If you are an International or EU student here are some tips from our Student Intern Virginia to help you with opening a bank account in the UK …
As an EU student, I remember coming to Cardiff by myself and with loads of cash on me because I did not have a UK-based bank account yet and needed some help. I read the steps and information on Cardiff University’s website and was aware of the steps so thought it would be useful to share my experience and tips with you.
If you haven’t organised this yet, here are some tips you may find helpful …
What do I need to do?
There are 4 stages to opening a bank account:
- Complete online enrolment. To do so you need to log in on SIMS and follow their instructions: http://sims.cardiff.ac.uk
- Collect your student ID card and bank letter from the Students’ Union. You will have to take your passport and visa (if you need one) with you to the 4th floor of the Students’ Union where our enrolment team will be able to help you. Staff will scan your passport, issue your student card and bank letter. They will also check that your details are correct on the University’s record system.
Dates: Monday 14 September – Friday 25 September
Time: 9:30 – 16:30
Venue: Students’ Union, 4th Floor
- Choose the best bank for you – staff will give you information about each bank to help you in this. However, I would advise you to have a rough idea of which bank you’re going to go for.
- Go to the bank and complete the application process to open your account.
What is the process of opening the bank account at the bank?
You will need to book an appointment with a member of staff at the bank to fill in the application forms. It will take at least an hour to complete the forms, or perhaps longer if there are a lot of other students in the bank doing the same thing. Be prepared to wait!
If you are likely to need to apply for a visa extension, please do not choose a paperless bank account, because you will need to have paper copies of bank statements to send with your visa application. Don’t throw your bank statements away! It takes a week to get a duplicate bank statement – so make sure you keep them.
What do I need to open a bank account?
Different banks require different documents from you.
- Santander: Cardiff University student ID card and your passport. You do not need any letter to open a Santander bank account.
- HSBC: Your passport and HSBC bank letter. You will not be eligible for a HSBC bank account if you are an international student and have a visa for less than 12 months. HSBC will not accept a PO box number for your home address.
- Barclays: Your passport and Barclays bank letter. Barclays will not accept a PO box number for your home address.
- Lloyds: Your passport and Lloyds bank letter. If you needed a visa to enter the UK, you will only be eligible for a Lloyds account if you have a Tier 4 Student Visa. If you have a Student Visitor Visa you will not be eligible for a Lloyds bank account. Lloyds bank will not accept a PO Box number for your home address.
- Natwest: Your passport and NatWest bank letter, (addressed to you). You will not be eligible for a NatWest bank account if your course is less than 6 months in duration. NatWest bank will not accept a PO Box number for your home address.
Do not panic about getting a bank account and always remember you have the support of the Advice & Money team, you can call them for any query at +44 (0)29 20 4844 or drop by at the Student Support Centre 50 Park Place.
Virginia , Student Intern
on behalf of the Advice & Money Team
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.
The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.