Opening a bank account - UK students

Orientation week is a busy time for banks, so please be prepared to wait to be seen or for an appointment to be available. Appointments can be made in advance of your arrival by calling the bank of your choice.  Where possible start your application online - this will greatly speed up the opening of your account once you arrive in St Andrews.  

Please note that some banks will be unable to open your bank account until you have moved into your permanent St Andrews address, i.e. you will not be able to open an account until you have moved into your Hall of Residence. 

Banks will require a number of documents to open your account, including 

  • valid passport or driver's license
  • university bank letter (available to download from E-vision once you have arrived in St Andrews).
  • Note: If you are not living in a Halls of Residence, the bank may ask for a copy of your tenancy agreement.

Some of the banks may take longer than other to open a bank account and you may be given an appointment several days later.  

All students are eligible for a basic bank account. This will mean you will be able to:-

  • access cash via a cash machine
  • set up direct debits and/or standing orders

There are five banks in St Andrews:-

All of these banks have arrangements with both English and overseas banks.

There are also a number of mobile app based solutions that may be more suitable for your needs -  Monzo and Curve information or Bank Acct Comparison Chart 2019 (PDF, 152 KB)

Please note:-

If your term-time address is not within the University Residence system, you may be required to provide a copy of your lease or tenancy agreement as confirmation of your term-time address. If applying to the Nationwide your tenancy agreement will have to send in the UK post from your Letting Agent to your term-time address. For further details check with the local branch.

All banks are required to check the identity of anyone opening a bank account as part of the Government strategy to combat organised crime with anti-fraud legislation.  This involves rigorous checks for all individuals who may wish to open bank accounts.  This may therefore delay the opening of the bank account so please be patient.

Making a deposit

Take cash and/or cheques into your bank, complete a pay-in slip and hand it over to the cashier.  Cash will be in your account on the same day as you deposit it at your branch.  Cheques can take up to five working days to clear if the cheque is drawn on another UK bank account.  If someone else is paying into your bank account, he or she will need to know your account number, sort code, account name, the name, address and postcode of your bank - and if it is an international transfer,  the bank’s IBAN number.

Please remember you will need available funds initially for transport, meals and general living costs.

Credit cards

Most banks will accept Mastercard, American Express, Eurocard and Visa.  These can be used to withdraw cash from cash machines - provided you have the correct pin number.  Please check if you are thinking about bringing another credit card or a prepaid credit card as not all banks or businesses will accept them.

If you experience any difficulties opening your bank account, please contact the Money Adviser at Student Services, or call in at the Advice & Support Centre (ASC), at 79 North Street.