Do I need a UK bank account?
Students often choose to open a UK bank account while studying in the UK. It can help to avoid currency conversion fees on your everyday spending, and make it easier to pay and receive money from UK-based companies.
Which bank should I choose?
There are many banks in the UK, and an increasing number of online banks available, and they offer different levels of service. We cannot advise on which bank or building society you should choose but you may find it helpful to search online for the best option. Save the Student has some helpful guidance for international students. USwitch enables you to compare the different options available too.
Opening a UK bank account
Banks have to perform checks on customers wanting to open a bank account with them, to check their identity and immigration status. They will usually ask to see:
Your passport and/or visa
Proof of your home country address
Proof of your UK address
Proof that you are a UEA student (see below)
You should first select the bank and account type that you wish to open and check the requirements. It may take several weeks to open an account, depending on your bank and if they wish to hold an in-person appointment. You should be prepared to support yourself financially during this initial period through other means, such as credit and debit cards and cash, but it is best to avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you or keeping cash in your room for security reasons.
If you change your address or if your credit card or debit card is lost or stolen, you should contact your bank immediately.
Requesting a Proof of Study Letter
You can download a letter proving you are a registered student through your e:Vision account. You will find different letter formats for specific banks as well as a ‘generic’ letter if the bank you are going with is not represented. You can find this on the Finance tab, under ‘Bank Letters’.
If you encounter any issues with downloading this form, please contact the Student Information Zone.
Want more information?
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) have some helpful information on their website about opening bank accounts in the UK. A link to their page can be found below.
Our Student Life Finance team are available to support all students at UEA with questions about their personal finances, including how to access various sources of financial support. You can click on the link below for more information and to contact the team.