Tips for students on how to open a bank account in the UK


Nowadays it’s a big struggle for global students. We’re (Academic Education) receiving a number of queries from students, who want to know “how to open a student financial institution account in the UK”. We came up with a solution, and this blog will guide you with every single detail of how to open a bank account in the UK.

A bank account is sort of a solution to modern life specially for students in the UK. If you are an international student, a UK bank account is going to be your savior to all your day-to-day banking troubles. In this article, we have tried to classify the types of student accounts in the UK with all the available services it can offer you.


Why open a bank account?

  • Safety and security: It is better to deposit money in a bank account so that your cash is not lost or stolen.
  • For visa purposes: If you need to extend your current visa or apply for a new visa you will need to show financial evidence to prove that you have enough money to live in the UK. Having a UK bank account helps you to do this quickly and easily.
  • For a part-time job: Many businesses pay salaries directly into a bank account. There may be bank charges to pay your salary into an overseas account.


Requirements to fulfill for a Student Bank Account in the UK

As soon as you get the confirmation of enrolment with your University or College, we suggest you apply for a bank account immediately.  The preparation may take up to 2 weeks so it’s always better to start early. Before moving on to each bank’s offers and lucrativeness, let’s find out the required documents for applying.

To Open a Bank account in the UK, everyone must need to provide few documents to the Bank. Please see the below lists. Different Banks may require differently but the most commonly needed papers are:

  • An Original copy of your identification (A passport or ID including VISA if necessary)
  • Proof of a UK address (a tenancy agreement, utility bill copy, or a Full UK Driving License). You must ensure accommodation before applying for a bank account. Do consult with us to find you the best accommodation available nearest to your campus.
  • Proof of studentship (Student Enrolment letter, confirming you’re a regular student with the University or college)
  • A “Bank Letter” issued by the University or College (You may request it to your education provider and they will issue it under your name)
  • A minimum amount of money to open the account (It may differ from bank to bank)


Types of Available Student Bank Accounts in the UK for International Students (CHOOSE YOUR PREFERRABLE ONE)

Once you have chosen your preferable bank, then you have to choose the Account type you want to open with them. Most banks are offering different types of accounts. You have to choose wisely which one suits you most for your needs.


Basic Bank Accounts

Basic bank accounts are fee-free, giving anyone access to a no-frills current account without fear of running up debt. Usually, this is the best type of account for the new-entrance people in the UK.

Basic bank accounts are designed for people who don’t qualify for other types of current accounts because they have a poor credit history.  They offer basic and fee-free facilities for receiving money and settling bills, without overdraft facilities.


 Student Accounts

These are the same as current accounts with added benefits like interest-free overdrafts. Student accounts are a great option for students enrolled in higher education. It allows you to deposit and with money anytime.  Most students will open a current account while studying in the UK. These are the same as current accounts with added benefits like interest-free overdrafts. Student accounts are a great option for students enrolled in higher education. It allows you to deposit and with money anytime. Most students will open a current account while studying in the UK.


International Student Accounts

International student accounts can be opened before reaching the UK for your studies. It can be a great solution to pay your tuition, rent, and others without any charges. If you are an international student, you might not be eligible for regular student accounts or current accounts. They usually don’t offer credits but if you are looking for freebies on your debit card, this might be a great option to open with a minimum available balance.

If you already have an account with a global bank having a branch operating in the UK, you might want to stick with it for greater benefits.



List of Banks where international students can open accounts-

    • Abbey National
    • Alliance & Leicester
    • Bank of Ireland
    • Bank of Scotland
    • Barclays
    • Clydesdale
    • Co-operative Bank
    • First Trust Bank
    • Halifax
    • HSBC
    • Lloyds TSB
    • Nationwide Building Society
    • NatWest
    • Northern Bank
    • Royal Bank of Scotland
    • Ulster Bank
    • Yorkshire Bank


How long does it take?

Many banks also have tight security measures, so it can take quite a long time (up to four or five weeks) to open an account. It is very important that you have enough money available to cover your expenses during this period. It is difficult to estimate how much you will need, as students have individual needs, but we suggest £1,000 (separate from tuition and accommodation fees) for a single student living in University accommodation.

It’s really easy to open an account in the UK, the hardest part is choosing the right bank. So hopefully, we covered the maximum information regarding this topic.

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