Opening a UK Bank Account

When you arrive in Bangor you will most likely want to open a bank account if you are going to be here for more than a few months. Before coming to the UK you should speak to your bank in your home country and ask their advice about running a bank account in the UK. Find out how long it will take to transfer money from your home bank to your UK bank. You are also advised to ask whether your bank at home has a special relationship with any bank in the UK and whether this would help you set up your account here.

The following High Street Banks are situated near the University campus in the town centre: Barclays Bank, HSBC Bank, Lloyds TSB Bank, National Westminster Bank and Santander.

Some banks will only allow you to open a UK bank account once you have received an official certificate of registration from the University.  This is only available after you have registered on your course, and may take at least 2 weeks from the day that you officially register at the University. Therefore, before leaving home students should make sure that they have access to enough money and/or traveller's cheques to last for a few weeks. Students are also advised not to keep large amounts cash on their person or in their accommodation because cash is easily lost and sometimes stolen.

Documents needed to open a UK bank account

In order to open an account you may need to provide some, or all, of the below documentation.  Please check with the individual banks or ask the International Student Support Office for more details:

  • your passport /visa
  • CAS/offer letter from the Bangor University
  • 'Certificate of Student Registration' (available from the Student Admin Office, 1st Floor, Main Arts Building or by email)

If you only just arrived in Bangor, you may not be able to obtain a certificate of student registration immediately. However, some banks require fewer documents, for example:

Santander:

  • your passport/visa
  • CAS letter

Barclays/HSBC/Natwest:

  • your passport/visa
  • a 'Certificate of Student Registration'

Please note: International Students are normally only eligible to open 'Basic Accounts' that have no overdraft facility.  Only students that satisfy the three year residency criteria can open a full 'Student Account'.

For further information please read the following UKCISA guidance notes on Opening and Running a Bank Account in the UK