Setting up a UK bank account

Published 17 June 2024

Once you have arrived in the UK, opening a bank account will likely be a priority. But before you can do this, you need to be able to provide documents that prove both your identity and your address in the UK.

Proof of ID

This will be some form of photographic ID, and different banks may accept different kinds. The most common way to prove your identity is with a valid passport. Other acceptable documents typically include driving licences and national ID cards.

Proof of address in the UK

Again, each bank may vary slightly in the kind of documents they will accept as proof of address. Generally, the most common would be a recent utility bill (such as an electric or water bill). There are other ways you can prove residency, though, such as with a valid driving licence that is registered to your UK address. To ensure you can open an account, it is best to contact your chosen bank beforehand to guarantee you have the documentation they will accept.

Top banks in the UK:

We have listed the leading UK banks which you can click on to find out more information.

Can I open a UK bank account before I arrive?

Yes, many bank accounts in the UK will have international accounts which are designed for people who don’t (or don’t yet) reside in the UK. These are good options if you are awaiting proof of address or want to get ahead by setting your account up before your arrival. Some banks will let you apply online – please refer to the options above and ask them specifically about their international options.

Alternatives to a UK bank account

There are alternatives to a traditional UK bank account, each of these will have varying requirements, but they can prove useful, particularly in the short-term when you have just arrived and are still finalising accommodation and paperwork.

Transferwise is just one example of a smart online account that allows you to bank your money in multiple different currencies. Find out more here.

Looking for guidance?

Take the first step on your journey to the UK by registering with Espirita. Our friendly and dedicated team will be in touch shortly after to explore your requirements in more detail and find you the best opportunities available.

If you’d like to explore a handful of the positions we have available you can view them here.

Register here

Alternatively, send us an email with any questions you have.

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Take a look at our international opportunities and take that first step in what’s sure to be an exciting new journey with us.

Once you have arrived in the UK, opening a bank account will likely be a priority. But before you can do this, you need…

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