Opening a Bank Account
If you are planning to stay in Leeds for a while it will be useful for you to open a bank account. International students can open a bank account at most banks and NSL will help you as much as possible. It is a good idea to get advice from your bank in your home country, and make sure you have money (bank card, cash or traveller’s cheques) for your first few weeks in Leeds, while you are opening a new account. If you would like information about local banks so that you can check them out before you arrive in Leeds please ask us.
We will help you make appointments with the bank if you need us to, and make sure you have the correct documentation to take with you.
Normally you will need:
- Identification (eg. Passport)
- proof of address in UK (eg. Contract or letter from homestay provider)
- proof of student status, which we will provide you with.
We will even go with you to the bank, if necessary, to help you. Most of the staff at NSL have spent time living abroad and know how it feels to be in a strange country, and processes like this with limited language can be very challenging.
International students normally open “basic bank accounts”, but these have limited facilities. Often they do not provide a cheque book or debit card. A debit card is very useful. It is a bank card which you can use to withdraw money from a cash machine or buy online or in shops. Ask your bank which accounts you can open that provide debit cards. If you have have a credit card from your home country bring it with you. Sometimes it can be difficult for international students to apply for a credit card in the UK.
In the UK we use pounds (£) and pence. You will normally use:
- £50 notes
- £20 notes
- £10 notes
- £5 notes
- £2 coins
- £1 coins
- 50p coins
- 20p coins
- 10p coins
- 5p coins
- 2p coins
- 1p coins
If you need any help with money matters of any kind please ask a member of our welfare team to help you.