If you want to live and work in Bristol, you will need to open a British bank account as this will make your life a million times easier.

A few years ago, it was easy to open a bank account in UK but today there is a little bit more bureaucracy involved and a few more documents are needed. Having said that, it is still a quick and easy process, so no need to worry!

The first thing you need to do is walk into the bank of your choice and say:
“I am a new customer and I would like to make an appointment to open a bank account”.

The most popular banks in UK are:

  • Barclays
  • Lloyds
  • HSBC
  • NatWest
  • Santander

The documents you will need to show at your appointment are:

  • Passport
  • Proof of address
  • National Insurance Number
  • Sometimes your work contract or a letter from your manager at work stating that you are employed.

Questions you may be asked during your appointment include:

  • How long do you plan to stay in UK?
  • Why do you need a UK bank account? (More than likely, your answer will be “to receive my salary, pay my rent and bills” etc)
  • Approximately how much money do you see coming in and leaving your account every month? (Of course, this will be easier to answer if you already know how much rent you pay and your monthly salary)

Most banks will offer you a Basic bank account and will give you a VISA debit card which is what you need to carry out every day bank transactions. There are usually no fees or charges to pay when you use this account and you will also be able to manage your account online from your smartphone.