Thursday, 9 January 2014

HSBC Bank, 237 Brompton Road, London

How to get a bank account in UK? Prepare for;

-massive headache
-rude customer service
-bureaucracy that you have never experienced before
-waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting
-running from one place to another

How to avoid this? It is not the easiest thing to get a bank account in UK, even if you would have a European passport. However, it is POSSIBLE to avoid some of the mentioned feelings when you do the following;

1. Get a 'proof of address' before you go there. This has to be OFFICIAL letter that states your home address (for me it was Finland, for instance) and your current UK address. Staying in a hostel/relative? No worries, you can ask your work/school to state their address as yours. For University students, the school register offices usually provide this letter, just ask the school to sign and stamp it.

This little tool is used to log into your online account. I think it is more advanced than the paper slip I use in Finland, hahah.

2. Book an appointment to set the bank account. This is a little hard on HSBC webpage, because to book a time they assume you have your home address in UK or that you are changing to them from another UK bank. If the webpage is too confusing, just go to the bank (I would recommend HSBC, had major problems with other banks) and say you would like to book a time to set a basic account in UK.

A random picture of my brother, but perfectly expresses my emotions while I tried to get a bank account.

3. When you go to the appointment, take you National Insurance number with you (I will post about how to get that later) and some letters you might have received in your address with your full name on it, and your passport. Also, if you are working, take your employment contract with you. Most importantly, take the official 'Proof of Address' with you.

In UK you actually get two numbers; an account number and a 'sort number'. Both blurred in this picture for obvious reasons though, hehee. If you wonder the cash and now think I'm super rich or something, not really, our Landlord just wants the rent in cash (more about this later) and I thought it looks cool in the picture.

4. Good luck! I was ready to give away using bank accounts and going back to keeping money under my pillow like a kid because of all the difficulties on the way, but eventually got my card, so there is no way you couldn't do it!

This is how the letter from uni should look like.

Hopefully this was helpful, feel free to ask further questions.

Love, xx

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