Opening a Bank Account in the UK

Opening a bank account and receiving payment upon arrival

The choice of a suitable banking service operator and the timing of receipt of payment upon arrival.

You will need a bank account to receive wages, benefits, tax benefits or pensions. You can also use it to pay bills.

If you have recently arrived in the UK from Ukraine, you can open an account with a bank or building society in the UK.

A building society is owned by its members, so, unlike a bank, it does not need to make a profit to pay its shareholders. The resulting profit is used to maintain the operation of branches, and sometimes the building society shares it with customers.

Choosing a bank

There are many different banks and building societies in the UK. You can choose the one that suits you best.

This list includes some of the banks and building societies available in the UK. You may want to open an account with another bank not listed here. The list is given in alphabetical order.

  • Barclays UK
  • Bank of Ireland UK
  • Bank of Scotland
  • The Co-operative Bank
  • Danske Bank UK
  • First Direct
  • Halifax
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Monzo (online banking only)
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • NatWest Group
  • RBS
  • Santander UK
  • Ulster Bank
  • Virgin Money

What you need to open an account

To open an account with a bank or building society, you need:

  • an email address created in your name
  • a valid phone number
  • identity documents and visa documents, which may include:
  • biometric residence permit
  • your Ukrainian passport
  • letter you received from the British government allowing you to stay in the UK
  • confirmation of your address

Confirmation of the address is usually an official letter stating your name and your current address (for example, from the government or a utility company). If you do not have a document confirming the address, some banks will allow you to bring your receiving party with you to check where you live (they will need to show your ID and a document confirming the address).

Before submitting an application, read the information on the bank’s website to find out what documents they accept.

Apply for an account opening

You can apply to open an account:

  • arriving at a bank branch or a branch of a building society (you may need to make an appointment)
  • by phone
  • online
  • in the bank’s mobile application
  • If you come to the department, you will need to take your identity documents.

If you do not have all the identity documents, take all the information you have with you to the bank or building society.

Banks and building societies should consider other ways to identify and verify their customers.

Types of accounts

Banks and building societies will tell you which accounts they can offer you depending on your situation.

Sometimes a standard account is not suitable, then you can open a “basic” bank account. The basic bank account does not charge any fees for its use. You can receive a salary or benefits for free.

Some banks and building societies allow you to directly apply for a basic bank account, while others offer basic bank accounts only to those customers who are not eligible for other accounts.

If you wish to open a business bank account in the UK, our team here at IB-IA GROUP UAB will be delighted to assist you. We have eight years of experience in helping clients to open bank accounts in Europe. We tap into our vast network of trusted partners in the European financial services industry to offer the most suitable and cost-effective solutions that improve the functioning of the businesses we serve.