UK bank accounts

Opening a UK bank account

You cannot open an account until you have arrived in London and have all the required documents. Because banks have to make a variety of checks on your identity, address and credit record, and then produce your bank card and cheque book, it may take three weeks or more to open an account after you have presented all the required documents.

Essential documents to open a bank account

There is nothing you can do until you are actually in London and enrolled at the University.

All banks will require all or most of these. Please check with your chosen bank.

  • Proof of identity - passport only (a US drivers licence will not be accepted)
  • Proof of London address - they may require more than one, such as the lease on a flat or university accommodation which shows both your name and the address, tax letter from local government with your name and address, or a utility bill such as gas or electricity which shows your name and address.
  • Proof of home address in the US eg offer of admission letter, or something official that shows your name and home address in the US, such as a bank statement or credit card statement
  • Proof of student status - certificate or registration, letter of acceptance or student ID card
  • It is also a good idea to bring a letter from your bank in the US stating how long you have had an account with them and that it is in good standing

Banks in the UK include: