Opening a UK bank account
As a student in the UK you will need to open a UK bank account. Where possible, you are advised to open an account in your home country before arriving here. If you have been unable to do this, you can approach banks in the UK on arrival to commence your studies.
All major banks have branches close to UCL and their requirements for opening an account will vary. The types of accounts they may offer are also different from one bank to another. You will need to visit the banks directly or refer to their websites for details.
Types of accounts offered by UK banks
Some of the banks will charge a monthly subscription fee, and as a part of the contract, they may require you to keep the account with them for a certain period of time. Other banks may offer you a basic account free of charge. Most banks which charge a monthly subscription fee will offer you something in return, such as cheaper money transfers or insurance. Therefore, you are recommended to take the time to consider the different options before making a decision.
To open an account for you, most banks will require your passport and a proof of your address in the UK. You may use the Statement of Student Status, issued to you when you enrol in person on your programme of study, as a proof of adrress. Some banks may require an adapted version of the Statement of Student Status addressed to them. In order to obtain this document you need to ensure you update your addresses on Portico so that your contact address is the address where you will be staying in the UK and your home address is your overseas address. You may then request the adapted Statement of Student Status by visiting the UCL Student Centre in person. Most banks will not accept PO Box addresses.
Information for students coming to UCL in January 2013
Many UK banks will only offer accounts to students whose programme of study is for one academic year or more. If you are coming to UCL for a period of six months or less, you may find that fewer banks will be able to offer you an account.
|UCL does not endorse any bank, the information below is only to assist you with opening a UK bank account if you need one.|
The following banks have confirmed that they will offer accounts for international students coming to UCL in January 2013 for a period of six months or less:
The arrangements outlined here are made with the following Santander Universities branches:
(i) Santander on UCL campus, South Junction, Wilkins Building (map reference: C4)
You will be offered an International Student Current Account which comes with a £5 monthly subscription fee and offers free transfers from abroad.
Requirements for opening an account with Santander
You will be required to provide a passport, a valid UK visa (if applicable) and your UCL student identity card, no proof of address will be needed.
Visiting Santander at one of their branch
If you would like to open an account with Santander, you will need to visit them in one of their bank branches. The opening hours are as follows:
Santander on UCL campus: Monday to Friday – 10.00-18.00 and Wednesday – 10.00-17.00.
Santander at 164-167 Tottenham Court Road: Monday to Friday – 9.00-17.00.
|The arrangements outlined here are made with the Barclays branch at 6-17 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 1BE and may not be applicable if you visit any other of the bank’s branches.|
You will be offered a regular current account which includes a debit card but no overdraft facility. There will be no monthly subscription fee and you can opt in/out of receiving paper bank statements.
Requirements for opening an account with Barclays
You will be required to provide a passport/national identity card and proof of address in the UK in order to open a bank account. You can use the Statement of Student Status which UCL gives you at enrolment as proof of address. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you have updated your Portico account with the address where you will be staying in the UK prior to enrolment.
Visiting Barclays at their branch
You will need to visit Barclays at their branch on 6-17 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 1BE to open an account with them. The opening hours are as follows:
Monday to Friday – 9.00-17.00; Saturday – 10.00-16.00
Tips / General Advice
- Processing times: It may take up to two weeks to open a bank account in the UK. You are advised to arrange alternative ways of accessing money for this period. (ie. Travelex Cash Passport /Travellers Cheques)
- Students with Visas: If you have a student visa and are likely to need to extend your stay in the UK, it is recommended that you do NOT opt for an online bank account or electronic bank statements. The UK Border Agency will only accept original paper statements. Please ensure that you keep your bank statements in a safe place for this purpose.
- Shariah compliant banking: Many banks offer Shariah compliant financial services. You will need to check individual bank websites for further information.
Page last modified on 07 dec 12 14:37