Advertisement
Boards Golf Society are looking for new members for 2022...read about the society and their planned outings here!
How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards

Setting up a student bank account in UK?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 320 ✭✭ DrFroggies


    Hi guys,

    I'll be starting my studies in UK this week and I'm wondering how to set up a student bank account...I've just put up the following on The Student Room to get info but thought it might be an idea to see if anyone here from Ireland has previous experience in this situation:

    I'm primarily interested in the overdraft facility but the problem is so far as i know i'm gonna need proof of address/utility bill etc before i can open an account but I haven't sorted out my term time address yet and when i do have an address sorted it will be a few months before any bills etc arrive with my address on them so it's a problem.

    Does anyone know if there's any particularly flexible bank that would be satisfied with a letter from my uni or something similar.


    The thing is I'm really only interested in the overdraft for my first couple of weeks/months there as it's settling in that's going to be the biggest outgoing financially and an overdraft for this period could be hugely beneficial.

    I'd really appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction - if there is any direction to go on this?

    Thanks guys!


Comments



  • Moved to NI & GB Colleges

    The good news - a copy of your lease agreement/halls agreement will usually suffice in place of the utility bill. In reality the banks are more flexible on this kind of thing with students, but official proof of address is still a requirement.

    The perhaps less than good news - if you're not a British citizen/been resident in the UK for x number of years you may not qualify for a lot of the student accounts advertised that have great benefits/interest free overdrafts. Check the small print for citizenship/residency requirements (Natwest and The Cooperative require 3 yrs residency for example). If you're on a large campus where banks are competing for your business they may be slightly more lenient about these requirements.

    Good luck on starting your course!




  • For gods sake stay away from HSBC- I have had no end of trouble with them. I would reccomend Halifax- Opening a bank account is quite easy




  • Thanks guys! I'm told Santander is also a good option which i don't think requires the 3 year residency expectation.

    It's a tricky one though...I was supposed to be getting an account with Ulster Bank here but the guy in Ulster Bank told me to leave it till Mon or Tue this week to set it up but then when i went in on Mon he was booked up Mon and Tue so as I'll be heading off on Wed I've no way of getting it set up.

    Ulster Bank do have an online application but i'm assuming i'd have to apply then wait until i'm back here in a few weeks to send in any required supporting documents and then wait a further period until all of that was processed...at that stage the major benefit of the overdraft would be useless to me as it's my initial settling in period that i'm concerned about...hard to know what to do now :confused:




  • I set up an account with Santander so I'll tell you what I know. You're considered an international student when you haven't been resident in the UK for 3 years or more. So I had to set up an international student current account that came with no perks at all really. They charge me £6 a month just to keep the account open, and I don't even use it very much because my Irish grant is paid into my AIB account. There's no interest free overdraft offered to you unless you're a UK student. Tbh I wouldn't even bother to ask them because I'm fairly sure I've a poor credit rating from late overdraft payments from years ago.

    You should shop around, but I think you'll find that you'll be considered an international student so will be subject to extra charges.

    I'm only keeping mine open because it has a visa debit card and AIB doesn't have this yet.




  • I opened an account with Lloyds Bank when I was a student in the UK a few years ago. They were happy to accept a letter from the university registry saying I was a student at the university. The account was nothing fancy but I did get a visa debit card. My bank in Ireland at the time wouldn't even give me a laser card so I was happy to finally get a debit card.


  • Advertisement


  • Bank of Ireland used to be a nightmare when it came to issuing Laser Cards to students. AIB were always much more student-friendly. However, times have changed and Visa Debit cards are the norm for Bank of Ireland nowadays too.

    The best bet in the UK is to go into a university branch / one near a university and bring your registration documents and some kind of proof of address i.e. lease and/or a utility bill and your passport.

    Also make sure you shop around for the bank with the best fees. Some of the banking fees e.g. if you accidentally go overdrawn are ridiculously high compared to Ireland. It's quite easy to end up owing the bank a fortune over one mistake with your debit card i.e. spending more than you have.

    Definitely keep your Irish account open too. It can work out quite expensive sometimes to receive money into a UK account as they are not really fully part of the SEPA (Single European Payments Area) and can levy fees on incoming foreign transactions.

    Sometimes it can work out cheaper to keep your Euros in an Irish Euro account.

    If you end up going on holidays to any Eurozone country, an Irish debit card's basically free to use where as a UK£ card will incur currency fees each time.

    Also, if / when you do move back to Ireland, opening an account over here is as much hassle as the UK, even if you're an Irish citizen. Both countries' banks are a total pain in the rear when it comes to the account opening procedure (similar in both places)




  • Had no problem opening an account with RBS, had to get a letter from the university stating I was in a full time course - brought that along with my passport to the branch and they sorted me out. No monthly charges and get a visa debit card. It's just a normal current account though as someone said previously - you need to be a resident for the past 3 years in the UK to be eligible for a student account




  • Butterface wrote: »
    I set up an account with Santander so I'll tell you what I know. You're considered an international student when you haven't been resident in the UK for 3 years or more. So I had to set up an international student current account that came with no perks at all really. They charge me £6 a month just to keep the account open, and I don't even use it very much because my Irish grant is paid into my AIB account. There's no interest free overdraft offered to you unless you're a UK student. Tbh I wouldn't even bother to ask them because I'm fairly sure I've a poor credit rating from late overdraft payments from years ago.

    You should shop around, but I think you'll find that you'll be considered an international student so will be subject to extra charges.

    I'm only keeping mine open because it has a visa debit card and AIB doesn't have this yet.

    Hi

    Sorry to be bringing this up again.Im just wondering when you opened your account open with santander what proof of address did they ask you for??thanks for the help


Advertisement