BANKS & BANK ACCOUNTS

BANKS & THE SERVICES THEY CAN PROVIDE

Banks can seem like intimidating places but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them. For things like claiming benefits, or having wages paid, you are likely to need a bank account, and it is easier than it used to be to get an account. To open a first bank account, you will normally need to go into the bank.

Banks offer a range of services and different types of accounts for their customers.

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT

In order to open an account, banks need to see proof of who you are and where you live.

The list of acceptable identification are:

WHO YOU ARE

  • Current signed passport
  • Birth certificate (under 16)
  • Young Scot Card (under 25)
  • Provisional driving licence
  • Current UK photo card driving licence (or full paper version)
  • Residents permit from the Home Office to EU nationals along with their own passport

WHERE YOU LIVE

  • Council tax bill (valid for the current year)
  • Current UK photo card driving licence (or full paper version)
  • Bank or building society statement containing current address (dated within 3 months)
  • Confirmation you are on the electoral register (banks can do this automatically)
  • Recent utility bill or certificate from the company saying that you pay for the services on ‘pre-payment terms’
  • Original award letter from the Job Centre plus confirming your rights to benefits
  • Parent/Guardian utility bill with letter from parent/guardian

But if you don’t have those things, don’t be put off.

Some people may not have this identification, and there are ways round this. If you don’t have any of the official documents, banks should accept alternatives such as a benefits letter; immigration status document; or a letter from a prison governor, care-home manager, homeless shelter or place of study.

Contact your local bank to see what they will accept.