Skip to content

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 here. You'll find advice on this page about the documents you need, how to choose an account and information on local and digital-only banks.

Getting advice

International student support team

Opening a UK bank account is something we recommend for all students who plan to be in the UK for six months or more.

If you're going to arrange an instalment agreement to pay the rest of your fees when you enrol at the University, you'll be expected to have a UK bank account.

Here's what we recommend you do:

  • first, compare the accounts that the local UK and digital banks offer to students
  • when you know which bank you are going to open an account with, contact your Academic School Office and request a letter to submit to the bank. This letter confirms your address and course details and is called 'letter of introduction for UK banking facilities'.

If you have any questions or need any help with opening a bank account please contact our international student support team and we'll be more than happy to help you.

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, and if you decide to work part-time while in the UK it is likely that your employer will pay your wages into your bank account.

If you need more information, please visit the UKCISA website.

Frequently asked questions

In most cases international students will only be able to open an account that offers basic banking facilities.

The type of documentation you will need to provide to open an account varies from bank to bank; you will therefore need to take this into consideration when choosing a bank.

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 website has information on UK bank accounts for international students and on digital banks which you may find useful. You could also ask your bank at home if they have a special agreement with a bank in the UK.

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 comply with Shariah Law? (only if you wish to opt for an account which complies with these Muslim principles).

Requirements may vary from bank to bank, so check with the bank what they will need from you. As a general guide, this is what you will be required to provide:

  • Your passport with your valid student visa or valid biometric ID card (banks are required to check that you have a valid visa for the UK).
  • EU students will need to check if a national photo ID card will be sufficient.
  • A letter from NTU confirming your course details and UK and overseas addresses, this is called 'letter of introduction for UK banking facilities'. You will need to request this letter from your School Office when you have decided which bank you will use.


Most banks will send you a bank statement document by post every month. It includes details of all the transactions for your account.

They are important and you should keep them as they will be required for visa applications or as proof of address. Online statements may not be accepted for visa applications, so it is better not to choose this option if offered.

Most banks can send you duplicates, but it can take several weeks to receive them and you may be charged for them. International students are advised to ensure their bank can send regular bank statements.

Once you have opened your account, remember the following:

  • tell the bank if you change your address.
  • It is important to keep your bank statements. You will 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, to prevent someone else using your account or stealing your identity.

Compare local bank accounts

NTU does not endorse any particular bank but the table below gives information on local banks. The information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge, but you should contact banks directly to get up-to-date advice and information. Other banks are available.

Name of bank Accounts available Address of local branches
Barclays Student Additions Account 2 High Street, Nottingham NG1 2EN

Basic Account

Student Current Account

1 St Peter's Gate, Nottingham NG1 2NW

HSBC Basic Bank Account 26 Clumber Street, Nottingham, NG1 3GA
Lloyds Classic Account 12-16 Lower Parliament Street, Nottingham, NG1 3DA

Select Account

International Student Account

16 South Parade, Nottingham NG1 2JX

Basic Account

Essentials Current Account (for new to UK students and workers)

1 Foursquare Tip, 36 Clumber Street, Nottingham

Cash Account

Classic Account

11 Low Parliament, Nottingham, NG1 7DQ

46 Southchurch Drive, Clifton, Nottingham

Compare digital banks

NTU does not endorse any particular bank but the table below gives information on digital banks.  The information provided is correct to the best of our knowledge, but you should contact banks directly to get up-to-date advice and information.

When considering a digital bank you should check that they are Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved and protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Other banks are available.

Name of bank
Atom Bank
Starling Bank