Can You Open A Bank Account In The UK Without Proof Of Address
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Bank Accounts Without A Proof Of Address In The UK

Updated on June 04, 2020 11:25 am
Bank Accounts in UK

If you have just arrived in the UK, recently move to the UK, or are still new to the country, opening a UK bank account is one of the first things to complete on your to-do list.

Some financial institutions allow account opening without the residential proof. And while proof of address may not be required by the neo-banks and few traditional banks, you will still need to provide an address for the bank to mail your documents and cards.?

The primary objective of the bank for requiring a proof of address is to ensure security and verify your identity. This can be done with various methods of identification:

  • Foreign nationals working temporarily in the UK can provide their national passport
  • Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) or European Union (EU) can provide either their national identity card or residence permit issued by the Home Office.
  • International students in the UK can provide their national passport or letter of acceptance or letter of introduction from the institution at which they are going to study
  • Nationals of the EEA or EU can provide either their national identity card or residence permit issued by the Home Office.

What documents are accepted as proof of address??

  • Utility bills, such as electric, internet, water or gas bill that have been issued in the last three months
  • Local authority council tax bill for the current council tax year 
  • Current UK driving licence Bank
  • Building Society or Credit Union statement or passbook dated within the last three months Mortgage statement
  • Council or housing association rent card or tenancy agreement for the current year
  • Electoral Register entry 
  • NHS Medical card or letter of confirmation from GP?s practice of registration with the surgery

According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the following documents can be used as? proof of residency:?

  • a letter from a care home manager or warden of sheltered accommodation or a refuge
  • a letter from the warden of a homeless shelter a letter from a probation officer or a hostel manager
  • a letter from a prison governor if you are a traveller, a letter from the local authority that verifies your address if you are an international student
  • a passport or European Economic Area National Identity Card and letter of acceptance or of introduction from a body on the Department for Education list
  • if you are an asylum seeker, an application registration card

Where to open a bank account in the UK without proof of residency?

You have three options to open your bank account in the UK without the proof of residency:

  • Offline - Most banks will allow you to open a basic bank account.  And some banks allow opening current accounts without the standard verification of residential proof. Some of the major banks in the UK are HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, NatWest, and Santander. Requirements may differ depending on the bank and branch location.

  • Online Banks - Instead of physically visiting a bank and its branch, you can also open an account online. However, most banks require you to be physically present.?
  • NeoBanks - These digital-only banks will set up the UK account for you without providing the proof of residency. Some of the popular Neobanks are Monese, Revolut, and N26.

Monese

Monese

Monese is a UK financial company that allows you to open a current account from your phone. This mobile-only service provides an account in GBP, Euros, and Romanian leu. It also allows money transfer services as an alternative to traditional banks.

Monese service is available in 31 countries across the EEA. Further, the app is available in 14 languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, European Portuguese, Bulgarian, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Turkish, Estonian, and Lithuanian.

Opening an account in Monese is safe and secure. There are authentication protocols such as 3D Secure in the app. Besides, the user?s account is protected with a biometric login.

Monese offer three types of accounts with different plan and pricing:

  • Simple - This account is free to open and does not charge any fee to maintain it. This plan includes a free debit card. ATM cash withdrawals up to ?200 is free for every month but if the withdrawal crosses the limit, it will charge with a 2% fee. 

Foreign currency card spending above ?2,000 within a month is not free, it will charge with a 2% fee. Foreign currency transfers to other Monese accounts are free but for non-Monese accounts, it will charge with a 2% fee.

  • Classic - To open this account, it will cost ?5.95 per month with a free debit card. ATM withdrawals will not charge a fee until it reaches ?900, after which it will cost 2% fee each to the end of the month. 

Foreign currency card spending for a month is free till it reaches ?9,000, after which it will charge a 2% fee. For foreign currency transfers to non-Monese accounts, it will charge with 0.5% but free between Monese accounts.

  • Premium - Premium account cost ?14.95 per month with a free debit card. Unlimited ATM withdrawals per month, free foreign currency card spending, and free foreign currency exchange transfers to any account.

Revolut?

Revolut is a UK?s mobile bank that allows opening a current account without providing residential proof. You can also transfer money in 30 currencies with the interbank exchange rate, by a small 0.5% fee for anything above ?5,000 for each month. But a flat mark-up on weekends and on certain currencies may apply.

Revolut Cards

Revolut offers three types of accounts -

  • Standard - Standard account is free with zero monthly costs and a free debit card. You can use it in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate. You are allowed to transfer in 30 fiat currencies up to the value of ?5,000 per month without any hidden fees. There is no fee for ATM withdrawals up to ?200 per month
  • Premium - Premium account cost ?6.99 per month including a free debit card. They charge no fee of ATM withdrawals up to ?400 per month, after which it costs 2% of the value of the cash that has to be withdrawn. You are allowed to exchange in 30 fiat currencies with no monthly limit. 
  • Metal - Metal account cost ?12.99 per month including a debit card and they charge no fee for ATM withdrawals up to ?600 per month, after which it costs 2% of the value of the cash to be withdrawn.

N26

N26 is an online bank that you can use through a mobile phone app or via website banking service. Their service is available across Europe and is expanding to other locations. Currently, it offers a currency exchange of 19 different currencies.

Opening a normal service account in N26 is free but for the N26 "Black" service, you will need to pay a monthly fee. There is ATM cash withdrawal availability worldwide and there is no foreign transaction fee to use its debit card for overseas purchases. The limit for free cash withdrawals from an ATM is set by N26 and it is not the same from country to country on where you?re located.

N26

N26 offers international money transfers through a partnership with the popular money transfer provider, Wise.?

In conclusion, in the age of technology, life without a bank account is close to impossible. Neobanks are the future. It offers great convenience, security, and ease. Fees are the main drawback in addition to the limitations on other financial services like loans, credit cards, and international money transfers.?

Brands like N26 have partnered with other money transfer service providers to facilitate international money transfer services but it is not as straight forward. For example, N26 list their fees or exchange rates in their app and not on their website. And it does not provide a currency exchange service. Here are the best international money transfer apps.

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