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Home International Students When you arrive Opening a bank account

Opening a bank account

You can find information about choosing/opening a bank account in the following two documents:

Proving your identity

The Money Advice Service website gives you the identity requirements needed for basic bank accounts. There is also a link to Toynbee Hall's useful publication, 'ID Handbook – How to prove your identity', which has more information on the different documents you can use to prove your identity.

Proving you have valid immigration permission in the UK

Since 12 December 2014, banks and building societies have to make a status check on all new applicants for a current account. Banks and building societies must not open a current account for a person who requires immigration permission to be in the UK but who does not have it, ie someone who is in the UK as an overstayer.

Tips on opening a bank account

  • If you want an account based on Sharia principles, check websites and publicity materials. Some 'high street' banks offer accounts and services that meet these principles. There are also a few specialist banks that operate in accordance with Sharia principles.
  • You might be able to prevent tax being deducted from any interest that your money earns. Ask your bank or building society for form R105 when you open your account.
  • Always let your bank / building society know in writing, as soon as possible, if you change your address or any other personal details.
  • If you are leaving the UK for a long break, eg for summer, let your bank know - otherwise they might treat your account as 'dormant' and close it.

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