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Banking in the UK

Opening a Bank Account in the UK

Sounds easy right? Not as easy as you think.

Make sure you have all your ducks in a row so it doesn’t become an issue when you want to start to get paid!

You will need a UK bank account to do things like paying your rent, utility bills and for employers to pay you. If you continue to use your overseas bank account there will be high fees and currency exchange costs.

You can choose to open a UK Bank Account when you arrive in England or an Online/ Mobile Bank account.

How to open an account

Once you arrive in the UK you can start the process of applying for a bank account. You will most likely need a UK address unless you already have an account with an international bank based in the UK like HSBC.

You will need to fill out an application and may need to undergo a credit check.

This is what most banks are likely to ask for when you apply:

  • Your passport and visa/ BRP card
  • A recent bank statement
  • A bill or something with your UK address on it
  • Some banks will want to see proof of employment in the UK

The process of opening account can take a couple of days.

Online Accounts

There are online banks like Starling and Monzo in the UK that allow you to open an account with less features than some physical banks but with less hassle.

You will still need a UK address but generally you can apply and upload scanned documents from your smartphone and will be asked for email address, phone number and valid ID to get started.


  • If you are with an international bank with a UK presence, like HSBC you can apply for a UK account before you arrive in eth UK. This will usually come with a cost and take several weeks.
  • When you arrive in the UK you can visit a bank in person or apply for an online bank account. You will most likely need proof of UK address and on some occasions proof of employment. WE can provide you with that letter.
  • Online bank accounts are usually easier to open but have less features.

If you have any questions about transitioning to the UK or working with us to make your UK teaching adventure a reality, get in touch.