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Setting up a UK Bank Account

By UALSocial 24 May 2017

Setting up a bank account can be stressful, so here are some useful steps to give you a hand.

It can sometimes be difficult to set up a bank account right when you arrive, so we recommend that you have enough cash or an international card that will allow you to take out money when entering the UK. 

If you have a student visa for less than 6 months, the process of getting a UK bank account might be even harder so look into other options of carrying money at the start- apple pay (depending on the country you are coming from) or even prepaid cards might be an option for you!

Once you are ready to get your bank account, keep in mind that banks have different options. Make sure to go to a few and compare them! When looking at banks, research different account types and charges and be sure to pick the right fit!

When you have made your decision assure that before you make an appointment you have all the right documents to get through the process. You will need:


  1. A proof of identity, ideally your passport.
  2. Proof of your address in your home country. For this, you can use your offer letter if addressed to your home overseas.
  3. Proof of your UK address. For this, a contract or tenancy agreement will usually be enough if you live outside of UAL Halls. If you live in a UAL Hall speak to your Residence Manager who will supply you with a letter to prove your address.
  4. The bank may also request a ‘bank letter’ from your university that you can get from your college office. 
  5. Additionally, if you would like a student bank account, the bank may need a letter of acceptance. This letter must contain your name. Your UCAS acceptance is often not enough. It’s best to use the letter in which you received your student ID.

Keep in mind every bank is different, so check what they need before attending your appointment!

Be patient and remember there are always people within the university willing to help out. With the right documents, you will have a UK bank account in no time!



UALSocial is fresh, innovative and creative. What’s more, it is completely coordinated by students, which makes it unique, inclusive and empowering for everyone involved. The majority of events are free and the programme pioneers campaigns and community projects across every hall.
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