students (18 years and over) - if have UK address, UK mobile number and Bank Introduction Letter
HSBC Australia, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA - International Student information
RBS UK residents (17 years and over) for the past 3 years
Santander all students (18 years and over) - if have Bank Introduction letter and University card
TSB UK residents (17 years and over) for the past 3 years

UK Residents

If you are already resident in the UK, you are eligible to open a student bank account. These can come with a number of additional benefits such as an interest-free overdraft.

Additional banking information for students already resident in the UK

Students from outside of the UK

If you are not already resident in the UK, you will have fewer options as to the range of UK bank accounts you can open, but you should still open an account as soon as possible to be able to pay expenses.

International visiting and exchange students will have limited bank account options depending on the duration of their stay in the UK.

Additional banking information for students from outside of the UK

 

 

General Points about opening a bank account 

Time delays

  • Although there is generally a set time between starting your bank account and receiving your bank card, it is important to plan your finances in case there is a delay in accessing your new bank account.
  • Setting up online banking on your new account can take longer than expected, as you will likely have to wait to receive an activation code through the post. 

Find what works for you

  • If you set up a new bank account and find that you are not happy with it, don't be afraid to switch to a different type of account or a different bank. You will spend a reasonable amount of time over the course of your studies using your bank account, so it's important to find one you are happy with. 

  • You will probably receive a lot of paperwork documenting the terms and conditions of your new account - ask a staff member in the bank to go through these with you, especially if English is not your first language.

  • The bank branches near the University are very used to dealing with students, so these are probably a good place to start looking for where to set up your new account. 

Charges to keep in mind

  • There may be some small charges on transactions like international bank transfers that could become expensive over time. 

Banking safety

  • Be careful with where you submit your bank account details, particularly online - check for a padlock icon beside the URL in your browser, or an icon saying 'Secure.'

Additional information about safe banking

Moneyhelper website