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International students: Opening a bank account

We recommend that you open a UK bank account while you are studying with us.  This page gives you information on how to open an account and what documents you may need to take to your appointment.

Why do I need a UK bank account?

Having a UK account means that you can take up a mobile phone contract, get paid for part-time work and pay your utility bills in a much more straightforward way. There are lots of banking providers to choose from so it’s important that you do your research and select the bank that is right for you. UKCISA offers some information on the types of account that are available to International Students using traditional high street banks, but you may also want to consider an online bank as an alternative. 

What do I need to open my account?

Every bank has its own application process, so it’s best to check with your chosen provider.  Some banks have an online application, but others may require you to make an appointment in person to present your documents. If you want to open a student bank account, then you will need to prove that you are currently studying. 

 Banks are likely to require some/all of the following: 

  • Your passport 
  • Your BRP 
  • Proof of UK address (tenancy agreement or accommodation contract) 
  • A ‘letter of introduction’ from the University that confirms your study details

How do I get a 'letter of introduction'?

If you need a letter of introduction (you should check with your chosen bank), you can request a student letter online.

We can’t issue your letter until you: 

  1. Have fully registered on your programme of study at the University  and; 
  2. Have a UK address either in student residences or in private rented accommodation

Your letter will use the information on your student record, so please make sure that your details are up-to-date. Requests are usually processed in up to 5 working days (assuming all the information is present and correct). We will not be able to produce your letter if you are in debt to the University.  

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