How to Open a UK Bank Account

Written by ID Medical

10/07/2020

In this blog post, we answer everything you need to know about how to open a UK bank account as an international doctor or nurse.

Relocating to the UK and starting a new career within the NHS will require you to open a UK bank account. The process is relatively straight forwards and the bonus is, you have plenty of options to choose from!

What documents do I need to open a UK bank account?

Each bank and building society will have different documentation requirements; however, typically it will follow:

  • A form of identification (passport or driving licence)
  • One form of proof of address (e.g. tenancy agreement or a utility bill)
  • Proof of income
  • Confirmation of employment
  • Visa Status (Tier 2 Visa)

It’s important to note that to rent a house in the UK, you must have an active UK bank account. So, you may find yourself in a catch-22 situation as you will also need a proof of a UK residence to open up a UK bank account.

That being said, if you have confirmation of your employment, then you may be eligible to use the hospital’s address and if not, printed evidence of your name associated with your Air B n B accommodation will suffice (e.g. ordering a UK SIM card!)

How to open a UK bank account from overseas

Some UK banks have international branches where you may be able to open up a UK bank account. However, we always advise for you to wait until you have arrived in the UK to allow you to shop around for the best rates and offers.

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Which UK bank account should I go with?

The UK banking sector is the largest in Europe and the 4th largest in the world. There are over 300 banks and 45 building societies. Throughout the UK, there are approximately 9,000 bank branches and 70,000 ATMs available – so, you’ll have plenty of options available to you when it comes to choosing who to open a UK bank account with!

That being said, the big five banks are HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds, NatWest/The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Each bank will offer slightly different interest rates, fees, benefits and incentives and so, make sure you do your research before you select a bank. Websites such as Money Saving Expert are great at helping you compare current market offers.

How do I manage my bank account?

UK banks offer their services in the following way:

  • Face-to-face banking
  • Telephone banking
  • Online banking and
  • Mobile banking

Meaning, you have access to your account at any possible time.

 

Can I transfer my money from the UK to my family overseas?

Yes, all banks within the UK allow you to send money abroad. However, you will need to check the transfer fees before you do so. However, if you’ll be regularly transferring money overseas, you may also incur large fees and miss out on a better exchange rate for your transfers. You could therefore consider opening up an account with a Foreign Exchange Company such as Money Corp to enjoy a competitive rate with lower fees.

That completes our Overview of How to Open a UK Bank Account!

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