How to open a UK bank account

You’ve unpacked, you’ve hung out with your new classmates, you’ve had a jam-packed induction week…what now? Well, you should probably open a UK bank account (best to get the practical stuff out of the way before you launch yourself into your exciting new life abroad). 

INTO Manchester’s Lena Abu-Elfailat talks you through how to do it.

Lena says: Opening a bank account in the UK is fairly hassle free for international students. You only need three things:

1. Your passport – this proves your identity.

2. Your current Visa or Resident Permit – this proves that you have the right to reside in the UK.

3. A bank letter – you can request one from the Student Services desk of your INTO centre. This letter will prove that you’re an INTO student and will also state your study dates, UK home address and home country address.

• Don’t request a bank letter from Student Services until you have a confirmed UK address.
• Don’t use a P.O. Box address as your home country address – most UK banks won’t accept this.
• Most UK banks are open late one evening per week or on Saturdays – so you don’t have to miss classes to open your account!
• It can take 5-10 working days before your account is active, so you won’t be able to use any UK banking facilities till then. In the meantime, avoid walking around with a lot of cash – keep it stored away safely.

Managing your finances might not be the most exciting thing about adjusting to independent living, but it’s an essential part of studying abroad. Next week, look out for a special guest blog from student finance expert Jake Butler, from Save the Student, who has some specialist tips for managing your finances, while still making the most of student life.

Find out more about studying in one of the world’s most exciting student cities with INTO Manchester.

Find out about studying in the UK, US or China with INTO Higher.

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