Opening a bank account in the UK
As a new international student, you'll probably want to open a bank account once you have enrolled at DMU. You will probably need to transfer money from your home country and this is much easier if you have a UK bank account. You will also find it more convenient when paying your tuition fees.
Please note that you will usually need to have registered onto your course before you can open a bank account.
Money for your first few weeks
It may take a few weeks to open your bank account and so it's important that you bring sufficient funds with you when you first arrive at DMU. We suggest having access to at least £1,000 when you first arrive. If you need to self-isolate on arrival, you'll also need to have a way of ordering food or meals online, for example a credit card, money app or pre-paid currency card. You can find more information about self-isolation on the Your DMU Future pages.
What kind of bank account can I open?
As an international student you should be able to open a basic bank account, which usually offers internet banking and a combined cashpoint (ATM) and Debit card. Some bank accounts are free to operate, whilst others carry a monthly charge – though you may find that the accounts that appear to be free may charge for other services! We recommend that you shop around to see which account is right for you.
Some banks are moving their application processes online - so if you need to self-isolate you should still be able start the process of opening your bank account, without having to visit the branch (at least initially). Natwest, Santander, Barclays and Lloyds all offer accounts which allow you to at least start your application online; other banks that usually offer accounts for international students include TSB and HSBC. We suggest checking banks' websites for up-to-date information.
What do I need to open a bank account?
Banks have a duty under UK law to prevent accounts being opened under false identities. For this reason, the banks will ask anyone who wants to open an account to provide documents to prove their identity. If you're opening an account online you may need to upload the necessary documents as part of your application.
The documents that you will be asked to provide will depend on the bank you are using. Generally you are likely to be asked for the following:
- Proof of identity – usually this will be your passport with your student visa, or if you are an EU student, an EU/EEA identification card.
- Proof of address – usually this will be a DMU bank letter. Please note that you will only be able to access this letter once you have registered onto your course. You can print this letter yourself using the My Documents tile on the MyDMU web portal and app.
Other possibilities for managing your money might include app-based online banks such as Monzo or Revolut.
The university does not recommend any particular account or bank. Please make sure the account or app that you use is suitable for your needs and that you're aware of any payments or charges that might apply.
Additional advice and guidance
If you have problems opening an account or need more information, contact International Student Support at firstname.lastname@example.org - we'll do our best to advise you.
There's also useful guidance for international students available from the British Bankers Association as well as advice from the UK Council for International Student Affairs
The Student Finance and Welfare team also offer advice and guidance on budgeting and managing your money.