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 and visa to prove your identity (original documents)
  • A bank letter with your home country address
  • A bank letter with your UK term address. Please update your details on MyManchester, in the following format:
      • Floor, Flat, Room
      • Hall Name
      • Street number/name
      • Town
      • Postcode

You can collect your bank letter from Committee Room A, Whitworth Hall (building 50 on the campus map) between the following times:

  • 10am and 4pm (weekdays, 9–27 September)
  • 11am and 3pm (Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 September)

Outside of these times and dates, bank letters can be collected from the Student Services Centre (building 57 on the campus map).

The University has special arrangements with the following banks to help students open accounts.


Barclays will be opening bank accounts at Whitworth Hall between 10am and 4pm, Thursday, 12 to Friday, 27 September. Please note: students aged 18 and under are unable to open bank accounts with Barclays.


HSBC will be at Whitworth Hall between 10am and 4pm, Monday, 9 to Friday, 27 September, making appointments for students to open a bank account at their city centre branch (St Ann’s Square, M2 7HD).

Lloyds Bank

If you’d like to open an account with Lloyds Bank, please visit their city centre branch (Market Street, M1 1PW). You don’t need an appointment to open an account.

Bank of China

Bank of China will be opening accounts at Whitworth Hall between 11am and 3pm on Saturday, 14 and Sunday, 15 September. You can also go directly to their city centre branch in China Town (Moseley Street, M2 3JB) to open a bank account without an appointment.

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.