Cookie Consent by
a person holding a cell phone

Your Hall

How to open a bank account

By Halls 24 Sep 2023

A step-by-step guide on setting up your new bank account for uni.

Whether it's your first time or need to set up a student-specific account, some friendly advice can't hurt to get you going. We've laid out everything you need to know in this article, from what you'll need, to recommended banks to open an account with.

Why you should open a student account

For your general ins and outs, you'll want an account that supports your new student lifestyle (and allows you to receive your maintenance loan from student finance). Student accounts are designed for this exact purpose, giving you the most relevant benefits possible. You normally open one just before starting university but can switch to a student account anytime if you decide to do it down the line.

What you'll need to open the account

In the UK, you will be required to provide these documents to be able to open your new account. Some banks may ask for more but here are the three key items:

  • Photo ID proving you are 18 or over (passport, driving licence, EU ID card)
  • Proof of address for where you are currently living (your hall's contract)
  • Proof you're a student (letter of acceptance from LSE)

How to open the account (online and in person)

Once you have all the documents you need, you want to start the process of opening the account. You can either choose to do this online or in person, whatever is more convenient for you. A lot of banks have made it as easy as possible to complete the application process on their websites, even allowing you to prove who you are by recording a short video and uploading a photo of your passport. Whether you choose to do it online or in person, you'll just need to make sure you have the right documentation (listed above) and you'll be fine. 

Best banks to open a student account with

Most banks will have student accounts but only some banks offer great benefits. Here are the top ones for academic year 2023/24 (all overdrafts mentioned below have 0% interest rates):

  • NatWest£100 cash, 4-year tastecard & overdraft up to £2,000 (£500 in your first term)
  • Santander4-year 16-25 Railcard & overdraft up to £2,000
  • Nationwide£100 cash & overdraft up to £3,000
  • HSBC - £100 cash, 1 year subscription to Headspace & overdraft up to £3,000

All set to open your new bank account? Learn more about how you can manage your student loan and how to be open about any financial issues.