Opening a new bank account: Your complete guide

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A bank account in the UK makes it easier to manage your finances. It allows secure fund storage and convenient fund transfers. Not to mention, it also helps you build your credit history. But how exactly do you open a new bank account? Keep on reading and learn what to do.

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Mark S.
Aug 16, 23 · 8 min read
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The process of opening bank accounts in the UK can vary from one bank to another. However, in most cases, it follows the same process and will have the same requirements. These are some things you'll learn in today's post.

Things you will need

One of the most important requirements is proof of identity. This can be a passport, identity card, or driving licence. You’ll also need to provide proof of current address, such as a bill statement. You must be able to prove you're old enough to open a bank account.

The bank will also most likely make you submit your Tax Identification Number, employment status, and payslips.

Apply online or at a physical branch

Once you have the requirements, it's time to process your application. You can do it at a physical branch and submit the necessary documents.

Alternatively, some banks allow online submission, which is a more convenient option. If you apply online, you may need to submit the documents arranged in PDF format.

The different types of bank accounts in the UK

Before you apply for a bank account, one of the first things to do is determine the specific type you would like to open. Below, let's take a quick look at the possible options.

Basic account

For your basic banking needs, a basic account is one thing you should look at. This is also a great option for those who have a poor credit rating or those having difficulty opening a current account. Not to mention, it often does not come with a monthly fee.

With a basic account, you can enjoy the bank's products, such as a debit card. However, it has limited access to services. For instance, it does not include overdrafts and loans.

Current account

This is the most common bank account for day-to-day finances. Some banks can offer a current account for free, while it can also be available at a low cost. With a current account, you can have a debit card and will have the option for an overdraft service.

Some financial institutions will offer special types of current accounts. For instance, Lloyds has a reward current account, which will allow earning cash rewards or cashback. However, such an account may require a monthly maintenance fee.

Savings account

With a savings account, your deposits can earn interest. Nonetheless, opening this financial product means that you need to meet the minimum deposit the bank requires. Savings account is available in different types, such as fixed-rate bonds and notice accounts.

Joint account

As the name implies, a joint account is a bank account that you open with another person. A joint account is common among married couples.

Digital account

There's also an option for digital-only banks. In this case, you'll need to download a mobile app, which is where you will conduct financial transactions. Some banks do not have a physical branch and exist only through an online mobile app.

Non-resident account

Even if you're now from the UK, you can apply for a bank account to help you manage your money better. The requirements are almost the same as that of a resident.

Most non-residents can open an international account. This is good if you can't show a valid UK address. However, it may come with huge initial deposits. Not to mention, the monthly fees can also be high.

Switching from one account to another

Do you want to switch banks? Or do you like to switch to another type of bank account but within the same bank? You can do so, and the process will vary.

Most banks will offer a Current Account Switch Service for free for seven days. You can switch to a new banking account even if you have an existing overdraft. Both accounts will remain active during the switch. Once the switch is completed, the bank will close the old account.


From sending payments to other people to receiving your salary, there are many reasons to open a bank account. Good thing, the process is straightforward. It won't take months to complete! Even better, you can apply and submit your details online.

Choose a bank

HSBC, Barclays, and Lloyds are among the most popular banks in the country. You can also use online-only bank services, such as Revolut and Wise.
HowTo step image

1. Pick an account type

Basic, savings, current, and joint account are some common options. Consider the service you'll be using, such as overdrafts, to choose the right type of account.

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