If you’re an international student about to embark on a journey to the UK for your university studies, you’ll need to think about how your money is managed away from home. Instead of packing a bag full of cash and taking it around the world with you, the safest option is to open a UK bank account so you can easily and securely manage your finances. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking of opening a UK bank account:
Your current bank
If you already hold a bank account in your home country, it’s worth speaking with them first to find out if they have any branches in the UK and whether or not they provide any banking options for international students in the UK. You could save yourself time by continuing to bank with your current provider.
Choosing a UK bank account
If it’s not possible for you to bank in the UK with your existing provider, then you’ll need to choose a UK based bank instead. There’s plenty of options available, so the choice is yours and will be entirely dependent upon things such as location, account offerings, interest rates and credit terms. As a handy tip, it’s worth researching the local area of your university and student accommodation so that you’re in close proximity of the bank.
Opening your account
When you’ve decided who you’re going to bank with and the type of account you wish to open, you’ll need to pop into the local branch – once you’ve arrive in the UK, to provide them with the required documents. Most banks will ask for proof of identity (a valid passport), proof of address (your tenancy agreement), and some may even ask for your visa. If you’re unsure, speak with the bank to confirm.
Accessing your account
Opening a bank account will usually take 1 – 2 weeks to successfully process – sometimes it can take longer. During this time you can usually deposit money but you won’t be able to withdraw it, so make sure you still have access to cash to keep you going until the new bank account is fully activated.
For more information about opening a UK bank account, see the British Bankers’ Association website and leaflet here.
Studying in the UK and looking for student accommodation in London? Find out how you can join our thriving student community at The Hive by contacting us today on 020 3551 2550 to arrange a viewing.