Opening a Bank Account in the United Kingdom

How to open a bank account in the United Kingdom...

There are many different types of accounts and each bank offers different rates and perks to try to attract customers. One of the most important factors for any potential customer when choosing a bank is to decide what they want from the bank, and what kind of account they need. Accounts can be opened online or at a branch in person.

Documents required

When opening a bank account online or in person, a customer needs to fill in an application form and provide:

  • Proof of identity; for example, passport or identity card
  • Proof of address; for example a utilities bill
  • Proof of student status, if relevant

In some cases a customer might have to deposit money into the account. If an overdraft facility is given, a customer may be subject to a credit check.

It could be difficult to access certain banking services if a person has a poor credit history or any fraud convictions.

Opening an account before arrival in the UK

Some, but not all banks, allow customers to open a bank account before arriving in the UK, for example HSBC and LloydsTSB. Banks that offer this service do require a large initial deposit into the UK account. They may also require an account to be opened in the customer's home country. The same documents are required as above.

Alternatively there are a number of relocation companies that offer services to foreigners coming to the UK to work, for a fee.