Bank Accounts in UK for International Students

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Coming to the United Kingdom for education may be an exciting experience. It is an opportunity to meet lifetime friends, create great experiences, and experience a new culture while studying at some of the world's best universities.

However, it entails a significant amount of paperwork that goes beyond simply obtaining a seat at a university in the United Kingdom. This involves opening an overseas student bank account.

But don't worry, we've got everything you need to know about creating an international student bank account in the UK, including the paperwork you'll need and the types of accounts available.

Why do you Need a UK Bank Account?

Safety and security: It is preferable to deposit money in a bank account to avoid having your cash stolen or misplaced.

For visa purposes: If you need to renew your current visa or apply for a new one, you must provide financial proof that you have enough money to reside in the UK. You can accomplish this more quickly and easily if you have a UK bank account.

For a part-time job: Many companies deposit salary immediately into a bank account. Paying your salary into an offshore account may incur bank fees.

How do International Bank Accounts Work in UK?

International banking is frequently regarded as a financial instrument reserved primarily for large firms and rich individuals. The truth is that there are offshore financial organisations eager to open accounts for persons with a broader range of incomes. This is equally true for small-business entrepreneurs.

Here's how International Bank Accounts in the United Kingdom work: An international bank is a financial organisation that offers various sorts of financial accounts to customers who are not citizens of the country where the accounts are located. These institutions, sometimes known as offshore banks, may primarily provide banking and investing services to individuals. Other banks of this sort may focus on providing commercial or business accounts to eligible businesses.

An international bank's policies, methods, and general operations must stay fully compliant with the laws of the country in which the bank is established. In addition to such compliance, individual institutions are permitted to establish regulations that are particular to their banks.

How to Go About Opening a UK Account?

The prerequisites for opening a bank account as an overseas student will differ from one provider to the next. This includes whether or not you may apply from abroad before coming to the UK to study.

However, you will almost always be required to provide originals of some combination of the following:

  • Your passport or another travel document, as well as your National Identity Card.
  • Your student visa or a biometric resident permit (that does not expire in less than three months).
  • Your university's letter confirming your enrolment on a qualifying programme.
  • Bank statements that include your entire name, current address, and most recent transactions.
  • Utility or local government tax invoices that include your entire name and current address.

Meanwhile, if you wish to register a specific student account, you must have:

  • your four-digit UCAS code or, in the absence of that, confirmation of your student status given in branch.
  • Proof of a UK residential address, either from your institution if you are residing in university housing or from your lease agreement if you are staying in rented accommodation.
  • A photo ID, such as a passport, is required.
  • A mobile phone number in the United Kingdom.

Once you have your documentation, you may either apply online or, if you need assistance, visit a branch to go over your application face to face.

Your application may take up to two weeks to be processed, however, this may vary from bank to bank.

List of Top Bank Account for International Students in UK

Some banks may allow you to create a bank account online, while others may need you to visit a location. Students should contact their respective suppliers to see whether they have any connections to banks in the United Kingdom. Here are the best banks in the UK for international students.

  • HSBC Basic Account 2021
  • Barclays Student Additions Account (International) 2021
  • Natwest International Student Account
  • Santander Basic Current Account
  • TSB Cash Account
  • Lloyds Classic Account
  • Al Rayan Current Account

HSBC Basic Account 2021

An HSBC Basic Account, while not created exclusively for overseas students, may be opened by anybody with an EU address. This implies that if you are from Europe, you can even set it up while at home! It makes it simple for overseas students in the UK to obtain a bank account. Holders can send money to other HSBC accounts for free, as well as to non-HSBC accounts in euros. This bank account does not allow for overdrafts, so stay within your financial constraints! To be eligible for an HSBC Basic Account, you must be over the age of 16 in the EU and have no other accounts in the UK. This is one of the best foreign student bank accounts in the UK.

Barclays Student Additions Account

The finest international student bank account in the UK for sending and receiving money from overseas is the Barclays Student Additions Account (International). It may also provide some of the greatest UK bank current account options. To be eligible for this bank account, you must be above the age of 18 and enrolled in a two-year undergraduate or one-year postgraduate programme in the United Kingdom. Our account's sending and receiving costs are among the lowest on this list. The only disadvantage is that sending/receiving money outside of Europe or exceeding the £100 limit incurs a £6 transaction fee. To be fair, this is still a very low figure!

Natwest International Student Account

The Natwest International Student Account is one of the few bank accounts in the United Kingdom that can only be accessed online. It is the UK's second-best foreign student bank account. As the name implies, this account is primarily available to foreign students studying in the United Kingdom. With this bank account, you may send money overseas for free. Furthermore, you have the option of selecting one of three options. These are either a year of Amazon Prime student membership, a four-year national express card with a third-off discount on all bus travel, or a four-year free tastecard with a half-off discount on meals in restaurants across the UK. All of them are fantastic opportunities to help you get through your university years! To be eligible for this bank account, you must be at least 17 years old and have resided in the UK for fewer than three years. One of the best UK bank accounts for overseas students is the Natwest International Student Account.

Santander Basic Current Account

This is another excellent foreign student bank account in the United Kingdom. It is available to UK and EU citizens, therefore if you're already in the EU, you might open this one before you arrive. It is free to send and receive money in Euros from overseas. However, sending and receiving any other sort of currency costs £25 for each transaction. To be eligible for a Santander Basic Current Account, you must be at least 16 years old and live in the United Kingdom. This is one of the finest bank accounts in the UK for overseas students.

TSB Cash Account

If you're looking for a "bank account for overseas students in the UK," the TSB Cash Account features a feature that allows you to save money! It rounds up purchases to the closest pound and saves the difference. If you want to save money, this might be quite beneficial! Furthermore, sending and receiving money in Euros is entirely free! To open a TSB Cash Account, you must be over the age of 18 and have no existing UK bank accounts. Please keep in mind that if you receive funds in a currency other than USD, you will be charged a fee. This is £2 if you receive less than £100 and £7 if you receive more than £100. This is undoubtedly one of the top UK bank accounts for international students.

Lloyds Classic Account

Look no farther than the Lloyds Classic Account for an overdraft bank account for students in the UK. The overdraft facility is free to set up, but there is a daily cost if you use it. Sending and receiving money in Euros is free, as it is with many other popular UK bank accounts for foreign students. To be eligible for this bank account, you must be above the age of 18, have a UK address, and have the right to reside in the UK for at least one year.

Al Rayan Current Account

For individuals seeking a Sharia-compliant current account, the Al Rayan Current Account is the finest UK bank current account for overseas students in the UK. This account necessitates a financial investment. You must either commit to depositing your income into this account (which you presumably don't have as a student) or make an initial investment of £500. To use Al Rayan's international money transfer services, you must transfer at least £100. The best thing about this bank account is that getting money from overseas in euros is free, as does receive money from outside in any other currency. You must be 16 or older to open an Al Rayan Current Account.

Eligibility Criteria to Open Bank Accounts in UK for International Students

Even if you are not a UK citizen or resident, you can open a UK bank account. There are no rules or limitations preventing you from opening a bank account in the United Kingdom. You will need the following documentation to create an overseas student bank account:

  • A valid passport.
  • A current visa.
  • Students must be at least 18 years old.
  • A bank statement from your primary institution (past three months)
  • Address proof in the UK or overseas.
  • A student ID or a letter of acceptance from your university is required.

Students should be aware that 'international accounts' offered by UK banks differ from 'international student accounts' and frequently have additional requirements.

What is the Minimum Balance in a UK Bank Account?

Individual and corporate accounts frequently need a minimum deposit. These deposits are necessary before you can start collecting interest on your accounts. It is expected that you will keep such sums in order to continue earning interest.

Keep in mind that certain accounts can be started with deposits that are less than the required minimum balance. You will not receive interest on your deposits until the account balance meets or surpasses the minimum balance.

Pay special attention to how the interest is calculated and whether there are any interest hikes if you reach a greater amount. This is especially useful if you want to use the accounts to save money for retirement.

These were some of the best bank accounts in the UK for international students. Are you interested in studying in the United Kingdom and the application process? Contact our specialists at AECC Global for assistance with the essential processes and recommendations.


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