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 open a UK bank account

If you plan to make any regular payments through direct debit (tuition fees, rent or household bills), or are receiving any support loans, it is recommended that you open a bank account in the UK. 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.  

UK bank account options

Already in the UK?

If you are already resident in the UK, you are eligible to open student bank accounts, which can come with a number of different perks.

New to 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.

Digital banks/ cards

  • Curve
  • Monzo
  • Revolut

Traditional banks

  • Bank of China

  • Bank of Scotland

  • Barclays

  • Clydesdale

  • HSBC

  • RBS

  • Santander

  • TSB

Please note not all bank accounts are suitable for direct debit payments - check with your bank first.

Students who are already resident in the UK

In this section, you will find useful information for UK-resident students on setting up a student bank account.

Students from outside the UK

In this section, you will find information for students from outside the UK about setting up a UK bank account.

Banking safety

In this section, you will find useful advice for students about keeping your bank account details secure.

Banking terminology

Glossary of common words used around banking.

General points to remember when opening a new 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 - don't be afraid to 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.'