Opening a UK bank account as an international student is recommended as it is a safe and effective way to manage your money.

There are several banks close to Central including:

Barclays Bank PLC, 131 Finchley Rd, London, NW3 6JA. Telephone: 0845 7555555 (+448457555555 from overseas)
Halifax, 169A Finchley Rd, Swiss Cottage, London, NW3 6LB. Telephone: 02074459434 (+442074459434 from overseas)
Santender, 8 Harben Parade, Finchley Rd, London, NW3 6JN. Telephone: 08457654321 (+8457654321 from overseas)
Lloyds Bank PLC, 145, Finchley Rd, London, NW3 6JJ. Telephone: 0845 3000000 (+8453000000 from overseas)
Allied Irish Bank (Hampstead), 202 Finchley Rd, London, NW3 6BX. Telephone: 02074315243 (+442074315243 from overseas)
HSBC, 122 Finchley Road, London, NW3 5JD, Telephone: 08457404404 (+8457404404 from overseas)

International students normally need to arrange an appointment to open a bank account in person. September and October are the busiest times for opening new accounts so it’s advisable to book an appointment as soon as you have decided who you are going to bank with.

What is needed to open a bank account?

Bank requirements vary, but items you will need to open an account are likely to include:

  • Passport/Visa
  • Letter of enrolment from Central
  • A document confirming your address in London

To get a letter of enrolment to open a bank account before you start at Central, please e-mail with the following information and you will then be able to collect a letter from the Student Advice Service:

  • Name
  • Student number
  • UK address
  • Name and address of the bank where you are opening your account

What are the benefits to having a UK bank account?

  • Having one means you don’t incur charges for withdrawing money using your home bank account
  • Enables you to get a part-time job as a UK bank account is needed for your employers to pay up wages in to
  • Gives you the option to pay bills by Direct Debit (money taken out of your account automatically) such a mobile phone contract or other bills such as Wi-Fi at home

What bank should you choose?

Central doesn’t endorse any particular bank although we recommend you research to see which one will meet your needs best.

It’s important to consider the following when choosing:

  • Is there a branch close to Central or where you live that can easily accessed?
  • What facilities do they offer such as an overdraft facility?
  • How much will they charge for overseas transfers?

Further Information

The British Bankers’ Association have produced a guide for international students - Opening a Bank Account (PDF).


Student Advice Service

+44 (0)20 7559 3900