Opening Bank Accounts could be a tedious task and an important one as most of the transactions in the UK would need debit cards as cash transactions are very minimal. Right from paying for internal transport to paying for daily grocery it would be handy to have your debit cards active as you land in the UK
High Street Banks:
Usually you need a letter from the university which has your address on it to open a bank account with the popular high street banks like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Halifax etc. It may take a week after your arrival to get this letter and maybe a week more to open the account.
You may also opt for Online banks like Monzo, Tide, Revolut etc to open your account as soon as you get the letter from your university confirming your address. These banks are usually cheaper in transactions and take a few hours for the account to open. Most of these online banks do not have a physical outlets you can open the accounts via their website or by downloading their apps on your phone. To deposit cash you may have to check on the website on how and where can the cash can be deposited. However its worth noting that some of these banks do not facilitate overseas money to be transferred into their accounts so this can be used as a secondary account to park the cash you have got along with you to use their debit cards for all local transactions.
Indian Banks in the UK:
UK has the presence of many Nationalised Indian banks like ICICI, State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank etc. You may also chose to open an account with one of these banks as soon as you arrive.
Some of these banks would not need the university letter and may open the account with an evidence of your India address proof. Speak to Back2study’s London team to get more information on this as the rules of the banks keep changing every few months. Most of our students open their bank accounts even before arriving in the UK with the help of our UK based counsellors who have connections with local Indian bank representatives.
Forex Card and Cash
It is advisable to carry some cash and a forex card that can be used for your transactions until or if you don’t have a local UK debit card or the bank account.
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