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What do I need to open a bank account in the UK

What do I need to open a bank account in the UK?

If you’re planning to move to the UK or are new in the country, one of the things you need to sort out first is opening a bank account. It is essential to have a bank account, as it helps you efficiently manage your finances and expenses. Hence you may wonder “what do I need to open a bank account in the UK?”

Thankfully, opening a bank account in the UK has become much easier over the years. They are now more flexible to people new to the country, so different providers offer competitive services and promotions to get new customers on board.

Here’s some information to help you understand how and what do I need to open a bank account.

Why open a local bank account in the UK?

Why open a local bank account in the UK

Though you can use your foreign bank account when you first move into the UK, it’s not advisable to do it for a long time. You would lose money from the hefty fees and low exchange rates banks charge.

Banks usually have hidden fees on international transfers and payments, so you would end up paying more than you expected. To give you a better understanding, two factors affect the total payout amount from international bank transfers:

  1. Service fee – the upfront fee banks charge for the service they provide when sending your money overseas
  2. Exchange rate markup – the additional cost they add to the exchange rate when they convert the money

The best way to avoid paying for these charges is by opening a local bank account.

What do I need to open a bank account?

What do I need to open a bank account

It’s relatively easy to open a bank account in the UK. You will only need two documents.

1. Proof of identification - any document that will prove your identity, such as:

  • Passport
  • Residence permit
  • National identity card
  • Driving license

2. Proof of address - any document that proves where you live in the UK, including the following:

  • Tenancy agreement
  • Letter or payslip from the employer that state your UK address
  • Utility bills
  • Council tax

For a complete list of acceptable proof of address documents, click here

It’s also important to keep in mind that you must present original documents, as banks do not accept photocopies.

How can I open a bank account without proof of address?

How can I open a bank account without proof of address

Some banks may be more lenient to those who are new to the country and wish to open a bank account. The acceptable documents may also differ from one bank to another, so it’s best to check different ones to find out which bank is the most suitable for you.

For instance, some bank accounts may accept a letter from the university or employer as proof of address. However, some banks may not.

To check what their acceptable documents are, get in touch with the banks directly. You can ask what do I need to open a bank account, and they can guide you through the process.

Why do banks require proof of identity and address?

Why do banks require proof of identity and address

The law requires all banks and financial services to request proof of identification and address from anyone who wants to open an account with them.

This procedure allows banks to prevent money laundering when criminals disguise their identity and the money they obtained illegally.

To avoid money laundering and other financial crimes, financial institutions must verify all their new customers’ identities and addresses.

How do I open a UK bank account?

How do I open a bank account

Once you have your documents ready, you can already open a UK bank account. Again, the application process may vary from bank to bank, so it’s best to do thorough research on your chosen financial institution.

Some banks accept an online application, while others don’t.

Online application:

  • When applying for an account online, you will need to provide some personal information on the bank’s online registration.
  • Then, you may be asked to send your proof of ID and proof of address by post. The bank will then verify your identity. 
  • Once verified, the bank will open your account and send your card by post.

In-branch application:

  • The easiest way to open a bank account is by visiting a local branch.
  • Fill out the form with your personal information, and provide original copies of your proof of ID and address.
  • The bank teller will guide you through the process and inform you of the next steps moving forward.

Sending money overseas after opening a bank account

Sending money overseas after opening a bank account

After you’ve opened your bank account, you can start sending money to your loved ones in your home country. However, sending money by international bank transfer is quite costly due to the expensive fees and low exchange rates bank charge.

The best alternative to international bank transfer is using a money transfer service like Kabayan Remit.

Kabayan Remit offers money transfer services from the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands and Gibraltar to the Philippines.

Sending money to the Philippines with Kabayan Remit is fast, easy and convenient as you can do everything online on the website or mobile app (iOS or Android). 

If you need help setting up your account, get in touch with our 24/7 customer service team who will be happy to assist you. You can also check out some of these FAQs, which can provide you with most of the information you might be looking to find. 

All you need to do is sign up and get verified within minutes. Once your profile is verified, you can send money on-the-go at your convenience.


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