Picture of a bank

Student Bank Accounts

If you are coming to university you can open a student bank account

Student accounts are accounts made for people in higher education. There are many different banks offering different bank accounts, many offering 'freebies' and interest-free overdrafts. 

The Money Advice Service has helpful advice and information about choosing a student bank account.

The Money Saving Expert website also has top tips about student bank accounts and a list of top student accounts and a comparison tool to compare all student accounts so you can find the best one for your individual needs - http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/Student-bank-account


International Students and Opening a Bank Account


Tips on opening a bank account

  • If you want an account based on Sharia principles, check websites and publicity materials. Some 'high street' banks offer accounts and services that meet these principles. There are also a few specialist banks that operate in accordance with Sharia principles.
  • You might be able to prevent tax being deducted from any interest that your money earns. Ask your bank or building society for Form R105 when you open your account.
  • Always let your bank / building society know in writing, as soon as possible, if you change your address or any other personal details.
  • If you are leaving the UK for a long break, e.g. for summer, let your bank know - otherwise they might treat your account as 'dormant' and close it.


If you need help with budgeting, specific help for international students can be found on the British Council website. You can also find information here on banking, accommodation, employment, bills, transport, eating out and free things to do.

You can find also information in the following documents:

International students: Opening a UK bank account, published by British Bankers' Association.

Basic bank accounts, published by the Money Advice Service.


Although not endorsed by KeeleSU, Keele University’s main Campus has a Santander branch which is situated close to the Students’ Union and the Library, the staff are always happy to help with any questions you may have.

Santander have a specific International Students’ Bank Account. Information about their other services can be found at the website or if you go to the bank in person.

Other banks can be found in Newcastle town centre: they include NatWest bank, HSBC and Lloyds bank.  

Please be aware that some banks will not stamp bank statements - this could cause a problem when applying for a new Visa.


Proving your identity

The Money Advice Service website gives you the identity requirements needed for basic bank accounts. There is also a link to Toynbee Hall's useful publication, 'ID Handbook – How to prove your identity', which has more information on the different documents you can use to prove your identity.


Proving you have valid immigration permission in the UK

Banks and building societies have to make a status check on all new applicants for a current account. Banks and building societies must not open a current account for a person who requires immigration permission to be in the UK but who does not have it, i.e. someone who is in the UK as an over stayer.


Going on holiday or home for the vacation?  

If you have travel plans outside of the UK it is wise to tell your bank before you go away as this can prevent your card from declining when you are away.  

There is more information and advice available HERE