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How to open a bank account in the UK

I’ve had the same bank account since I was a teenager, so I don’t have much experience in opening one, but I’ll run you through the process of opening a new bank account online (as that’s the easiest way) and add some comments as I go along.


Before I start, it’s important to remember that if you’re not a UK citizen, you will need to prove that you have residency in the UK in order to open a new bank account. There are many ways to prove this, they are listed on this webpage:


Now that you have this piece of paperwork, you should be ready to open your bank account. Money advice website www.wise.com suggests that you open an account with one of the UKs biggest banks, like Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC or NatWest. All four of these banks have been running for many years, which means your money will be protected. Big companies have more experience with foreign customers and should be able to advise you so once you’ve selected your bank, contact customer service before you start so they can help you apply for your account.


I’ll now walk you through the first steps of opening a bank account with Barclays.

My first step is to Google ‘Barclays open bank account’. The first hit takes me to their webpage and I hit ‘How to apply’.


This takes me down the page where I have a choice between a ‘Sole account’ (for one person) and a ‘Joint account’ (for two people). I don’t want to do this on an app (though you can, if you want) so I’m going to click ‘apply online’.










One the next page, I have 4 questions to answer. Remember that you need to be a resident in the UK to open a bank account. Selecting ‘yes’ for question three would take me to another application form so I’ll stick to a non-student account.



Make sure you have this information before you hit ‘continue’ at the bottom of the page.

The next page is the terms and conditions. I won’t show this but make sure you read and understand them before you hit ‘continue’.

The next page is a form in which you need to enter your personal details. I’m sure you can manage this, so I won’t show any more!


The same goes for this page but remember if you’re a citizen of the USA that things can get quite complicated.

On the next page, you need to enter your address history, which needs to be 3 years or more. The ‘find address’ button only works with UK postcodes. I don’t know what happens if you’ve been in the UK for less than 3 years. I’d suggest talking to customer services at the bank about this.


The options at the top are how I don’t want to be contacted.






The next page asks you to enter your employment details. After that, you’ll need to provide the address of your employer.


This page asks for your tax residency details and your income. It’s possible to be tax resident in more than one country. Hit the question mark on the right if you need help.

This is as far as I’ll go, because after this you need to upload personal documents like passports, which I don’t want to do!

Good luck!

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