How to Open a Bank Account
If you’ve followed my advice on getting a flat from a proper estate agent or council housing, your tenancy agreement should be sufficient proof of address for the banking system in the UK. However, again, before signing, look up your address on the Royal Mail postcode finder and make sure it matches EXACTLY.
Because all banks are different, I think it’s a good idea to have additional proofs of address:
- If you are able to, change your US bank account address to your UK address and ask them to mail you a physical copy.
- Whomever is working should get a letter from their employer that is from the HR head and includes the worker’s name, start date, job title, salary and, of course, address that matches the tenancy agreement and Royal Mail postcode finder address.
As soon as you have a tenancy agreement, call your chosen bank for an appointment. Hopefully whomever is working is going to be able to pop out for appointments in the beginning to set up your new life, so don’t worry about trying to find a weekend appointment if at all possible. Confirm exactly what you will want (joint current account — their word for checking account — credit cards, etc.) and exactly what they will require from you.
A couple of days after you get your account, your debit cards will arrive, then your pins. And then life will be a little bit easier.