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Things To Know About Opening A Bank Account In The UK

Having a bank account is essential to manage your daily spending. You’ll also use your bank account to set up things like your home internet and others.

So, what should you know about opening a bank account in the UK? What are your options? How should you choose the bank?

Let’s dig into these questions.

Banking In The UK

The UK has a robust financial service sector consisting of private banks, international banks, and publicly owned financial institutions.

The state-owned Bank of England serves as the central bank, while the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulates the entire banking sector.

If you’re a foreign national, you can open a UK bank account with ease. Banks often put more emphasis on the residence than citizenship. So, you can open a UK bank account as long as you live in the UK, even if you’re a foreign national.

Types Of UK Bank Accounts

Selecting the best for your needs comes down to knowing each account offers. The main types include:

Current Account

Current accounts are the standard and most common form of a bank account in many of the biggest UK banks. You can use it for everyday needs like bills payment, shopping, and receiving payments.

Current accounts are often free or low-cost. Different banks usually offer special versions of these accounts for students and younger people.

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Basic Account

UK banks offer basic accounts to people with poor credit or who cannot open a current account. This account offers basic products and services like electron debit cards and direct debit payments. However, they don’t offer credit cards, loans, or overdrafts.

Savings Account

Savings accounts offer a range of savings and investment options. They have higher interest rates, but you must deposit a minimum amount. The money also needs to stay in the account for a minimum amount of time.

International Account

International accounts can be non-resident accounts or ones that you can open and use from overseas.

Other types of UK bank accounts include:

  • Digital or mobile account
  • Joint accounts
  • Offshore accounts

How To Choose Banks And Accounts?

To compare banks in the UK and know which one can serve you better, as well as select the best bank account type, you need to consider the following factors:

Costs

Many UK accounts are free, but you may incur additional fees for certain services and products.

Products And Services

Account-related services include credit cards and borrowing options. Other products may include mortgages, insurance, and investments.

International Coverage

Check for multi-currency and international options, including international money transfers. You must consider this if you want a well-linked bank and account.

Flexibility

Consider flexibility if you want 24/7 access to banking. For this consideration, digital and mobile banking are better options.

Bonuses And Incentives

many uk banks offer incentives such as cash deposits or interest-free options to attract consumers. check around for the best incentives you can get.

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What Documents Do You Need?

after deciding the type of account you want and which bank to use, you need to secure all necessary documents. mainly, you need documents that prove your identity and address.

Proof Of Id

Banks have different lists of accepted documents as proof of ID, but you’ll be wise to provide:

  • Passport
  • Photo ID
  • Driving license
  • National ID
  • Biometric residence permit

Proof Of Address

Next, you need to double-check exactly what your bank needs as proof of address. Many UK banks accept the following documents for that purpose:

  • Recent household utility bill – electric, gas, or water bills. Telephone bills are invalid.
  • Credit card, bank, or building society statement
  • Valid driving license – acceptable if you haven’t used it as proof of ID
  • Correspondence that shows your National Insurance Number

Securing these documents is a must before you visit your chosen bank’s branch and open an account.

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