Opening a bank account
If you do not already have a bank account or are considering switching accounts, you will need to open an account as soon as possible so that your Student Finance can be paid to you. It is a good idea to look at a range of different banks to see what accounts they offer and the benefits of these.
It is essential that you open a UK bank account once you have arrived in the UK and enrolled at Keele, but it may take a week or more before you will be able to use this account. Because of this, we recommend you bring with you around £300 in cash to cover your general living expenses for the first few weeks you are in the UK.
Many international students do now choose to open an online only UK bank account before departing for the UK. The advantage of this is that the account is ready to use once you reach the UK and your debit card will be delivered to you on or just after your arrival. Banks such as Starling and Monzo are increasing in popularity, but care should be taken before selecting a bank to be sure they can offer the goods and services that you need.
To open a bank account in the UK you will need:
- Passport and visa/BRP
- Your University letter of acceptance, which you can find as an attachment on your offer email (the bank is looking for evidence that the University has corresponded with you at your place of residence)
- Proof of your term-time address (a letter for this purpose is available from the Student Services Centre, Tawney Building after you have enrolled; students living off campus should take their rental contract)
- A recent bank statement or credit card statement from your home bank, translated into English and containing your residential address (the statement must be less than three months old)
It is a good idea to look at the international student accounts available from a range of different banks to see what accounts they offer, the benefits available and to compare the fees for transferring money.