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08 Jun. 2022


How to open a bank account in the UK?



How to open a bank account in the UK?

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The United Kingdom suddenly became one of the main places for Ukrainians to migrate due to the war. The popularity of the United Kingdom among our citizens is largely due to the specifics of the immigration program for Ukrainians, under which our citizens can take advantage of free housing, kindly provided by ordinary Britons. By the way, earlier we informed in detail about how to escape from the war to Britain. In addition to free housing, the British relocation program provides broad rights and generous assistance.

The issue of opening a bank account in the UK is one of the first for our refugees. First of all, having a bank account is important for receiving social assistance and, subsequently, wages.

📄 To open a bank account in the UK, you must first obtain a biometric residence permit (BRP). BRP is an identification card that will certify your right to stay in the Kingdom for up to 3 years, the right to receive social assistance, employment, study and more. Without this card, the maximum length of your legal stay in the UK is 6 months.

Therefore, we advise you not to rely on the stamp affixed at the border, as it does not guarantee any rights in the Kingdom without a BRP.

Typically, instructions on how to apply for a BRP can be found in your permission letter, which Homes for Ukraine members receive after their entry has been approved and which serves as a de facto visa at the UK border. This letter can be safely shown to British border guards - it has full legal force for your entry into the country. If you could not find the coordinates for the BRP in your permission letter, you can apply for BRP at the link.

📍 Important: upon arrival in the UK, Ukrainian citizens have no more than 10 days to apply for a BRP, so we advise you not to procrastinate with its registration. Remember that this document guarantees you social benefits, employment, medical care, education, etc. By the way, BRP can be issued only after crossing the British border, so you have literally 10 days after arrival.

After applying for BRP, you will be able to enjoy the full package of rights in the UK, including opening a bank account and, subsequently, receiving financial assistance.

💶 To do this:

1. Make sure you have an email created in your name and linked to your current phone number - this will help the bank keep in touch with you.

2. You must have all identification and visa documents

You need to have all the identification documents - passport and / or BRP. Also keep the permission letter or your visa (depending on what you entered on the basis of). Some banks may also ask for confirmation of your address. If you lack any documents, bring the documents you have with you: British banks have been instructed to make concessions for Ukrainians.

3. Apply for a bank account - in person, online or in a banking application. If you apply in person at a bank branch - do not forget to bring all the documents.

The following is a list of some banks that can be used:

• Barclays UK

• Bank of Ireland UK

• Bank of Scotland

• The Co-operative Bank

• Danske Bank UK

• First Direct

• Halifax


• Lloyds Banking Group

• Monzo (digital banking only)

• Nationwide Building Society

• NatWest Group


• Santander UK

• Ulster Bank

• Virgin Money

You can compare free services of different banks on the website.