How To?

Apply for a bank account

Applying for a bank account is usually straightforward, as long as you have all of the identification the bank requires.

There are a number of banks and buildings societies available to choose from, all offering similar accounts. When deciding what bank or building society to use, it is useful to think about what you need from an account e.g. interest rates and what banks are based near where you live.

You do not need to make an appointment to open an account, just go into a local branch and ask a member of the customer service team who will guide you through the type of accounts you can open and the process. Alternatively, you can also apply online.

To open an account, the type of documentation you will need is:

  • Birth certificate
  • Signed and valid passport
  • UK Driving Licence
  • Valid Student Identification
  • Benefits letter from the JCP (Jobcentre Plus) or DWP (Department for Work and Pensions)
  • Proof of address and anything else you know you would usually use as formal identification.
  • Proof of National Insurance Number from HMRC.

You cannot use the same identification to confirm both your name and address. Examples of valid proof of address are: 

  • Council tax bill
  • Utility bill
  • Drivers licence
  • Bank statement


Lack of ID

If you are a student you will need; your acceptance or enrolment letter, Student loan award letter or your UCAS letter. 

To apply online, you will need a current debit or credit card and either a UK driving licence, or passport or EU identity card.

Here are some links to some of the most popular banks;

NatWest: http://www.natwest.com/personal/current-accounts/g1/compare-our-range.ashx

Nationwide: http://www.nationwide.co.uk/current_account/flexaccount/apply-online.htm

HSBC: http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/current-accounts/bank-account/open-bank-account

Lloyds TSB: http://www.lloydstsb.com/current-accounts.asp

Halifax: http://www.halifax.co.uk/bankaccounts/

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