How to open a UK bank account

There is an extension selection of banks in the UK to choose from when you are opening a bank account. Some universities will suggest a particular bank to their freshers but if you fo need to make a decision by yourself, here are some factors that we think you should take into consideration:

• The bank should have branch close to the place where you live or at least where your campus is located. This is simply to make life easier and more convenient when you need to make a transaction.

• No one likes surprise charges so check if the bank account is free as some student accounts charge a monthly cost.

• Compare the interest on saving account of different banks.

Most UK banks provide various bank accounts, some are specifically for international students, some are free whilst others are paid, some come with a cashback bonus, some earn you credits, some give you debit card and others credit… the list goes on and on at times it mayb be hard to make a decisioon among all these options.

Our suggestion is to open these two accounts first:

1. A Current Account that accepts international money transfer, encashment and consume online.

2. A Saving Account to place wholesale deposits in that you can later transfer into you Current Account – the safer option.

When you have chosen your preferred bank, you can then make an appointment at one of their branches. When you do, remember to ask about the necessary documents that you need to bring along, these may include your passport, a student status letter from your university and a proof of your address (e.g. housing contract or police registration form).

Here are a few important thing to bear in mind:

• Ask for your international bank account, including information like the IBAN & BIC/SWIFT code for international money transfer.

• Be sure to request information on what to do with the account if you are returning to your country after graduation, e.g. how to close the bank account, how to transfer money back to your account at home.

• You will most likely receive a bank card with every Current Account and the card has an expiry date, shortly before which your bank will send you a extension card by post (generally have the same passcode as the original card or you may be asked to reset it to your preferred passcode).

• Should any of your personal information, i.e. address change during your stay in the UK, remember to update your bank in time for receiving your next monthly statement or new card.

When you have familiarise yourself with environment and living arrangement, you can ask the bank for additional advice on financial services. Remind that if you are not satisfied with your current bank account, you can always close it at any time.

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