Set up a bank account

We recommend setting up a student bank account as they can be more beneficial than a standard current account.

Student bank accounts

It’s worth setting up a student bank account for when you start university  they offer a wider range of services than current accounts, so it’s important to consider your options and shop around to see what the different banks offer.

Try not to be tempted by instant cash or gift incentives  £100 of vouchers is much less than what you will save over time with a better interest rate.

A main benefit of student bank accounts is that they usually offer quite substantial, interest-free overdrafts, which can be very handy during your studies. Make sure you don’t go over the agreed interest-free overdraft limit though – you'll be charged for this, so remember to check your balance if you think you’re getting close to your limit.

International students

I don’t have a UK bank account – what should I do?

If you want to pay your tuition fees or University accommodation fees in instalments by Direct Debit, you will need to set up a UK bank account.

It’s also more convenient and you can make sure you avoid any transactional charges or currency conversion charges that you may incur using your foreign bank card in the UK.

When can I do it?

Some banks may allow you to open a bank account before you arrive in the UK, but others will want you to wait until you arrive in Manchester and complete your University registration, so it's important to check with them as to what their policy is.

What do I need?

  • your passport;
  • Biometric Residence Permit card (if you have one);
  • Bank Letter from the University showing home and Manchester addresses.

How do I do it?

  • Bank Letters will be issued in pdf format to all EU and international students from early to mid-September and once steps 1-9 of registration have been completed via My Manchester.

Online-only banking

You can choose to set up an account with an online-only bank. Setting up this type of account is simple, and in some cases you can do so with a selfie and a photograph of your ID.

The online banks Monzo and Starling require proof of a UK address, but Monese and Revolut don’t have this requirement, meaning you can set up an account before you arrive in Manchester.

Setting up a UK bank account while studying remotely

If you’re an overseas student who will be studying remotely, we appreciate that the majority of high street banks in the UK require students to provide proof of residency in order to open an account, something which isn't possible if you're studying remotely.

However, there are a number of online banks that do offer the facility to open a UK bank account from overseas, without proof of residency, and we would encourage prospective students to take a moment to read the Monito article  and consider their options.