International Students: Banking information

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1 International Students: Banking information For students whose course extends longer than six months You should aim to open a bank account as soon as possible after arrival in the UK as you will find it useful during your time in London. It can take some time to open an account, and you may wish to visit more than one bank before making a choice. The main high street banks in England are: Barclays HSBC Lloyds National Westminster (NatWest) Royal Bank of Scotland Santander (previously referred to as Abbey National) All have branches within walking distance of the Institute. You may want to consider what each bank offers before deciding. The types of account differ so you need to check carefully. The banks normally offer free banking for students and all handle international currency transactions and currency transfers. This information sheet is designed to help you see what the main high street banks are offering international students, where the branches are located and what documents you will need in order to open an account. In most cases, banks will offer international students a debit card, and an ATM card (usually the same card works as both). In some cases, for example if the student is not able to give sufficient proof of address, you will be able to open an account but will be given an ATM card only. If this is the case, we recommend that you try to use the ATM machines inside the bank as there are occasional security problems with ATM machines located on the street. Definitions: Debit card: allows you to pay by card in shops the amount is debited automatically from your account. This is not a credit card ATM: cash machines usually located in our outside banks, that allow you to make cash withdrawals using your banking cards ATM card: allows you to make cash withdrawals from cash machines, usually located in our outside banks Direct Debit: allows you to set up automatic regular payments eg to pay bills and rent Online banking: allows you to check your account details, make payments/transfers and setup direct debits over the internet

2 Telephone banking: allows you to check your account details, make payments/transfers and setup direct debits over the telephone. For students whose course extends for less than six months It is not normally possible to open a student bank account if you are here for less than six months. However, some banks might let you open very basic accounts with them if you are in the UK for up to 6 months. You may also be able to open a NatWest Basic account if you are in the UK for a short period only. You should try, where possible, to open an account with an international bank in your home country and check whether you would be able to use the bank s cash machines in the UK. You should also try to obtain a credit card from your home country. Alternatively, you may wish to bring a sufficient number of travellers cheques for the entire period you expect to be in the UK. Can I open an account based on Sharia principles? If you want an account based on Sharia principles, check banks websites and publicity materials. Some mainstream banks offer accounts and services that meet these principles and there are also a few specialist banks that operate in accordance with them. We have listed a few of these banks below: Islamic Bank of Britain: HSBC Amanah: and Lloyds: Further help? Leo O Callaghan International Student Coordinator Student Support Centre Level 4, Core A Tel: Fax: Please contact Disability and Wellbeing Support to request this leaflet in alternative formats. Telephone: +44 (0)

3 BARCLAYS Barclays is one of the world s leading banks. Their reputation is built on over 300 years of service. Barclays is a global bank, with offices in more than 60 countries. NEAREST BRANCH: Address: 73 Russell Square London WC1B 5BG Telephone: Website: Opening hours: Monday Friday ACCOUNTS: STUDENT ADDITIONS ACCOUNT Free of charge Benefits - Visa Debit Card - Online Banking - Telephone Banking - Mobile Banking Application for Smartphone - Pingit - Savings Accounts - Text alerts Account Opening Documentation: Students from the following countries: UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Spain, South Africa, Australia, Poland, and the US, will be able to open their accounts with just one form of identification (Passport, EU ID card or photo card driving licence). All other students will need to provide: - Valid passport - Letter of introduction to UK Banking Facilities on headed paper confirming your name, your UK residential address, name and duration of the course. This letter is obtained from your relevant Registry section.

4 HSBC The world's "local bank", HSBC's international network comprises of over 9800 offices in 77 countries. They offer a dedicated international student service. Nearest Branch Address: 1 Woburn Place Russell Square London WC1H 0LQ Telephone: Website: Opening hours: Monday - Friday Saturday ACCOUNTS: HSBC Passport Account A dedicated package for international students. You are charged 8 a month for the account. - A Visa Debit Card - This can be used to shop online, over the phone and on the high street. You can withdraw cash from ATMs in the UK and abroad. Make regular automated payments from your account. - Free Internet and Telephone Banking - A savings account - Discounted international money transfers - Western Union gold! card - Earn points and make savings on transaction fees when you send cash back home. - A SIM card for your mobile and text banking - 10 pre-loaded credit plus 75 free international minutes. - Must be enrolled on a full-time course - Minimum term is 6 months. After this period you should be able to apply for a different type of account, subject to HSBC credit scoring procedures. - Must hold a valid visa

5 Account Opening Documentation: - Valid passport and Visa - Letter of introduction to UK Banking Facilities confirming your UK residential and overseas residential address. This letter is obtained from your relevant Registry section. You are welcome to visit the branch to open the account or visit the HSBC website. We will make every attempt to open this account on the day of your visit providing we have all the correct documentation. HSBC Basic Bank Account Easy to understand and simple to manage. Ideal for customers who require only a few basic transactions per month. Free - Check balances, get statements and make withdrawals of up to 200 per day with your basic bank account card at HSBC bank cash machines in the UK (not available online, overseas or in shops) - Access up to 200 per day over Post Office counters with your basic bank account card and PIN - Pay regular bills and setup standing orders and direct debits on your account - Free internet and Telephone banking. - Minimum 6 months entry clearance for the UK. Account Opening Documentation: - Valid passport and Visa - Letter of introduction to UK banking facilities confirming your UK residential and overseas residential address. This letter is obtained from your relevant Registry section - Complete HSBC application form. Your account can be opened by completing an application form which can be collected from branch or ordered via the telephone or online. The account will be open within 2 weeks providing all the correct documentation is provided. There may be other accounts that may be more suitable for yourself. Please feel free to visit a HSBC branch to find the best account for you.

6 LLOYDS The Lloyds Group is a leading UK-based financial services organisation providing a comprehensive range of banking and financial services in the UK and overseas. NEAREST BRANCH: Address: Victoria House Southampton Row London WC1B 5HR Telephone: Website: Opening hours: Monday Friday (except Weds & Thurs) Wednesday Thursdays ACCOUNTS: Classic Account A simple account that offers free everyday banking, but does not include overdraft or loan facilities, credit card or cheque book. There is no fee for this account. - On a course lasting a minimum of 6 months. - Must hold valid entry clearance for the UK (if you are subject to UK immigration restrictions). - Debit card - Access to phone banking and limited online banking. - Pay regular bills and set up standing orders and direct debits on your account. Account Opening Documentation: - Valid passport and entry clearance. - Letter of Introduction to UK Banking Facilities confirming your UK residential and overseas residential address. This letter is obtained from your relevant Registry section. To find out more about the above-mentioned account and other student accounts, please visit the Branch or telephone Lloyds.

7 NATWEST NatWest is part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Europe s second largest bank. NEAREST BRANCH: Address: Tavistock House Tavistock Square London WC1H 9XA Telephone: Website: Opening hours: Monday Friday (except Wednesdays) Wednesday ACCOUNTS: Basic Account upgradeable to Select Silver Account NatWest offer a Basic Account and Select Silver Account. There is no overdraft or loan facility available with the Basic Account. You can open a Savings account with the Basic Account. For more information contact your local branch or visit NatWest s website. Basic Account is free, but the upgrade to the Select Silver Account is a month. -Must be on a course lasting a minimum of 6 months / have six months left of study and hold a valid visa (if subject to UK immigration restrictions). - Visa debit card - Direct debit/standing orders - Get account updates from cash machines and full bank statements. - Have access to NatWest s 24 hour telephone banking and online banking services. - Select Silver Account gives you several additional benefits, such as travel insurance, etc. Account Opening Documentation: - Valid passport and UK entry clearance. - Evidence of your address in the UK. The bank will only accept formal documentation such as a utility bill. They will not accept mobile phone bills as evidence of your residential address. - They will accept the Letter of Introduction to UK Banking Facilities as proof of your UK address.

8 ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND The Royal Bank of Scotland offers a full range of banking and related financial services to around three and a half million personal and small business customers. The Bank has won many independent accolades for the level of customer service it provides. NEAREST BRANCH: Address: High Holborn London WC1V 6PQ Telephone: Website: Opening hours: Monday Friday (except Wednesdays) Wednesday ACCOUNTS: Basic Account and Select Silver Account Royal Bank of Scotland basic bank account, offering everything you need for your day-to-day finances. Arranged overdrafts and credit facilities are not available with this account. Royal Bank of Scotland also offers a select silver account. - There are no charges and you do not have to maintain a minimum balance. - Select Silver Account has a 10 monthly fee. - Must have 6 months or more Leave to Enter / Remain in the UK (if subject to UK immigration restrictions). - Visa debit card - Set up direct debit payments from your account (eg for utility bills). - Internet banking service hour telephone banking service.

9 Account Opening Documentation: - Valid passport and UK entry clearance. - Evidence of your address in the UK. The bank will only accept formal documentation such as a utility bill. They will not accept mobile phone bills as evidence of your residential address. - They will accept the Letter of Introduction to UK Banking Facilities as proof of your UK address only if you are resident in an Institute of Education Hall of Residence. For more detailed information on the above account and other student accounts, please visit the branch or telephone Student Banking: or check out the website:

10 Santander One of the world s largest banks with over 1,300 branches in the UK. NEAREST UNIVERSITY BRANCH Santander Universities Branch, Tottenham Court Road London, W1T 7JE Telephone: Website: Opening Hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Wednesday ACCOUNTS: International Student Account Santander offer an International Student Account which has a Visa debit card, free foreign cheque encashment and no fees for receiving monies in from outside the UK. The account has a 5 monthly charge and does not offer a cheque book or an overdraft facility. - Must be in the UK for a minimum of 6 months, on a course lasting a minimum of 6 months. - Must hold valid entry clearance for the UK (if you are subject to UK immigration restrictions). - Visa debit card - Access to Santander s 24-hour phone and online banking - Withdraw up to 300 a day free of charge at an Santander cash machine in the UK One free deposit of a foreign cheque per month - 3% AER (2.96% gross) variable on balances up to 500 when you pay at least 50 into your account each month - Monthly statements Account Opening Documentation - Valid passport and UK entry clearance - Letter of acceptance from Institute of Education, Registry showing your UK / overseas address.

11 The information provided in this document was correct at time of going to print. However, the information can be subject to change and you are advised to visit the individual bank s website or contact them for up-to-date information. Nov 2013 version1

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