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									                       International Student Office
                     Guide to opening a bank account
What do I need to know about having a bank account in the UK?

Please read the whole of this leaflet.

Can I open a bank account?

If you can show that you will be in the UK as a student for one year, you should be able to open a student
bank account. If you will be in the UK for less than one year, you might not be able to open a student
bank account, but you may be able to open an ordinary cash account at certain banks.

What do I need to open a bank account

What you require to open a bank account will depend on which ‘bank’ and which ‘bank account’ you
choose. You may find the following information helpful as general guidance about what you may need to
open a UK bank account:

        1.       Proof of your identity
                 Evidence of your identity = passport or EU national identity card

        2.       Proof of your status as a student (if you are opening a student account)
                 Evidence of your status as a student: your offer letter or a bank letter from the University

        3.       Proof of address
                 Some banks will require proof of your UK address and/or your home/overseas residential
                 address. Different banks accept different documents as proof of address. On pages 3 –
                 5 of this leaflet, we have provided further information on what the HSBC, Barclays and
                 NatWest banks located on Blenheim Terrace near to our office, accept as proof of

        4.       Minimum deposits
                 Some banks require a minimum deposit to open certain accounts. (Some bank accounts
                 also require you to maintain a minimum balance in your account.)

Where can I get the bank letter from the University?

Language Centre students:
- Language Centre

All other students:
Student Services Centre Counter, Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building, email:

   University of Leeds                    International Student Office                              22/01/09
    How do I decide which bank to choose?

    There are four banks on campus – HSBC, Barclays and NatWest (all opposite the Parkinson Building)
    and Abbey (in the Union building). There are some differences in the type of services and the opening
    requirements for different accounts. You may find the information on pages 3 to 5 useful, but you need to
    read the brochures from the banks before you make your final choice.

    How long does it take to open an account?

    Some accounts can be opened quickly (less than 48 hours) – others may take longer, particularly during
    the busiest periods, such as September. If you pay your University tuition fees in instalments you will
    need your bank account to be open before you can complete your University registration. However, if
    your bank account takes time to open, this is not a problem. Once you have paid the first instalment of
    your tuition fees you can receive a deferred registration card to use until your bank account is open and
    you can complete your University registration. A deferred registration card enables you to use the
    computer and library facilities for one month.

    Running a bank account

    Some important things to remember are:-
    • Keep your bank statements. You will need these if you have to extend your visa/leave to stay in the UK.
       Most banks charge for duplicate statements and it may take them several weeks to produce the
    • Only use a bank account for which you are a named holder.
    • You should not allow others to use your account to do their banking.
    • Keep your personal details and account details secure to prevent someone stealing your identity. For
       more information, visit
    • If you pay bills by direct debit you must have the money in your account the day before the direct
       debit is due to go out of your account. If not you will be charged penalty fees by the bank and often
       also by the organisation that is expecting to receive the direct debit payment.
    • Do not go into debt on your account unless you have a pre-agreed overdraft facility with the bank.

    Details of local banks operating student and/or cash accounts

Name of Bank                 Nearest branch (from campus)         Telephone No     Website
Barclays                     Blenheim Terrace (campus)            0845 7555555
HSBC                         Blenheim Terrace (campus)            0113 296 2000
NatWest                      Blenheim Terrace (campus)            0113 244 0316
Abbey                        Leeds University Union (campus)      05511 431343
Lloyds TSB                   Albion Street (city centre)          0845 300 0000
Halifax                      The Headrow (city centre)            0845 7394959
Nationwide                   Commercial Street (city centre)      0113 296 0100
Royal Bank of Scotland       27 Park Row, Leeds(city centre)      0113 245 1815
Yorkshire Bank               Albion Street, Leeds (city centre)   0113-2438351
Co-operative Bank            Vicar Lane (city centre)             0845 7212212

    Please find attached further information about the campus banks Barclays, HSBC and NatWest.

    Banks advertising Sharia-compliant services

    For further information, please contact the banks directly or visit their website.
    Islamic Bank of Britain:

    Where can I ask for help if I have questions or problems?

    Please visit the International Student Office if you need further information and advice on opening a UK
    bank account.

Bank Account    Facilities include                                 Conditions include….                        Information Required to Open an Account

IBANK Student   •   Combined cash and Visa debit card to use in    •   Minimum initial deposit £1000           •  Proof of ID:
Account             cash machines and pay in shops                 •   Monthly service charge of £5               Your passport, OR current valid European
                •   Direct debits/standing orders                  •   Account can be opened before student       Union National ID card including your
                •   Telephone and Internet banking                     has a permanent UK address                 photograph and your signature.
                •   Can also open savings account to earn higher   •   Account cannot be opened for students   •  Proof of student status and overseas
                    interest                                           here for less than 9 months                home address:
                                                                                                                  - A letter of admission or enrolment from a
                                                                                                                  recognised UK college or university,
                                                                                                                  confirming you are in full time, or part time
                                                                                                                  Higher Education, and sent to your home
                                                                                                                  address overseas.
                                                                                                                  ( Note that if the letter does not include
                                                                                                                  your overseas address, you will need one
                                                                                                                  of the following with your name and
                                                                                                                  overseas address on in English, Arabic or
                                                                                                                  - Original Credit Card or Bank Statement
                                                                                                                  (no older than 3 months)
                                                                                                                  - National ID Card
                                                                                                                  (Note that if you have used your ID card
                                                                                                                  as proof of ID, you will need an additional
                                                                                                                  proof of overseas address)
                                                                                                               •  Confirmation of your UK address.
Barclays        •   Cash card                                      •   The service is free                     Same as above
Cash Card       •   Direct debits                                  •   Minimum 6 month stay in UK
Account         •   Standing Orders
                •   No minimum balance required
                •   No cheque book
                •   No visa debit card
                •   Telephone banking
                •   No high interest account

Bank Account      Facilities include                                      Conditions                                   Information Required to Open an Account
HSBC              •  Maestro debit card                                   •  You must not hold any other student       •   Proof of your ID:
Passport          •  Direct debits/standing orders                           accounts elsewhere                            Passport or EU ID card
                  •  Telephone banking                                    •  You must be studying a full-time course   •   Proof of your student status:
                  •  Internet banking                                     •  Fee of £6 per month or one off fee of         Original offer letter or banking letter from
                  •  Savings account to earn higher interest                 £60                                           the University to confirm your status as a
                  •  £4 discount on international money transfers fee     •  Account is valid for 12 months and will       student
                                                                             then be reviewed for possible upgrade     •   Proof of overseas home address:
                                                                                                                           University letter confirming that the
                                                                                                                           University has written to you at your
                                                                                                                           overseas home address
                                                                                                                       •   Proof of your UK address:
                                                                                                                           HSBC will accept proof of accommodation
                                                                                                                           provided by the University or Unipol


Bank Account      Facilities include                                      Conditions                                   Information Required to Open an Account
International     •  No minimum opening balance                           •  No overdraft facilities                   •   Proof of your ID:
Student Account   •  Visa Electron Card                                   •  £5 fee per month                              Passport or EU ID card
                  •  4% credit interest on your first £500 subject to a   •  No minimum length of stay in UK           •   Proof of your student status:
                     monthly credit of at least £50 to your account                                                        Original offer letter or banking letter from
                  •  Telephone and internet banking                                                                        the University to confirm your status as a
                  •  Direct Debits and Standing Orders                                                                     student
                  •  Free budgeting and financial advice                                                               •   Proof of overseas and home address:
                  •  Cheque book available on request                                                                            Bank letter from the University to the
                  •  One free incoming international money transfer                                                              bank stating your overseas address
                     per month (further transfers subject to charge)                                                             and confirming your UK address

Bank Account      Facilities include                                     Conditions                                  Information Required to Open an Account
NatWest           •  Interest earned on cleared balance                  •  Students must show proof that they       •    Proof of your ID:
Student Account   •  Account can be opened whilst students are still in     have paid their fees and they have            Passport (or EU national ID card)
                     University temporary accommodation                     £5000 to deposit into their account.     •    Proof of student status:
                  •  Debit card (Switch)                                 •  Students must be doing a higher               Original offer letter or banking letter from
                  •  Direct debits/standing orders                          education course of 2 years or more in        the University to confirm your status as a
                                                                            the UK                                        student
                  •  Telephone banking
                                                                         •  To be accepted for a credit card,
                  •  Internet banking                                                                                •    Proof of addresses:
                                                                            students require a phone number and a
                  •  Credit card (subject to eligibility)                                                                •    Bank letter from the University to the
                                                                            good credit rating
                  •  Savings account to earn higher interest (subject to                                                      bank stating your overseas address
                     eligibility)                                                                                             and confirming your University
                                                                                                                              accommodation address
                  •  Free rail card (subject to eligibility and offer
                                                                                                                         •    Bank letter from the University to the
                                                                                                                              bank stating your overseas and your
                                                                                                                              private-sector UK home address plus a
                                                                                                                              letter/contract from your
                                                                                                                              accommodation provider as proof of
                                                                                                                              your UK address
                                                                                                                     NatWest will ‘usually’ only accept international
                                                                                                                     students living in University accommodation or
                                                                                                                     accommodation which has been let through a
                                                                                                                     recognised letting agency – for more
                                                                                                                     information, contact the bank directly.

NatWest           The same facilities as above except :-               Same conditions as above except               Same as above
Step Account      •  Combined “Solo” cash/debit card to obtain cash    •  Account can be opened for short stay
                     from cash machines and pay in some larger            students
                     shops                                             •  Students do not need to show proof of
                  •  No minimum balance required to open the              fees paid and £5000 deposit.
                  •  No cheque book
                  •  No free railcard
                  •  No “Switch” card
                  •  No credit card

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