Skip to main content

Bank accounts

Bank accounts

You will find a range of banks on the local high street, and our 'Banking and finances in the UK' presentation should help guide you through the process. 

When to open bank account

You cannot open most banks account until you are physically 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 as UK law requires banks to make detailed checks on your identity. Do check with your local bank at home to see if you are able to open an bank account for the UK. 

Documents required

  • an application form from your preferred bank (paper or online)
  • your passport
  • evidence of your immigration status e.g. a valid visa or settled/pre-settled status
  • confirmation that you are a full-time registered student at the University 
  • proof of your address in the UK 

You can request a bank letter from SRS in iExeter, or asking SID or PIP which should cover the last two points.

'Online only' Banking

Alternatively you may wish to open an account with an online only bank such as Starling Digital Banking and Monzo, both recommended options. 

Cash cards

The University of Exeter is a cashless campus therefore you will need to ensure you have the facility to purchase items on and off campus until you are able to open a bank account. We recommend obtaining a pre-paid travel card prior to your travel, the Caxton Currency card is a favoured option and available to set-up online for you to use until your UK bank account is functioning.