Opening a bank account is a relatively simple process. Before a bank can let you have any kind of account, they need to be confident that you are who you say you are and live where you say you live. Therefore the most important thing you must do is provide the bank with current proof of your identity and address.
Bank accounts and the services available from each banking institution vary greatly, as do their rates of interest, fees and charges so it is important to seek expert advice before opening an account. The following websites contain information that will guide you.
- The Money Advice Service – This is an independent service which provides free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK. For more information visit the Money Advice Service website, Bank accounts and credit or debit cards section
- NI Direct – The NI Direct website also contains impartial and useful information. For further information please visit the NI Direct web page – Bank accounts and banking products
- Regulation and complaints – The FCA regulate the financial services industry in the UK. Their aim is to protect consumers, ensure the industry remains stable and promote healthy competition between financial services providers. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can be found at www.fca.org.uk
- The PRA is a part of the Bank of England and responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms. It sets standards and supervises financial institutions at the level of the individual firm. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) can be found at www.bankofengland.co.uk
- Competition and Consumer Protection Commission– The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission on Banking – opening an account, bank cards and switching accounts
The Citizens Information website also contains impartial and useful information which you will find at personal-finance section
There are marked differences in the charging policies of different banking institutions and bank charges are generally significantly higher for cross-border transactions than for transactions within the same jurisdiction.
In practice many frontier workers are found to operate bank accounts on both sides of the border, typically accessing their money through cash machines in the other jurisdiction rather than formally transferring funds.
Page last checked: September 2017
This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur. It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation.
If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please don’t hesitate to get in touch.