Banking and the way that people use money may differ from what you're used to and when you move to the UK you’re going to need a bank account, to pay your living costs and rent, tuition fees, or receive money from home.
You may find it useful to open a UK bank account as it can be easier to manage your finances plus it gives you have a safe place to keep your money, provides financial evidence for your visa application, and allows a business to pay you your salary if you decide to get a job whilst studying.
As well as banking you may also need to take out an insurance policy; insurance gives you financial protection in case of accidents or unforeseen problems when travelling.
We’ve put together some information to help you understand your options when it comes to your finances and insurance cover.
Banks in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and must operate in accordance with their requirements and those of the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group. They also have their own policies and procedures to follow and will carry out relevant checks to decide what account you may be eligible to open.
The FCA have some useful information for consumers about opening a bank account in the UK. UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) also produce helpful information for students about opening a bank account including a student blog addressing some common queries.
Some banks and app-based accounts may allow you to open a bank account before you arrive in the UK, whilst other banks will let you start the application online, but you will then need to complete the process in-person when you are in Essex. It’s a good idea to check the website of each bank for information before you start applying.
Monito have an article detailing the differences and benefits of both traditional and non-traditional (online) bank accounts which we would encourage you to read. Please be aware that some of these may not be available if you live outside the EU or EEA. You will find some useful tips on opening a UK bank account for international students in this Save the Student article.
Some global banks offer international bank accounts including HSBC and Bank of China. Please note that other banks are available, and the University of Essex does not recommend any particular bank account.
There are many different insurance providers in the UK who offer various types of policies. Before taking out insurance make sure the company is regulated by checking the Financial Services Register. Check the policy wording and make sure it offers you the cover you require.
If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.