Open a UK bank account

Due to COVID-19, some banks have closed some of their branches or are operating a reduced service. Before visiting a branch, you should first check whether they are open. All banks will have social distancing measures, restricting the number of people in their branches. This may mean having to wait longer to be seen during busy periods.

There are several banks near campus, including the Santander branch in the Students’ Union. Your current bank may have a relationship with a UK bank and can help with setting up an account. We advise you to open a bank account which gives you a monthly paper statement. It is important to keep all your bank statements while you are in the UK and make sure you tell your bank if you change address.

Opening a bank account ensures a safe place to keep your money, provides financial evidence for your visa application, and allows a business to pay you your salary if you get a part-time job.

Bank letters

We will provide you with letters confirming you are a registered student of the University. These are sometimes required by landlords for private rental agreement and by UK banks to open a bank account. You'll be able to request a bank letter after you have completed the Visa Checkpoint.

Please email starting@leicester.ac.uk to request a registration and/or bank letter.

To open a bank account you need:

  • Your passport/photo ID card
  • A bank letter from the University confirming your registration, your address in the UK and your overseas address

It may take up to five weeks to open an account, so we recommend you have £1,500, separate from tuition and accommodation fees, in travellers’ cheques or a credit card.

UK banks

Advice on banking in the UK