It is very likely that you will need to open a UK bank account during the course of your studies. For example, you may need to pay your rent by direct debit or you may need bank statements to provide evidence of your finances for immigration purposes.
The bank you choose can advise you on the different types of accounts it can offer, direct debits, how long it takes to transfer money to other bank accounts (inside or outside the UK) and more.
Please see below for information on what you will need to prepare and do to get your bank account set up.
Please note that International Student Support cannot recommend a particular bank but there are a number of banks located around the university on Byres Road and Dumbarton Road as well as in Glasgow city centre.
How to open a bank account
Covid-19 update: Please check for any updates in bank account opening procedures and document requirements with your chosen bank in light of the current circumstances.
To open an account, you will need:
- Your passport or National ID card
- Your visa (if applicable) and
- A bank letter, addressed to the bank to which you will apply, containing evidence of your current course of study and UK term-time address.
Depending on the bank you choose, you may be asked for other documentation.
Before producing or applying to request a bank letter, please ensure that your UK term-time address is up-to-date.
It is advisable to check with your chosen bank if they will accept an unstamped bank letter from University of Glasgow. To obtain a bank letter, students can:
- produce their own bank letters using their MyCampus Student Center (Students who have completed Academic Registration)
- apply via the online service catalogue to request a bank letter (please note the processing times)
Find out more
- The British Bankers' Association (BBA) international student banking leaflet
- UKCISA guide to opening a bank account
Students on courses of less than 6 months
If you are studying on a course of less than 6 months you may not be able to open a bank account with a "high street bank" as you are only staying a short time in the UK.
However, there are alternative ways to accessing, spending and safely storing your money while you study in the UK:
PayPal and PayPal's debit card:
This debit card is linked in to your PayPal account and allows you to withdraw money from your PayPal balance. It can be used at ATMs and everywhere that accepts Mastercard.
MasterCard offers information on various types of pre-payment cards with various providers. You can take a short online quiz that asks you how you will use the card which helps determine which type of pre-payment debit card would be right for you.
For Short Term Study visa holders:
*These types of bank accounts are not usually suitable for Tier 4 visa holders, as it can be very difficult to get bank statements from online bank accounts that meet the UKVI requirements for financial documents when applying to extend a Tier 4 visa.