International Students and Banking

Opening a UK bank account

When you arrive in the UK, one of the first things you will need to do is open a bank account. As you cannot open a bank account until you have arrived and enrolled at the University, you should make sure that you bring enough British currency (200 GBP) and traveller's cheques (between 400 GBP and 600 GBP) to last for the first two to three weeks. It is also useful to bring credit and debit cards. Do not carry large amounts of cash around or keep large amounts of cash in your accommodation.

In order to open a bank account you will need a bank letter from the University following enrolment on your course.

Where can I get a bank letter? All students will need to go in person to request their letter. You must take your passport with you.

Students based at Treforest or Glyntaff can request their letter at enrolment or later at the following locations:

* Faculty of Business and Society: Student Administration Reception Desk, Hirwaun Building

* Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science: Faculty Reception, (G221), Glynneath Building

* Faculty of Life Sciences and Education: The Advice Centre is in room GT203, in the Elaine Morgan building

Students based in Cardiff can request their letter at the Advice Centre in the main reception of the Atrium Building. All students will need to go in person to request their letter. You must take along your passport or a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP).

Why do I need this letter? Bank letters are provided to confirm your student status, and your home and term-time address. Most banks will ask you to verify this information before they will consider opening a bank account for you. Please note that not all local banks will open accounts for non-UK students.

Which bank should I go to? The University does not recommend any particular bank or bank account. This is for you to look into and decide which account suits you best.

What else do I need to take to open an account? As well as your bank letter, you will need to take your passport and evidence of your visa, which will be either in the form of a sticker in your passport or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). It is also advisable to take your visa letter, which was issued to you by the University prior to arrival, if you have this. Each bank has different requirements, so you will need to discuss with them what they need to make sure you have the documents you require to apply for a bank account. You may need to make an appointment to discuss opening an account. As the application and interview process can be lengthy, please allow plenty of time.

I am based in Cardiff at the Atrium Building. How do I open an account? You will need to visit banks in Cardiff to discuss opening an account with them. If you experience difficulty in finding a bank that will accept you, then you may wish to consider opening an account with one of the above banks at their Pontypridd branch due to their familiarity with our bank letters. Please note that whether or not a bank opens an account for you is entirely their decision.

General independent information and links to a range of leaflets regarding different banks and what they offer can be found From UKCISA.