Student Bank Account in UK

Studying in a new country can certainly be a challenging and costly endeavour. With a bank account in that country, however, you can have assistance in managing expenses. An International student bank account in the UK not only provides a secure place to keep funds but also allows for convenient payments, cash withdrawals, overdraft facilities, and the use of debit or credit cards. When it comes to international students and their related money matters, thus, having a bank account in the United Kingdom is crucial.

In this article, we will understand how to choose the best bank account for international students in the UK, how to set up your bank account, the steps involved in the same, the necessary documentation, and much more.

Overview of Student Bank Accounts UK 2023

If you are going to stay in the UK for more than a few months as a student, it is wise to select the best student bank account in the UK for international students. Having a UK bank account is convenient for paying rent, tuition, and other daily expenses.

Opening a basic bank account allows you to deposit and withdraw money along with a range of other features. However, in this case, you may not have access to overdrafts, chequebooks, or credit cards.

Another option here is to open an international student bank account in the UK. These accounts offer more features, albeit with a monthly fee or minimum balance requirement in most cases. With these accounts, you can avail of free international money transfers or accept overseas check deposits. Still, obtaining credit through these accounts is unlikely.

How Do International Bank Accounts Work?

International banking is often associated with major corporations and wealthy individuals. However, offshore banks are willing to open accounts for people with varying income levels. International banks offer financial accounts to non-citizens of the country where the account is held.

Offshore banks for international students in the UK provide banking and investment services to individuals, while others focus on business accounts. These banks are required to comply with local regulations with respect to policies, procedures, and operations.

What is the Minimum Balance for an International Bank Account in the UK?

Both individual and business accounts may have minimum balance requirements. These deposits must be made before earning interest, and the funds must be maintained to continue earning interest.

Some banks may allow you to open an account with an amount less than the minimum deposit, but interest will not be accrued until the account reaches the minimum balance. Pay attention to how interest is calculated and whether it increases as your balance grows.

Why Should International Students Have a Bank Account in the UK?

Keeping your money in a bank account ensures its safety, protecting it from theft or loss. Additionally, when renewing or applying for a visa, you must demonstrate sufficient funds to support your stay in the UK. Having a UK bank account streamlines this process and helps you fulfil the requirements for studying in the country.

Another related point to note here is that salary payments are typically deposited directly into an employee's bank account on the same day they are earned. Transferring your salary to an offshore account may result in bank fees, which can be avoided with a local account.

Open bank Account

Best Banks for International Students in the UK

Check out the table below for the top options with respect to banks for international students in the UK-

Bank Features
HSBC Current Account for International Students
  • You can seamlessly use the bank’s official app or online banking platform to access your account
  • Use Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or a contactless Visa debit card for easy payments (limits may apply)
  • With this bank account, no access is available with respect to HSBC credit cards, loans, or mortgages
  • Option to check balance, make payments, freeze cards, and connect with bank support through chat with just a few taps
NOMO Bank Current Account
  • Choose a digital bank that matches your international lifestyle.
  • Open current accounts in 6 different currencies and exchange money instantly.
  • Enjoy fee-free spending with your Nomo debit card, whether you're at home or abroad.

How to Select the Best Bank for International Students in the UK?

Consider the following factors when choosing the best bank account for international students in the UK -

  1. Transfer Costs: Compare commission rates and exchange expenses for international transfers. If you plan to use your UK debit card abroad, check the associated costs for this card as well.
  2. Overdraft: If you expect that you will require an overdraft in the future, make sure to check banks that offer this feature specifically for international students as it can assist you in budgeting.
  3. Location: Another important factor here is that you should ensure that the bank has a branch near your home or university in case you need to address any account-related issues in person. If this is not the case, make sure that the bank that you select has properly functioning online banking facilities.

It’s worth noting that the whole process of opening a bank account can take a week or more. For this reason, it's advisable to start the process early. Choose the best UK bank account for international students before arriving in the country or apply online before departure. Having a bank account is crucial, especially for those studying abroad.

Related Links - 

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ADCB Nomo Bank Account - Open UK Bank Account

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can I open a bank account in the UK as an international student?

Ans: Yes, international students can open a bank account in the UK. Before starting the application process, make sure to research and choose a bank that caters specifically to the needs of international students.

Q2. How much bank balance is required for a UK student visa?

Ans: The specific bank balance requirement for a UK student visa may vary. It is essential to refer to the official guidelines provided by the government or consult with your educational institution for the accurate amount.

Q3. How many bank accounts can international students have in the UK?

Ans: There is no legal limit on the number of bank accounts international students can have in the UK. However, it is important to manage multiple accounts responsibly and consider any associated fees.

Q4. Can international students get a credit card in the UK?

Ans: International students may be eligible for credit cards in the UK, but the approval process and credit limits may vary depending on factors such as income and credit history.

Q5. How long does it take to open a UK bank account?

Ans: The timeframe for opening a UK bank account can vary depending on the bank and the individual circumstances. It is recommended to start the process well in advance of your arrival in the UK to ensure a smooth transition.

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