Rules for opening a bank account in London have changed a lot since February 2017, especially regarding to proof of address. The procedures may vary slightly according to the bank and bank branch as well, according to our experience. But the documentation is pretty much the same. Most people who come to live in London initially open the most basic account available, especially if you do not have a large initial amount of money to transfer. Some banks have a "New to UK" account such as Lloyds Bank, so contact them to find out the type of account for you. Almost all banks, if not all, offer a debit card for debit payments and cash withdrawals for free at most ATMs. A credit card is only offered after a certain amount of time of account movement. If you are in London, ask directly for your Contactless, you can also use it on public transport. Some banks may ask for references from previous banks and may also request a cash amount to be deposited into your account.

Who can open a bank account in UK?

Tourist or people with irregular visas can not open account. If you are not a British or European citizen, you must also present your residence card, visa (more than 3 months of study in UK), residence permit, or any document the government has produced to prove that you have the right to being in the UK. People with Family Permit can also open account.

If you have this profile, please follow the steps below.

1- Do a little research and decide on which of the different banks available you want to open account. We decided to put this as the first step to opening a bank account in London because we already saw a lot of people wasting time going to the agencies without knowing the necessary documentation and procedure.










2 - Prepare the necessary documentation. Typically, the requested documents are:

- Identity document with photo - Social Security Card, Driver's License, ID (identity), European Passport or VISA.

- Proof of Address - Rental agreement or purchase of the property in your name or some account (utility bill). If you do not have this, the major banks - Lloyds and Barclays - give you the option to present a letter from the local GP (health post corresponding to your post code). To do this, simply register, and write a letter by hand requesting such a document. The cost is £ 25 and it takes up to 3 weeks for the letter to be mailed.

- Natwest for example, offers you the possibility of changing the address in the Brazil account, and take an extract so that your name appears in this document with the UK address.

- Halifax, opens the possibility of presenting a work contract in your name with your address.


3 - Make an appointment or go to the bank to present the documentation.

Account opening is usually done in person, but nowadays some banks allow it to be done by phone, mail or even online. Through the initial survey, you will know the procedure to follow.

In this step, you will be asked to schedule the agency (usually we recommend that it be done somewhere closer to your home, so it will be easier when you need a request). Check the correct address, hours of service and if you have all the necessary documentation. All we do not want to do is waste time.

How long does it take to open a bank account?

The time taken to process this application should take 2 days, but usually the card will arrive in your home within 7 or 10 business days.


4 - Wait for your card, activate it and your account will be open.

Pay attention to the arrival of your bank card by mail. In addition, the card password arrives in a separate correspondence, never together with the card, for security reasons. Sign your card and activate, usually at one of the ATMs scattered throughout the city. You still have the option to change the password on the card.

In addition, usually for activation of the card in the online services, you will receive a new correspondence - password aside.

**** We recommend that you immediately download the app from your bank to make transactions, this will make your life much easier.


This text was written by Roberta Weber Calabró, founder of Steps to Fly and founder and partner of the company MeuQuartoemLondres.


Photo Gallery
Meu quarto em Londres
Related Tips and News Access All
  • 02.09.2020
  • 10.05.2020
  • 13.01.2020
    5 Art Exhibitions You Can't Miss in London this WINTER
  • 07.12.2019
    Where to see the Christmas lights in London?

Sign up for our newsletter