Bank account opening for salary payment in London, UK

Opening a bank account in London, UK, is a straightforward process that allows you to conveniently receive and manage your salary. Whether you’re a new resident, an expatriate, or simply seeking a better banking option, having a local bank account is essential. This article will provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide on how to open a bank account for salary payments in London.

Step 1: Research Different Banks:

London offers a wide range of banking options, including traditional banks and online-only banks. Begin by researching various banks and comparing their account features, benefits, fees, and customer reviews. Consider factors such as branch accessibility, online banking services, customer support, and any specific requirements that may suit your needs.

Step 2: Choose the Right Account Type:

Once you have narrowed down your options, carefully review the different types of bank accounts offered by each institution. Common options include current accounts, basic bank accounts, and premium accounts. Identify an account type that aligns with your financial goals, lifestyle, and expected banking activity.

Step 3: Gather Required Documentation:

To open a bank account in London, you will typically need to provide certain documents as part of the application process. These usually include:

a. Proof of Identity: A valid passport, driver’s license, or national identity card.

b. Proof of Address: A recent utility bill, bank statement, or government-issued letter containing your name and residential address.

c. Employment Details: A letter of employment or a contract that verifies your job position, salary, and employer’s contact information.

Step 4: Visit a Bank Branch or Apply Online:

Once you have chosen a bank and gathered the necessary documentation, you can either visit a branch in person or apply online, depending on the bank’s options. If you decide to visit a branch, it is recommended to make an appointment beforehand to save time and ensure a smooth process. Alternatively, online applications are becoming increasingly popular and often offer a convenient and efficient way to open an account.

Step 5: Complete the Application Form:

During your branch visit or online application, you will be required to fill out an application form. Provide accurate and up-to-date information, including personal details, employment information, and your preferred banking services. Double-check the form for any errors before submitting it.

Step 6: Verification Process:

The bank will verify your identity and the information provided in your application. This may involve checking your documents, conducting a credit check, or contacting your employer. The verification process can vary in duration depending on the bank and the complexity of your application.

Step 7: Receive Your Bank Account Details:

Once your application is approved, the bank will provide you with your account details. These typically include your account number, sort code, and any additional information relevant to your chosen bank account. Additionally, you may receive a debit card, online banking credentials, and instructions on how to access and manage your account.

Step 8: Set Up Salary Payments:

To ensure a smooth transition, inform your employer of your new bank account details for salary payments. Provide them with the necessary information, such as your account number and sort code. It is advisable to give your employer ample time to update their records and ensure a seamless payment process.

Opening a bank account for salary payments in London, UK, is a practical and essential step for managing your finances effectively. By conducting thorough research, selecting the right bank and account type, and providing the necessary documentation, you can easily establish a reliable banking relationship. Remember to carefully review the terms and conditions of the chosen bank account to fully understand any fees or restrictions associated with it. With your new account, you’ll be able to receive your salary conveniently, access a range of banking services, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with managing your finances efficiently in the vibrant city of London.

What documents do I need to open a bank account in the UK?

To open a UK bank account, you’ll need two documents: one to prove your identity and one to prove your address. This applies both in-branch and online.

Proving your identity is simple. You just need your passport, driving license, or identity card.

You’ll also have to prove your address by providing another document.

Every bank has its own list of documents that are acceptable as proof of address. Broadly speaking, these include:

a tenancy agreement or mortgage statement;

a recent electricity or gas bill (less than 3 months old);

a recent (less than 3 months old) bank or credit card statement that’s not printed off the internet; or a current council tax bill.

How to open a bank account in the UK without proof of address?

Of course, if you’re new to the UK, you probably don’t have any of the documents on this list.

Luckily, in recent years, banks have become a bit more flexible in terms of what documents they will accept as proof of address.

If you’re in the UK to study, for example, many banks will accept a letter from your University’s admissions office confirming your address.

Many banks will also accept a letter from Jobcentre Plus confirming your National Insurance number or even a letter from your employer, as long as it’s less than three months old.

There is also another way.

Before you leave for the UK, go to your bank and ask them to change your correspondence address to your UK address. You may also be able to do this via Internet banking.

Once you’ve changed your address, ask your bank to send a bank statement to your new address by post, and you’ll have a document that proves your UK address.

If you don’t have proof of address in the UK and you need to open an account, Wise’s multi-currency account may be the right choice for you. You can supply proof of address from your standard list of documents and do verification online.

If you’ve recently started a new job or opened a new bank account, it’s important to make sure your salary will be paid correctly.

Before you’re paid

Depending on your employer, you may have to fill out a form or email the person that manages the payroll. You’ll need to give them the following:

your sort code

your account number

the name on the account

For HSBC customers, these details will be on your statements and your debit card. They’re also available through online and mobile banking.

Several days before you’re next paid, it may be a good idea to get in touch with the person who manages payroll at your employer to make sure they have the right details on file.

After you’re paid

You can check whether the money has gone into your account, and how much has gone in, by looking at your recent transactions through online or mobile banking. The payment should be listed as a credit.

It’s a good idea to have a look at your payslip to ensure the amount on the payslip matches the amount you received. It’s also worth checking the correct tax code has been applied. If anything isn’t as you expect it should be, get in touch with either your employer or your bank.

Many major UK banks also have so-called ‘international’ accounts. These are designed specifically for non-residents, so they’re a great option if you don’t have the documents to prove your UK address. In fact, you can even apply for an international account online. Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, and NatWest all offer international bank accounts.

However, opening a bank account from abroad or an international account may not be the right choice for you.

Very often, you’ll have to make a big initial deposit and commit to paying in a minimum amount of money each month. Some banks will also charge you a monthly fee in addition to these requirements. This can make your bank account expensive to open and run, especially if you still don’t have a job.

There may also be other restrictions. For instance, you may not be able to close the account and switch to a better deal until a set period of time expires.

What is the easiest bank account to open in the UK?

It’s usually easier to open an account with one of the UK’s largest banks – Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC or NatWest. These banks have been in business for a long time and are very safe. They also have a lot of experience dealing with foreigners, so they’re a bit more understanding of your situation and flexible with their requirements.

Your nationality will also play an important role. It’s probably easier to open a bank account if you’re an EU national than when you’re from a country outside the EU.

Either way, it’s a good idea to get in touch with customer support before you try opening an account. That way, you can get more information and ask questions about any difficulties you may have.

The Big Four UK banks

There are more than ten retail banks in the UK, each with its strengths and weaknesses. However, the biggest four UK banks are Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and NatWest.

Let’s have a look at what each of them has to offer.


Barclays is one of the oldest banks in the UK; and has more than 1500 branches around the country.

It’s also probably one of the easiest banks to open an account with if you’re new to the UK. In fact, you can even pre-apply for an account online before you arrive in the UK.

The account is free and comes with a contactless visa debit card as standard. However, you won’t be able to use your account immediately. Once you’re in the UK, you’ll have to visit a branch with your reference number, passport and proof of address in order to activate the account.

Barclays also has special accounts for students and businesses.

The international student account is free and offers cashback from various shops. It includes a free overdraft of up to £3,000 for three years and a contactless debit card. You also get a 12-month subscription to Perlego, which gives you access to more than 400,000 academic and non-fiction eBooks.¹

The account includes a free overdraft of up to £3,000 for three years and a contactless debit card.

Barclays also offers a few different business accounts, depending on the yearly turnover rate.

You can get in touch with customer support via a live chat, where you can discuss the details of your application and ask questions in real-time.


Lloyds is the largest provider of current accounts in the UK and has about 1100 branches throughout the country.

Opening a bank account is very easy, even if you have just arrived in the UK.

Lloyds has a special new to the UK account which you can normally open with just your passport or identity card (if you’re an EU citizen). The account is free and comes with a contactless Visa debit card as standard.

Lloyds also has an account especially for students and it offers a free overdraft of up to £1,500 for three years.

You can open a business account with Lloyds too. Depending on the size of your business, there are three accounts to choose from. The one with the £0-£3M turnover is free for the first 12 months. You’ll also get a range of business tools, including accounting software and legal assistance at a reduced price.³


HSBC has more than 1100 branches around England and Wales, but a lower number in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

HSBC’s biggest advantage is that it operates in about 64 countries around the world. If you bank with HSBC in your home country, they can help you set up an account in the UK before you get here.

The basic current account is ideal for essential day-to-day banking. It has no monthly fees and it comes with a contactless Visa debit card. You can also withdraw up to £300 per day. However, it’s important to note that the basic account doesn’t offer an arranged overdraft.

The student account offers a free overdraft of £1000 in the first year. In the second year, you can request an increase of £2000.

The bank also offers helpful student guides that can help you manage finances more efficiently.

If you want to open a business account, there is a range of business bank accounts to choose from. Most of them are free for the first 18 months and include perks such as a dedicated relationship manager to help you build your business and a knowledge center with training articles and videos.⁶

NatWest Group

The bank’s Select current account is free to use and comes with a contactless visa debit card as standard. You’ll also get access to an emergency cash service, so you can withdraw money from your account using just a security code if your card is lost or stolen.⁷

NatWest also has excellent student and business accounts.

If you’re a student, you’ll get a free overdraft of up to £2,000 for three years. You can also choose between 3 useful offers by the bank: Amazon Prime Student membership, National Express Coachcard or a tastecard.⁸

If you’re just starting a business, you can choose NatWest’s Startup account which offers free financial services for the first 18 months. This package also offers access to their learning platform and business growth events.⁹

You can contact customer support via a live chat, where you can discuss the details of your application and ask any questions in real-time.

Other banks worth looking into

While Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, and NatWest are the four biggest banks in the UK, there are also other banks you can check.

TSB is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the best banks in the UK. It’s quite easy to open an account, even if you’re new to the UK; and the Classic Plus account has some great perks.

These include 1.49% gross variable interest paid on balances up to £1,500 and £5 cash back for debit card transactions (terms and conditions apply). ¹º

TSB’s student account offers overdraft protection of up to £1,500 and 4.89% gross variable interest on the first £500.¹¹

Santander is very popular because of its 1|2|3| account. This one offers up to 3% cashback on household bills and 0.60% gross variable interest, on balances up to £20,000.¹² Unfortunately, you’ll need to undergo a credit check when you apply for this account, so if you’re new to the UK you probably won’t qualify. However, once you’ve been in the UK for a while (perhaps a year or so), it’s a good idea to look at it.

Of course, it’s always best to look at what different banks have to offer and see who has the best deal. Don’t commit to a product without at least having a look at what else is out there.

What are the costs?

You can get a basic current account at no monthly cost from most high street banks. This should be more than enough for your everyday banking needs.

Most banks also have premium accounts that offer additional benefits such as cashback on household bills, in-credit interest, and insurance. However, these accounts will often have monthly fees and minimum eligibility requirements; and you may not qualify if you’re new to the UK.

You’ll also need to be careful to stay on credit. Unless you have a planned overdraft facility, your bank may charge large fees if you withdraw more money than you have in your account. It’s always a good idea to read through your bank’s terms and conditions. That way, you’ll avoid any nasty surprises.

Starting a business in the UK involves various administrative tasks, including the crucial step of setting up a business bank account. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to open a business bank account in the UK, along with some key considerations and requirements.

Choose a Bank:

To begin, select a reputable bank that offers business banking services. Major banks in the UK provide tailored solutions for businesses of all sizes and types. Consider factors such as the bank’s fees, features, customer service, and convenience of branch locations or online banking options.

Gather Required Documents:

The necessary documents may vary depending on your business structure. Here are the common documents typically required:

a. Freelancers and Unlimited Sole Traders/Partnerships:

Passport/ID for all partners

Proof of personal addresses

Business address

b. Limited Companies:

Companies House registration number

Details of all directors

Estimated annual turnover

Undergo a Credit Check:

All individuals associated with the business will likely undergo a credit check as part of the bank’s due diligence process. Ensure your credit history is in good standing, as it can influence the bank’s decision to open an account for your business.

Schedule a Meeting with a Business Manager:

Contact the bank and arrange a meeting with a business manager or a dedicated business banking representative. During this meeting, you will discuss your business goals, account requirements, and any additional services you may need. It is advisable to prepare a business plan or budget forecast, particularly if you intend to seek a loan from the bank in the future.

Complete the Application Process:

Follow the instructions provided by the bank to complete the application process. This may involve filling out forms, submitting required documents, and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the business bank account.

Review and Maintain the Account:

Once your application is approved, carefully review the account details provided by the bank. Familiarize yourself with the account features, fees, and any specific terms and conditions. Regularly monitor your account and keep accurate financial records to ensure compliance with accounting and tax regulations.

What to Do If Your Application is Refused:

In some cases, banks may decline a business bank account application without providing specific reasons. If your application is refused, consider the following steps:

Contact the Bank:

Reach out to the bank to inquire about the reasons for the refusal. Understanding the factors that led to the rejection can help you address any potential issues and improve your chances in future applications.

Explore Alternative Options:

If one bank refuses your application, it doesn’t mean others will do the same. Research and consider alternative banks that may have different criteria or be more accommodating to your specific business needs.

Seek Professional Advice:

If you encounter repeated rejections or face difficulties, it may be beneficial to consult with a financial advisor or business mentor. They can provide valuable insights and guidance tailored to your situation.

Opening a business bank account in the UK is a vital step for any business owner. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process with confidence and ensure you have the necessary financial infrastructure in place to support your business endeavors. Remember to choose a bank that aligns with your requirements and maintain a strong financial record to build a fruitful banking relationship.

Bank of England – the central bank of the UK

Financial Conduct Authority – the official regulator of the UK banking and financial sector

Financial Ombudsman – deals with complaints made against banks and financial services

Direct Debit – automatic payment provider used by many UK customers for regular bill payments

Current Account Switch Service – takes care of proceedings if you want to switch your account to another provider