You cannot open a bank account until you are in the UK and have registered on a programme of full-time study.

Bank accounts

You cannot open a bank account until you are in the UK and have registered on a programme of full-time study. It can take up to 2 weeks to open a bank account. UK law requires banks to make detailed checks on customers to establish proof of identity (signed passport), proof of address in home country and proof of new address in the UK. You should therefore make sure that you bring enough money to cover your expenses for the first few weeks in the UK. You might consider bringing travellers cheques, cash card or credit card with you. Please do not carry large amounts of cash with you or keep large amounts of cash in your room.

Once you arrive at the Exeter or Cornwall campuses you will be able to collect further details of the current account options at the banks on campus. You will need:

  • an application form from your preferred bank
  • your passport
  • confirmation that you are a full-time registered student at the University
  • proof of your address in the UK.

This may be confirmed by getting a bank letter from Student Information Desk if you are in University accommodation or by a formal tenancy agreement if you are in private accommodation.

If your visa states that you are required to register with the police within seven days of arrival, we strongly recommend that you try to open a bank account as soon as you have registered with the University. This is because the police will keep your passport for at least two weeks and you cannot open a bank account without it.

Further information