Opening a bank account
Guidance on opening a bank account in the UK.
How to open a UK bank account
Opening a bank account is one of the first things you'll do as an international student arriving in the UK. Here's our advice about:
- the documents you need
- how to choose an account
- local and digital-only banks.
Opening a UK bank account is something we recommend for all students who plan to be in the UK for six months or more.
We expect you to have a UK bank account if:
- you're going to arrange an instalment agreement to pay the rest of your fees when you enrol at NTU.
Here's what we recommend you do.
First, contact your subject administrator and ask for a letter to submit to the bank. We call this letter a 'letter of introduction for UK banking facilities'. It confirms your address and course details. If you're not sure who to contact, please use the table below.
Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Architecture, Design and Built Environment
Art & Design
Arts & Humanities
Nottingham Business School
Nottingham Law School
School of Science and Technology
School of Social Sciences
You'll then have to wait for us to issue your letter. While you wait, compare the accounts that the local UK and digital banks offer to students.
Having a bank account here will enable you to manage your money more easily. It is necessary for:
- paying your rent and bills
- transferring money from overseas.
You may decide to work part-time while in the UK. If so, it's likely your employer will pay your wages into your bank account.
- have any more questions
- need help opening a back account.
We'll be more than happy to help you.
Frequently asked questions about opening a UK bank account
Can I open a bank account in the UK?
International students can usually only open an account offering basic banking facilities.
The type of documentation you will need to provide to open an account varies from bank to bank. You must to take this into consideration when choosing a bank.
It can take time to get an appointment with a bank. We encourage you to do this as soon as you arrive, or even before where possible. Make sure you read the information below about different banks. It will help you decide which one might work best for you.
How do I choose which bank is best for me?
Before deciding which bank you want to use, you should compare:
- what services they can offer you, and
- what charges they will apply.
Save the Student has information you might find useful about:
You could also ask your bank at home if they have a special agreement with a bank in the UK.
What should I ask the bank?
Here are some of the questions you may want to ask the bank when you enquire about their accounts.
- Which documents do I need to open an account?
- Will the bank charge me a monthly fee for the account?
- Do I need to deposit a specific amount of money when I open the account?
- What sort of card will I get — cash card or debit card?
- What services does the account offer? Direct debits, standing orders, cheque book, etc.
- How long does it take to open the account?
- Do you send bank statements every month?
- Does the account follow Shariah law? That's if you want an account that meets these Muslim principles.
What do I need to open an account?
Requirements may vary from bank to bank, so check with the bank what they will need from you. As a general guide, you'll have to provide the following.
- Your passport with your valid student visa or valid biometric ID card. Banks have to check that you have a valid visa for the UK.
- A letter from NTU confirming your course details and UK and overseas addresses. We call this a 'letter of introduction for UK banking facilities'. You'll need to ask for this letter from your Academic School office when you decide which bank you'll use.
- EU students with settled status will need to provide, as proof of their status:
- a passport, and
- their share code.
What else do I need to know about bank accounts?
Bank statements are important. You should keep them.
Most banks will send you a bank statement document by post every month. It includes details of all the transactions for your account.
You need your bank statements. Visa applications use them as proof of your address. Online bank statements may not be valid for visa applications. It's best not to choose this option if you're offered it.
Most banks can send you duplicate statements. However:
- it can take several weeks for you to receive them, and
- the bank may charge you for them.
International students should make sure their bank can send them regular bank statements.
Once you have opened your account, remember the following.
- Tell the bank if you change your address.
- It's important to keep your bank statements. You'll need these if you have to extend your visa. Your bank may charge you for duplicate statements and it may take several weeks for you to receive them.
- Keep your personal details and account details somewhere safe. This helps prevent someone else using your account or stealing your identity.
Compare local bank accounts
NTU does not endorse any particular bank. The table below is just to offer information about on local banks. The information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge. However, you should contact banks directly to get up-to-date advice and information. Other banks are available.
Name of bank
Address of local branches
2 High Street, Nottingham, NG1 2EN
1 St. Peter’s Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2NW
26 Clumber Street, Nottingham, NG1 3GA
12-16 Lower Parliament Street, Nottingham,
16 South Parade, Nottingham, NG1 2JX
Unit 27, Victoria Shopping Centre, Nottingham NG1 3QD
Essentials Current Account — for students and workers new to the UK.
36 Clumber Street, Nottingham, NG1 3GB
583 Mansfield Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, NG5 2JN
Compare digital banks
NTU does not endorse any particular bank. The table below is just to offer information about on digital banks. The information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge. However, you should contact banks directly to get up-to-date advice and information. Other banks are available.
When considering a digital bank, check that they are:
- approved by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and
- protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
Other banks are available.