Accessibility statement

Opening a UK bank account

You will normally be required to show all of the following original documents before a bank account can be opened:

  • Your passport or ID card as proof of identity
  • Your unconditional offer letter showing your overseas address
  • Your Letter of Introduction, which should include your UK address
  • Your BRP*
  • Accounts should initially be applied for online. Most banks will not require you to go into the branch in person to complete the process. For those banks which do require documents to be verified in person, an appointment will be offered. 

* If your BRP has been delayed due to the UKVI production issues, please note that Barclays and Santander will accept your application without a BRP.  You will need, in addition to the other documents listed above, a Confirmation of Study letter that includes your residential address in York.  This can be requested through e:vision. 

Letter of Introduction

If you do not have your original unconditional offer letter or University accommodation offer letter, you can apply to the University for a Letter of Introduction to a bank. It is important that you open your bank account at the branch specified on your letter.

Apply for a Letter of Introduction using your e:Vision account and print it using any of the photocopier/printing machines around campus, including in the library. 

Bank accounts

Note: this is not a full list of banks available and we don't recommend any bank in particular. Check details of exactly what services you will get before opening your account.

Santander Essentials Current Account

  • Apply online, then complete the process in the branch.
  • Require passport and University bank letter to open an account. 
  • Must have a visa valid for twelve months or more.

Santander
7, High Ousegate, York, 
YO1 8RZ

 HSBC International Student Account

  • Start the application process online. 
  • Wait for the automated system to inform you to come into a branch to finish the process, and make an appointment. 
  • If in quarantine, wait for this to finish before coming into a branch.
  • Students must have their passport, BRP visa card, and university bank letter before coming into the branch. BRP must be valid for more than 3 months.
  • Customers will be seen individually and must wear a face covering at all times. 
  • If you have an account with HSBC at home, it may be possible to open a UK account before travelling here. 

HSBC
13, Parliament Street, York, YO1 8XS
Tel: 03457 404404

 Unizest

  • Account name - Aspire account 
  • Online account
  • Easily set up before coming to the UK
  • Endorsed by UKCISA
  • £4.99 per month service charge
  • Unizest account holders are given access to a variety of 'help' pages including topics such as immigration.  Please do not rely on this information and check with a designated University immigration adviser before taking any action.
Online Operated
www.unizest.co.uk
Twitter: @Uni-Zest

 Starling 

  • Online bank
  • Accepts visas valid for three months or more
  • Must live in the UK for six months or more

Online operated

www.starlingbank.com

 

 

 Lloyds TSB Classic account

  • Your visa must be valid for a minimum of one year
Lloyds TSB
2 Pavement, York, YO1 9LB
Tel: 08453 000000

Natwest Student Account

  • Visa must be valid for at least 2 years if studying an undergraduate course and at least one year if studying at postgraduate level.
  • BRP and passport required, along with a University bank letter.
  • Must apply for the account within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
Natwest
1 Market Street, York, YO1 8SR
Tel: 08457 888444

Barclays Bank

Barclays
1-3 Parliament Street, York, YO1 8SE
Tel: 0345 734 5345

RBS Student Account
  • Visa must be valid for at least 2 years if studying an undergraduate course and at least one year if studying at postgraduate level.
  • BRP and passport required, along with a University bank letter.
  • Must apply for the account within 6 months of arriving in the UK.
RBS
6 Nessgate, York, YO1 9FY
Tel: 01904 642961

Monzo

  • Online bank.
  • No minimum requirement for length of visa.
  • Must be resident in the UK to apply.

Online operated

https://monzo.com

 

 

Online bank accounts

For added convenience, you may want to open a bank account with an online banking service instead. 

Delays opening a UK bank account

In case there is a delay in opening a UK bank account, you should bring enough money (Sterling) in cash and traveller’s cheques to last one to two weeks. If possible, bring a credit and/or debit card. Do not carry or keep large amounts of cash in your accommodation.

Watch out for bank scams

You should never respond to emails, phone calls or texts asking for your bank details, even if it seems to come from your own bank. If you are unsure about a communication you have received, contact your bank directly to query it. Please see our Scammers- they’re after your money web-page for further advice and what to do if you think you have fallen victim to a scam.