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Opening a bank account

Opening a bank account in the UK is not difficult for international students on full courses as long as you’re prepared.

You’ll need to bring the following documents when opening a bank account:

  • Your passport to prove your identity.
  • Your offer letter addressed to your overseas address (not a PO box number).
  • Your University accommodation contract (if you will be living in University accommodation).

Don't worry if you don't have these; in exceptional circumstances the University can issue a document confirming your details to your chosen bank.

Opening hours

Banks are normally open daily between 9.30am and 3.30pm, Monday to Friday. Some of the major branches open for longer.

Students on short courses or exchange programmes

It is not always possible for students on short courses or exchange programmes to open bank accounts because of banking regulations.

You may find it best to use cashpoints (ATMs) and draw from a bank account you have in your home country, or bring travellers' cheques to cover the duration of your time in the UK.

Further information

If you have trouble opening a bank account, you should contact the Student Immigration Team for assistance. 

Guidance on opening a bank account is available on the UKCISA website.