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Studying Abroad | Best Bank for International Students in UK

The purpose of writing his blog is to help those study abroad aspirants who are planning to study in the United Kingdom. It will provide you with info about the best bank for international students in the UK.

Table of Contents

If you are dreaming of studying abroad at a leading university, you must fulfil the requirements. One such need is to have a bank account in the country. So, this blog will help you to explore the best bank for international students in UK. Going through this write-up will explore the eligibility criteria, key features and more about top 10 banks in UK. With this, you can make an informed decision to manage your finances appropriately.

With leading universities and world-class education, the UK has been a preferred study-abroad destination for students around the world. But, getting enrolled in these institutes is not a cakewalk as it requires a lot of documentation. One such document is the financial proof, which will ensure that aspirants have sufficient funds to manage in a foreign land alone. Therefore, opening an account in the best bank for international students in UK is a necessity.

Another reason for having an account is to keep the money safe and secure without worrying about it. Besides this, having an account eases the entire process of applying for a visa. Moreover, employers deposit the salaries in these accounts to ensure no extra charges for international money transfers. Thus, having student bank accounts in the UK has several benefits. Moving ahead, explore the list of the most popular banks to have your account in.

List of Best Bank for International Students in UK

In the United Kingdom, there are several banks that tailor their services to the needs of students. Thus, here is a list of the top 10 student bank accounts for international scholars.

  1. HSBC Basic
  2. Barclays Bank
  3. Natwest Bank
  4. Santander Bank
  5. TSB Bank
  6. Lloyds Bank
  7. Al Rayan Bank
  8. The Royal Bank of Scotland
  9. Halifax Bank
  10. Metro Bank

It is a list of the top 10 student bank accounts available in the UK for international students. Let’s explore each of them in brief.

Bank Name Special Feature
HSBC Bank No monthly fees for maintaining the account.
Barclays Bank Online and mobile banking services.
Natwest Bank Overdraft facilities.
Santander Bank No monthly fees.
TSB Bank Debit card access.
Lloyds Bank Access to a wide network of ATMs.
Al Rayan Bank No interest or hidden charges.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Overdraft options.
Halifax Bank Cashback rewards.
Metro Bank Extended banking hours.

After having a brief, let’s explore them in detail to have a grasp of the same:

1. HSBC Bank:

HSBC bank has designed a special account for international students who come to the UK for their education. The bank operates from over 80 countries worldwide, so you can set up an account even before you land in a particular country. However, these student bank accounts do not allow access to any credit facilities and loans or overdrafts.

Additional Charges for HSBC Bank

  • Sending money overseas (standard): Free
  • Sending money overseas (urgent): £15
  • Receiving money overseas in Euros: Free
  • Receiving money in other currencies: £1 for under £100 and £7 for £100 or more.

2. Barclays Bank:

It is one of the oldest and among the best banks in the UK for international students. It allows an interest-free overdraft of up to GBP 1,500, along with free ATM cash withdrawal. Besides this, there is a daily current account activity through the Barclays mobile app. There is no maintenance cost, and they have access to a global bank network.

Additional Charges for Barclays Bank

  • Sending money overseas in all currencies: Free
  • Receiving money overseas in Euros: Free
  • Receiving money overseas in all currencies: free to receive under £100 and £6 for over £100.

3. Natwest Bank:

It is considered to be the second-best international student bank account UK. This bank has a feature that allows a student to send and receive money overseas at a very minimal price. It also has contactless debit and mobile banking options available.

Additional Charges for Natwest Bank

  • Sending money overseas (Standard): Free
  • Sending money overseas (Urgent): £15
  • Receiving money overseas in Euros: Free
  • Receiving money overseas in all currencies: £1 to receive under £100 and £7 for amounts over £100.

4. Santander Bank:

It is another preferred bank account for overseas students in the UK. However, this account is open for UK and EU residents as well. Thus, you can open an account here even before reaching the country. This account does not allow an overdraft facility, but there are chances of earning cashback when using a debit card.

Additional Charges for Santander Bank

  • Sending money overseas in Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Free
  • Sending money overseas: £2
  • Receiving money overseas in all currencies: Free

5. TSB Bank:

TSP Spend and Save is another bank that is available for international students in the UK. This serves as an amazing feature where you will save your money by rounding purchases to the closest pound and keeping the difference. Besides this, there is an auto balancer feature to set a minimum balance in your account.

Additional Charges for TSB Bank

  • Sending money overseas in Euros in an EEA country: Free
  • Sending money overseas to all countries: £10 for £5,000 and £17.50 for over £5,000
  • Sending money overseas: Free

6. Lloyds Bank:

It is the second-largest bank for international students in the UK. Opening an account with Lloyds is a simple process, and it generally takes 10 minutes. The account in this bank comes with free everyday banking and ATM cash withdrawals. Moreover, you can also apply for an overdraft facility if you are over the age of 18.

Additional Charges for Lloyds Bank

  • Sending money overseas in Euros: Free
  • Sending money overseas to all currencies: £9.50
  • Receiving money overseas in euros: Free
  • Receiving money from abroad: £2 for under £100 and £7 for over £100.

7. Al Rayan Bank:

This bank account is the best for international students who are looking for a Sharia-compliant current account. This account requires some financial investment. Furthermore, you need to make an initial deposit of £500 or deposit your income into this account.

Additional Charges for Al Rayan Bank

  • Sending money overseas in pounds: £25
  • Sending money overseas in euros: €40
  • Sending money overseas in USD: $40
  • Sending money abroad in other currencies: £12 for under £10,000, free for over £10,000.

8. The Royal Bank of Scotland:

This is part of the same banking group as Natwest Bank. Thus, its terms and fees are pretty much similar to it. This is found in the UK, too, despite the name. It offers the facility of online banking along with contactless debit and credit cards.

  • Additional Charges for the RBS
  • Sending money overseas in all currencies (standard): Free
  • Sending money overseas in all currencies (urgent): £15
  • Receiving money overseas in euros: Free
  • Receiving money overseas in all other currencies: £1 for under £100 and £7 for £100 or greater.

9. Halifax Bank:

It is another one of the top 10 student bank accounts preferred by overseas scholars. It is designed for aspirants studying in the UK only for degree courses or full-time education students.

Additional Charges for the Halifax Bank

  • Money transfers to accounts in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Free
  • Sending money overseas: £25
  • Receiving money overseas: Free
  • Account charges: Free

10. Metro Bank:

It is another good option for international students to open an account in the UK. It offers several convenient features, such as 24/7 availability, contactless debit card facility, online banking, mobile banking and many more.

Additional Charges for Metro Bank

  • Sending money overseas SEPA transfer: £0.20
  • Sending money overseas SWIFT transfer: £25
  • Receiving money overseas: Free

These are the best bank account for international students in the UK to manage their day-to-day expenses in a foreign land. You can choose from any of these as per your requirements. Moreover, there are other types of bank accounts for students that can be used in other countries. Therefore, the next section of the blog will help you explore them.

Are You Confused with Several Bank Accounts in the UK?

If you are confused to select the best bank account for international students in UK, experts at Gradding.com can help you choose the ideal one. Find Your Ideal Bank with Us!

Types of Student Bank Accounts in UK

In this section of the blog, you will get along with the types of bank accounts to make an informed decision. So, go through the table below to perceive different types of accounts:

Types of Bank Accounts Overview of Accounts
Current Account Tailored services such as interest-free overdrafts and it may offer additional benefits or discounts.
Savings Account Allows long-term saving with high interest but has restrictions on withdrawals.
Joint Account Allows students to open an account with family members jointly. Simplifies managing shared expenses.
Basic Student Account Designed to manage daily expenses. It often comes with debit card services.
International Student Account Specifically for international students in the UK and might offer international money transfers.

After perceiving the types of student bank accounts, you might wonder whether you are eligible for a particular bank or not. If so, hop on to the next section to learn about the same.

Eligibility Criteria for Student Bank Account in UK

To open an account in the best bank for international student in UK, you need to meet the eligibility criteria. Moreover, these standards might differ from one bank to another, so you need to check them before applying. However, the general requirements are:

Proof of Student Status:

It is the evidence of your enrollment in a UK university, like an acceptance letter or a letter from your university that confirms enrollment.

Identity Proof:

A Valid passport with a visa permit. In addition with, biometric residence permit (BRP) if applicable as per the bank.

Address Proof:

Several banks may require proof of your UK address, such as a tenancy agreement or a letter from your university confirming your address.

Age Requirement:

You must usually be at least 18 years old to open a bank account in the UK.

Visa Type:

The type of visa you hold may affect your eligibility to open an account. So, check with the bank beforehand.

Proof of Income:

Some banks require proof of income to ensure you can meet minimum balance requirements.

Personal Appearance:

Some banks may require you to visit a branch in person to open an account. At the same time, others may allow online applications.

However, these are the general requirements that make you eligible for opening student bank accounts. But It is crucial to contact the bank you are interested in to confirm their specific requirements. Now that you know the eligibility criteria for opening an account, it becomes crucial to understand the procedure to actually open an account. So the next section will help you with that.

Know the eligibility criteria for student bank account in the UK with Gradding.com

How to Open a Student Bank Account in UK?

To open an account in the best UK bank for international students, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Begin by searching for the different banks and check their features, locations, online services, and more.
  • Decide which account you need from: current, saving and more as per the requirements.
  • Shortlist the banks that are in your preferred list.
  • Keep all the required documents handy so you do not face issues in the end.
  • Visit the nearest branch of the bank you have decided to complete the formalities.
  • Once these requirements are completed, you will receive an account number.
  • Register for online banking to ease the transitions.

By following these quick steps, you can easily open a new bank account in the UK to manage your finances without much ado. However, to operate this account smoothly, you need to keep a minimum balance in it. So this will be discussed in the upcoming section of the write-up.

Also Read: Everything You Need to Know About Study Loan UK 2023

Mini. Balance Required for Student Bank Account UK

Individual and business accounts must maintain a minimum balance. This is to receive an interest on the amount. Thus, some accounts can be started with a warranty that is less than the minimum. But, your deposits will not earn interest until the account achieves the minimum amount. Moreover, there are some banks that allow students to open an account without any minimum balance required. Therefore, if you are unable to maintain this amount, you can choose a bank without this requirement.

Furthermore, this requirement depends on several factors such as account type, policies of the particular bank and the fees. So, you must check each of these before selecting any bank to have your account in. Thus, the following section will define the procedure to choose the ideal bank for yourself.

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How to Select the Best Bank Account in UK?

Selecting the right bank account in the UK is crucial as it will help you to manage your finances abroad. Thus, here are the things to consider while finalising the accurate one for yourself.

  • Transfer Cost: Charges applied to send or receive money overseas.
  • Overdraft Facilities: If you need overdraft facilities, check for them with the bank beforehand.
  • Location of Bank: Opt for a bank that is nearby for more accessibility.
  • Student Benefits: Some banks offer special perks to students, so look for the same while selecting one.
  • Interest Rate: As a student, you do not have a lot to spend, so ensure your bank has a high rate of interest on the savings.

These are some of the factors that you should keep in mind while making a decision for the bank to open an account. However, there are several other pointers that can be considered depending on your personal requirements.

Reaching the end of the blog created by the proficient at Gradding.com, you have been equipped with the best bank for international students in UK. In the write-up, you have an idea about the special features, costs, eligibility and more you need to know to make an informed decision. So, hopefully, you have got an idea about how to manage your finances effectively in a foreign land. Thus, remember choosing the appropriate bank to open an account is the first step towards a smooth study-abroad experience.

FAQ’s

Question 1: Can International Students Obtain a Credit Card in the UK?

Yes, the credit card option is available to international students in the UK. However, the students must fulfil some requirements before having it.

Question 2: How Long Does It Take to Open a Bank Account in the UK?

Opening a bank account in the UK may take a few days or weeks, according to the documents and the management of the particular bank.

Question 3: What Documents Are Needed for International Students to Open a Bank Account in the UK?

To open a bank account in UK, international students require:

  • Identity Proof
  • Proof of Student Status
  • Proof of Residency in the UK
  • Additional Identification
  • Visa and Immigration Documents

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