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Essential Info

Opening a student bank account in the UK

By UALHalls 12 Aug 2020

Once you're in London it's important to remember to set up your student bank account, which could be your first ever UK bank account. With this trusty guide, it could never be less complicated...



Why might you set up a UK student account? It is extremely important for a number of reasons such as...

  • To pay in money from family or an employer
  • To shop
  • It's useful for when you need to apply/extend your student visa
  • It means you can avoid overseas card charges
  • To keep your money safe
  • To withdraw cash (which you will definitely need at some point)
  • Pay bills



The UK has a wide range of banks but when it comes to starting a student account many banks offer many complimentary services or freebies.



Check out this guide by Money Saving Expert to find out their top-rated student bank accounts. 

(Source: Money Saving Expert)

When you choose where to set up your account you can visit a branch or set up an appointment.

When you are ready to go, make sure you take these items:

  • Your passport and student visa (or your national photo ID card if you are from an EU country).
  • The bank may also ask for a 'bank letter' from the University. Request this from your college office.
  • Proof of your home address in your country. Your university offer letter or proof of enrolment addressed to your overseas address is usually sufficient.

Please also note, for proof of your UK address your UAL Hall contract is valid.





What can I do if I can't go to a branch because I'm self-isolating?

The new wave of app-only banks means you can set up a bank account from the comfort of your bedroom. Your bank card will only take a couple of days to arrive and it can be sent straight to your hall. 

One of the great advantages of app-only banks is that you can digitally manage your account from your phone. The apps are fantastic for budgeting and they can give you great insight into your spending. So, if you want to be financially savvy and stick to your budget why not give them a try? 

Monzo and Starling Bank are two of the most popular but, make sure you do your research and find the right one for you. Once you've chosen the bank, to get started all you need to do is download the bank's app.

Please note, if you'll be needing an overdraft, setting up a student-specific account with an interest-free overdraft may be more beneficial to you (see above). You can always set up an app-only account to go alongside your other student account. 



If you need any more help setting up a UK bank account, your halls reception team will be more than happy to help. 

Get in touch:

📞 Call: +44 (0)20 7514 6240 (8 am - 6 pm Monday - Friday)

📩Email: accommodation@arts.ac.uk

🐦Tweet: @UAL_halls

💬IM Chat: via our website

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