Opening a Bank Account
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Opening a bank account in the UK is really easy.
- Visit your nearest bank
- Present your passport to the bank staff and let them know you’d like to open a bank account
- Complete the relevant paperwork given to you by the bank staff
The UK's biggest banks are:
- HSBC Holdings
- Barclays PLC
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Standard Chartered PLC
- Travelers’ cheques are a good alternative to carrying cash as they can be converted into cash when you need it. Unlike a personal cheque, you do not need to have a UK bank account in order to use them. If you lose them or they are stolen, you can apply to have them replaced. You should normally try to get sterling (GBP)-based travellers’ cheques as these are the easiest to cash. If you bring travellers’ cheques in any other currency most banks and the bureau de change will impose a charge for converting them to GBP. GBP travellers’ cheques may be used to pay for purchases in larger shops in major towns and cities, but not all shops will accept them. Make sure you keep details of your travellers’ cheques and your passport separate.
- Credit Cards can be used for payment of tuition fees and accommodation charges. Make sure that your credit limit is sufficient to allow you to make large payments in the UK. Check with your bank or credit provider before you leave home. You should also make sure that you give someone at home authority to pay money into your credit card account whilst you are in the UK, in case of emergency.
- Debit Cards (Maestro, Visa or Cirrus) can be used to pay your tuition fees and accommodation charges (there is no handling charge for payment by debit card), as well as for shopping and other expenses. Make sure you have sufficient money in your account to allow you to make this payment. Check with your bank before you leave home. Similarly, to your credit card, you should also make sure that you give someone at home authority to pay money into your bank account whilst you are in the UK, in case of emergency.