Opening a bank account after moving to London can be an unpleasant experience. You’ll need a stack of documentation, proof of address (which you probably won’t have if you’ve just arrived) and proof of ID. Of course, you can try to open a bank before you relocate so you have the advantage of being able to work out the kinks in the system in a familiar environment, but it does help to open an account in person.
The required documentation to open a bank account is your ID, proof of your current bank address, statements from your other bank and a minimum deposit amount. If you are moving to London with your partner, it might be beneficial to contemplate opening a joint bank account as it will reduce the amount of paperwork and the minimum deposit amount will be split.
Should you decide to open the bank account after the move then you must ensure that you collect all the required documentation. Murphy’s Law might apply in this situation because you might be unfortunate at one bank or you might be fortunate to find bank that opens an account for you immediately. The documentation would include proof of ID, which could either be a driver’s license, passport and/or birth certificate and confirmation of your London address.
It is advisable to provide as much documentation as possible to assist the bank account application process. It would be to your advantage to submit a letter indicating your employment in London and a bank letter from your country of origin, which will bear testimony to your credit history. The sooner you provide this information the quicker and easier the process of opening a bank will be and soon you will be swiping just like the locals.
The major banks in the UK are:
Royal Bank of Scotland
While you are still sorting out your banking matters and ensuring that you are able to access your finances you should be able to use your MasterCard or Visa from your home country as long as it has been fitted for the chip and pin system in the UK.
London Relocation provides help with opening a bank account as part of our service. We also provide an extensive range of Settling-In Services to our clients, including: setting up utilities, communication with property managers and landlords, setting up internet and help with setting up accounts. Contact us for a relocation consultation.