Opening a Bank Account

When you arrive in Chester you can open a UK bank account. The International Welfare Officer will provide you with information about the different banks in Chester and will advise you on what documents you will need to successfully open a bank account

Opening a Bank Account

You should be able to open a ‘basic bank account' - which provides easy access to banking facilities for adults in the UK with a number of different banks. Additionally, some banks offer a bank account tailored specifically for your needs as an international student.

Most banks do not ask you to pay in any money to open a basic account. You should look around to see which bank and account suits you best and then visit the local branch of the bank you have chosen.

In order to open a bank account you will need to take necessary documents with you to prove who you are. You will need to check with your chosen bank what they require, but usually you need to provide the following as a minimum:

your passport with student visa if that is appropriate


your national photo ID card, if you are from an EU country


the letter from the university confirming your UK study details


a ‘Letter of Introduction for UK Banking Facilities' which the university/ will complete to show your UK study details.

A basic bank account offers basic banking services. You can use it to pay money in and take money out. If you require other services you will need to check with your chosen Bank about what other accounts are available to you. Some accounts may require you to keep a minimum balance; this allows the bank to offer you a wider range of products and services. Please check which banks offer student accounts to International students.


With a basic bank account:

  • You can have money paid directly into your account.
  • You can withdraw money from a cash machine (ATM)
  • You can withdraw money at a Post Office.
  • You can pay bills by standing order (SO) or direct debit (DD)
  • You cannot get credit or apply for an overdraft.


With other accounts:

  • You can have money paid directly into your account.
  • You can withdraw money from a cash machine (ATM)
  • You can pay bills by standing order (SO) or direct debit (DD)
  • You can make purchases on-line or in shops.
  • You may get additional features and benefits that are relevant and beneficial to you (fees might apply).


Change your address

Once you have opened a bank account in the UK, always inform your bank as soon as possible, in writing, if you change your address.


Transferring Money from Abroad

A family member or employer will be able to transfer money into your bank account. You must make sure that you provide the correct account information to whoever is paying into your account: For cross-border payments your International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and your Bank Identifier Code (BIC) will be required.

You can also transfer money from home after opening the account. If your parents live in a country which is subject to sanctions and export controls, your bank might refuse the payment.

There could also be a charge and delay if the payment is not in GBP (pounds) sterling. There may be a charge for accepting payments into your account from another country. The foreign bank, or their agents, may also charge for sending the payment.


Bank Accounts based on Sharia principles

If you want an account based on Sharia principles, check the banks' websites and publicity materials. Some mainstream banks offer accounts and services that
meet these principles and there are also a few specialist banks that operate in accordance with them.


Santander University Student Account

The University of Chester is a member of Santander Universities Global Division and they offer a whole range of exclusive products and services to the University community, such as the Santander University student account.


To find out more please visit your very own personal Santander branch on campus at:

  • Unit 3 Parkgate Road, University of Chester, Chester, CH1 4BJ
  • Telephone: 05511483773