Opening a UK bank account

Whilst in the UK (even if it is only for a year) it is worthwhile considering opening a UK bank account. There are a number of banks that you can choose from and all offer different facilities, so it is worth spending a little time on the web seeing what each bank has to offer you. A number of banks will also allow you to make a preliminary application on-line which will hopefully speed things up once you are in Cambridge. Banks in Cambridge are very busy in September and October.

Some of the things it might be worth finding out include:

  • if the bank will give you a cheque book/debit card
  • the costs involved in transferring money from an overseas account to your UK account and vice versa
  • if there are any charges involved in transferring money directly from your account to Pembroke’s Barclays account
  • whether there is a standard amount you need to keep in your bank account.
  • overdraft facilities


The paperwork usually asked for by a bank in order to open an account is:

– a status letter from the College stating that you are a student here, your course length etc, and confirming your home address and UK address and full names (it is therefore important to make sure you give us your full names and correct address as we will produce letters from the data we hold; please avoid giving a PO box address). This letter can be obtained from the Tutorial office (LL3). When requesting a letter, please tell us which bank it is for.

– your passport

– possibly information about your bank account in your home country

– possibly your offer letter from the College.

The websites listed below offer helpful information about coming to the UK and also about opening a bank account here:


Web addresses for some of the banks closest to Pembroke:

Barclays Bank



Lloyds TSB Bank

Nat West