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More in this section Your first weeks on campus

Opening a bank account

You are advised to open a bank account in the UK in order to make it easier for you to manage your money safely, it is also much easier for you should you need to extend your student visa while in the UK. Opening a bank account can take up to 2 or 3 weeks at the start of the academic year.  To ensure that your account can be opened as quickly as possible, there are some steps you can take both before and when you arrive on campus. 

Banks in the local area

The nearest bank is Santander, which has a branch on campus. You can find details of their international student account here. To speed up the process of opening an account with Santander you can complete and email an enquiry form before you arrive in the UK.

National Westminster Bank, Barclays and HSBC Banks have branches in Egham and Lloyds TSB has a branch in Staines. The major building societies also have branches in Egham and Staines.  

Types of account

Details of accounts available to international students vary depending on the bank you choose.  It’s important that you study carefully the options available to you, and remember to ask questions about different charges, such as charges to withdraw money overseas or to transfer money between countries.

All international students should be eligible for a basic bank account.  This type of account allows for only basic services such as payment in and out of the account.  It also allows for a cash card to enable the use of automatic teller machines (ATM) or cash machines.  These accounts are usually free to students, and you should not be required to pay charges whilst your account is in credit.

Some banks do allow students to open an international student bank account, providing you are about to study, or currently study at a UK university and you do not hold any other student accounts in the UK.  These offer extra facilities such as debit cards and reduction in fees for depositing foreign cheques or sending money overseas.  There is usual a nominal charge (around £5) per month for these accounts. 

Documentation required to open an account

To open a bank account you will need

  • Official identification (passport);
  • Proof of student status;
  • Proof of address and funds.

Once you have completed your enrolment you will be able to download a Student Status Certificate which you can use to prove your student status at Royal Holloway. Click here to find out more about how to access the Student Status Certificate.


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