Opening a UK bank account is by far the safest and most effective way of managing your money as an international student.

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If you are on a programme longer than 6 months, you are eligible to open a UK bank account. The process can sometimes be complicated and may take several weeks so please be patient and bring sufficient funds to cover initial expenses for your first month in the UK.

Which are the main banks?

Santander, Barclays, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Nationwide and Woolwich banks are all within walking distance of the University.

Choosing a bank

Unless you have a preferred bank (for instance your parents use HSBC), you don’t need to worry too much about which bank to choose. This is because all banks will normally offer you a basic current account to begin with and may offer you further services after you have banked with them for some time.

The basic current account will allow you free cash withdrawals from most ATMs (cash points), access to online and telephone banking, the option of receiving paperless statements, and the option of setting up direct debits. It would be helpful for you to opt to receive paper copies of your bank statements as you may use them for proof of address during your time in the UK.

Some banks may require you to pay a monthly subscription fee, which is something you will need to consider when making a decision.

What documents do I need to open an account?

The documentation you will need varies depending on which bank you select. However, as a general rule, you will need to ensure you have the following:

  • your passport and valid visa (including BRP) if applicable
  • a letter from St. George’s proving that you are a student with us ( you can get this from the Student Centre)
  • a letter from St. George’s proving your address in the UK and your home country (you can get this from the Student Centre)

For further advice or information

Stop by the Student Centre

Visit the UKCISA website

Review advice provided by the British Bankers’ Association

Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2019 16:41