How to Set Up a Bank Account
London’s economy is booming these days, as is the cost of living. This means that it’s important to find a job quickly once you move to London, or better yet, find one before moving here so you can hit the ground running.
If you’re coming from overseas, you may have a ‘fun’ time trying to open an account as the rules seem to change from day to day, depending on who you’re dealing with. Don’t believe all the blogs! things change every year, information is quickly outdated (10/08/2018)
The two things you’ll definitely need to open a bank account are:
- Your passport
- Proof of address (ironically many landlords won’t rent you a flat if you don’t have a UK bank account, so you enter a world of catch-22s.)
Now, it would be great if these two documents were enough to open an account, but it seems to me and several other expats I’ve talked to that they may not be enough. If not, grab any other documents the bank asks you for and go back. It may take a few tries, but it is possible to set up a bank account with some persistence.
A few banks to choose from:
Metrobank – Not used them personally, but they seem to have the best reputation.
NatWest – My current bank. Not overly impressed with them but they are everywhere and, so long as you don’t have to do anything complicated, the service is adequate.
HSBC – Generally heard good things about them, but most accounts have monthly fees. If I was rich I’d probably go with them as they have branches all over the world.
Barclays – Original sponsor of London’s Boris Bikes.
RBS – Also government-owned and affiliated with NatWest.