Daniel Watson

How to open a bank current account

Most people know that a current account allows you to deposit and withdraw funds from a secure location. But did you know that a current account can also give you access to a wider variety of financial services and products. This is one of the main reasons that 96.4% of adults in the UK have a bank account. While a current account is not required by law, many financial institutions will require you to have a current account in order to get approved for a loan. If you don’t already have a checking account, follow the steps below to discover which type of current account is right for you and learn how to quickly and easily open a current account today. Already know what kind of current account you’re looking for?

Choosing the right Bank and Account type.

It is always best to first have a complete understanding about what you want from your bank account. You may either visit the bank branch or simply compare the features and services offered by various banks online to ascertain what suits your needs and requirement best.

What to look when applying for current account in UK

An ideal account pays good interest interest on current accounts, low debit and overdraft fees, a debit card for withdraws and deposits and online banking services. The banks usually have multiple branches but not all are close to where you live or work. So be sure to choose a bank with the best locations to where you live and work.

For children or young people, it is best to focus on the amount of interest paid on current account rather than other services.

The Application Process for Current Account Opening in UK:

Once the account is chosen, you can apply either online, or in person. The application process foremost requires some proof of identification.

How old do you have to be to open a bank account?

Banks in the UK allow children of the age of 11 to open a bank account. The range may vary from 11-16 or 11-18. Children’s accounts come with a few different features than what an adult (18+) may receive. Those are in the form of withdraw limits, account access and long term saving plans for kids.

What documents do you need to open your first account?

For opening a UK bank account, two documents are essential:

  1. Document of identity i.e., a passport, drivers license, or identity card ( for EU nationals)
  2. Document of address. Address needs to be proved through a different document from the one used to prove identity. A bill, or piece of government issues mail with your name and matching address is ideal

In addition, banks have their own list of documents which can be used as an alternative to the above mentioned documents. These may include:

  • a tenancy agreement or mortgage statement;
  • a recent electricity or gas bill (less than 3 months old);
  • a recent (less than 3 months old) bank or credit card statement that’s not printed off the internet; or
  • a current council tax bill.

Banks are usually flexible in terms of what documents they will accept as proof of address, especially if you are new to the UK. If you are in UK to study, many banks will accept a letter from your University’s admissions office confirming your address.

Things To Consider When Choosing a Bank

A limited credit history and lack of documentation can make opening a bank account difficult. But this difficulty is reduced if you open an account with the larger banks in the UK such as Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC or RBS/NatWest. These are banks which have been in business for a long time and are financially strong. In addition, they have a lot of experience dealing with foreigners and are a bit more understanding of a foreigner’s situation and quite flexible with their requirements. It’s a bit easier to open a bank account for an EU national.

It is best to get in touch with the customer support to clear any doubts whatsoever before trying to open an account.

Alternatives to a first bank account

If for any reason, your application for first bank account is not accepted, you can turn to other viable options. For example, A Basic Account can be opened before applying for a more advanced bank account.

Resources

1)    https://www.bankrate.com/uk/current-accounts/what-is-a-current-account/
2)    https://www.lloydsbank.com/loans/help-and-guidance/how-to-get-a-loan.asp
3)    https://transferwise.com/us/blog/how-to-open-a-bank-account-in-uk