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 enrolled on your course before you can open a bank account.

We can provide information and assistance to help you open your account. However it is important that you bring sufficient funds with you for your first few weeks at DMU and we suggest having access to £1,000 when you first arrive.

What kind of bank account can I open?

As an international student you should be able to open a basic bank account, which usually provides a cashpoint (ATM) card, a debit card and internet banking. 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.

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.

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 bank letter from DMU. Please note that the University will only be able to provide this letter once you have enrolled on your course. You can get your bank letter by visiting the reception in Student Gateway (open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. You will need to say that the letter is for opening a bank account – it will also help if you can tell staff which bank you are hoping to open an account with.

When you go to the bank, it is also a good idea to take along any additional proof of address you might have, such as a housing contract if you have one.

Which are the best banks for international students to use?

We don't recommend specific banks to students, but you may find it's useful to ask other students which banks they use and which they recommend. Some of the main banks will visit the university during International Welcome Week and at other points during the summer. This will give you the chance to find out what they can offer you.

Additional advice and guidance

If you have problems opening an account or need more information, visit the International Student Support team in Student Gateway, who will be able 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.

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