If you already have an international bank then check if they have the facility to set up a UK bank account for you, before you move, as this is the most convenient option.

If this is not the case, you will need to be prepared, as you will require specific documents in order to open an account. Usually, it is just a matter of taking the right forms of identification and necessary documents, making an appointment and choosing an account. However, opening a bank account without any proof of address in the UK can be quite difficult, and some banks may require you to deposit a start-up amount.

You will need to open an account before you can receive payment from the University.


Choosing a bank

The UK has many different banks offering a multitude of financial services.  Most banks are free, although fee-paying accounts with additional benefits are available.  The Money Advice Service can help you choose the right account.

Bank charges do vary between providers.  When selecting a bank it is useful to consider the following:

  • Will you use your bank card abroad?
  • Will you use your bank card to make transactions in other currencies?
  • Will you use your bank to make international money transfers?
  • Will you use your bank to send money abroad regularly?


Opening a bank account

All the major UK banks have branches in Leeds City Centre.  It is sensible to shop around and look for services and deals that are suited to your needs.

There are two top UK banks on campus and the staff here will be happy to help you open a bank account:

  • Barclays: opposite the Parkinson Building;
  • Santander: in Leeds University Union building.  The University has an agreement with Santander and so the branch provides special offers for staff.

The documents you are likely to need to open an account are:

  • Your passport;
  • National identity card;
  • Residence permit if you are an EU national;
  • Evidence of your address overseas, such as your passport or driving licence;
  • Evidence of your address in Leeds, such as your tenancy agreement, utility or council tax bill;
  • Proof of employment, such as your employment contract letter.

You will need to fill in an application form and you may have to pay a deposit into the account.

Opening an account without any proof of address in the UK can be quite difficult.  However, some banks offer services which make the process easier. For example, some banks may allow you to open a bank account with a form of identification and proof of a non-UK address, but you should call and discuss this with individual banks or research online.



Cash machines

When you open a bank account you will receive a debit card with which you can withdraw money from a cash machine owned by your bank or other banks. You can withdraw money from most cash machines 24 hours a day.

There are several cash machines located on or close to the University campus.  These are located at:

  • Ziff Building;
  • Student Union;
  • Woodhouse Lane, opposite the main entrance to the University.

Our interactive campus map will help you locate these.

Most cash machines will not charge you to withdraw cash. However, some cash machines are pay-to-use machines and will charge you for withdrawing your money. If a cash machine is going to charge you, a message will be displayed on the screen to let you know and you can choose whether or not to continue with the transaction.