Opening a Bank Account

Usually in the UK, you must be enrolled as a student before you can open a bank account. However, it is a good idea to plan ahead before you arrive by reading the information below.

Monetos, an international, free of charge research portal that provides extensive information on European social and financial sectors, offers additional information and advice on opening a UK bank account. The British Banking Association produces a useful leaflet for international students wishing to open a bank account in the UK: BBA International Students (2MB, PDF).

International students may also consider reading UKCISA's tips for opening a bank account in the UK.

Before leaving home

Your bank in your home country may have a special relationship with a bank in the UK, so it is a good idea to check with your home bank before you depart for the UK.

If you plan to use a credit card or bank card from your home country in the UK, check with your bank before you leave to see if your card is compatible with UK bank machines, or if there will be any additional charges.

If you plan to transfer money from your home bank account to your UK account, remember that transferring funds will depend upon your home bank's procedures. This can take more time than you expect. You should discuss this with your bank before leaving home, and remember to bring sufficient funds, such as cash, travellers' cheques or credit cards, to cover any delays. Always avoid travelling with very large amounts of cash.

Selecting a bank and opening your account

Some issues you should consider before opening an account include: