Joining Instructions: Bank Accounts and Methods of Payment
British banks have special procedures for international students, details of which can be found at the UKCISA website: www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Living-in-the-UK/Opening-a-bank-account.
Essentially banks are required by law to see identification to prove:
- Who you are
- Your UK address
- Your student status
- The dates of your course
The account type the banks will generally open for you does not provide a chequebook or overdraft facility but does allow payment by electronic transfer, standing order or cash withdrawal. Some banks also offer debit cards such as Solo, which are a convenient method of paying university fees (generally free of bank charges).
Opening a bank account after registration
As an example, the University’s bankers, National Westminster, have confirmed their procedure as follows. You will need to show them:
- A letter from the University confirming:
- Your UK address, whether in a hall of residence or privately arranged
- Your course title
- The duration of your course
- Your date of birth
- Your passport. If you require a visa to live in the UK, its validity should end no earlier than the end date of your course.
Other banks have generally similar procedures, sometimes also wishing to record your permanent address overseas, which isn’t usually a problem.
However, students should be aware that some banks also require the University to confirm that it has corresponded with that address, which can be a problem if the application was made from elsewhere.
Opening a bank account before registration
Generally this isn’t possible, because the University will not be able to provide the confirmation letter referred to above. The only exception is if you meet the conditions for opening an offshore account with a UK bank. For example, National Westminster maintains offshore accounts at its Isle of Man branch. If you are interested in this option, please contact the Student Fees Office. They will be pleased to pass your request to the local manager who will then contact you.
Tel: +44 (0)1280 820250
Fax: +44 (0)1280 820344
There is a branch of Santander Bank on the Hunter Street Campus.