October 10, 2021

opening a bank account in the uk without proof of address


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Opening a bank account in the UK without proof of address can be difficult, but it's not impossible. Many traditional banks require you have a current utility bill, council tax bill, or credit card statement to show your name and address details.

This is an understandable security measure, but it can make life tough for those without these documents.

The good news is there are still plenty of options out there if you're looking to open a bank account in the UK without proof of address! In this article, we'll take a look at some of the best banks for opening a bank account in the UK without proof of address, so whether you are moving to the UK or are in a position where you don't have proof of address, then this article will give you general guidance on the options available.

How do I open a UK Bank Account Without Proof of Residency?

Opening a UK bank account without proof of address can sometimes feel like a minefield, but options are available.

Types of UK Bank Accounts Without Proof of Address

Digital money account: A easy alternative to a bank is a digital money account. Monese is a great example of this. Monese isn't a bank but classified as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI for short). You can open an account in minutes, get a regular debit card, and set up direct debits. All you need is a photo ID and a selfie (using your phone) to sign up. You live in any of the 30 countries within the European Economic Area. You are eligible to join.


Good to know: Your money is protected in many different ways, including the EU Electronic Money Directive 2009/110/EC and UK Electronic Money Regulations 2011, but not by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) like with a traditional UK bank account. Overdrafts are not available with this type of account.


Related Article: Monese Review

Basic Bank account: Most traditional banks offer a basic bank account, and some of these banks will let you open a UK account without proof of address.


Online banks: The digital era we are in has meant the rise of online banks. These banks operate purely online and offer consumers incredible convenience and often without monthly costs. They work like a traditional bank, except they do not have branches. And with many, you can open an account within 10 minutes and use the mobile banking app instantly. 


Related Article: Best Digital Banks

Who Should Consider a No Address Current Account?

Let us discuss some situations that require no credit verification from a bank without identification. We'll also discuss workable answers for each situation.

Digital nomads

The rising digital nomad population has encouraged innovation in the financial sector. Online banking is getting more frequent than ever without any ID. If you move around a lot in the UK and beyond multiple currencies bank account might be what you are looking for. And because you don't necessarily have a permanent address, a UK accounts that you can open by just confirming your ID might be just for you.

International Student

If you are moving to the UK to study, you may need a bank account quickly to pay for student accommodation, etc. The only ID you might have could be a passport or a national identity card, so again a bank account that doesn't require proof of address will be needed so you can get set up before you arrive in the UK.

Moving to the UK From Europe

Monese, a digital money account (alternative to a bank account) business model, was actually set up to address the problem of moving to the UK from Europe. Monese founder Norris Koppel moved to the UK and found it incredibly difficult to open a bank account.

Come 2015, Monese was born, a digital money account that you can open within minutes available to anyone with poor credit or without proof of UK address. All you need to join is proof of ID and a selfie on your mobile device.

There are some differences between these services and a normal bank account; for instance, you cannot have an overdraft, and your money is protected differently.

Poor Credit Score

Most banks will not let your bank open a full bank account without proof of address and good credit history. If you have been bankrupt in the past, you may struggle to get a bank account, but it is not impossible. It's best to discuss your options with the bank before applying as depending on your situation you may need professional advice. 

Those in Sheltered Accommodation

If you live in sheltered accommodation or don't have a permanent address getting a UK account could be difficult. 


Options for Banks That Don't Require Proof of Address

Monese: 

Perfect for Ex-pats or Those Moving to the UK from Europe

If you are moving to the UK or for foreign nationals working temporarily in the UK, this is a good account option. Similar to digital-only banks but actually classified as a digital money account.

Monese is a multi-currency account available to anyone living in the European Economic area.

Monese is an entirely mobile account. It enables you to carry out most things from the app. You can have a GBP and Euro account that are easy to switch between.  

It is handy when you must send money overseas or pay the mortgage abroad. The documents you have to prove are valid if you live in 30 EU countries. You can open a new account without uploading a pic and a screenshot, and you can have several email or phone numbers to follow. You also need to use the app to ensure you have the incorrect address.

Accounts are available in single and joint

Read full details on Monese*

Starling Bank

Voted Britains Best Bank 3 Consecutive Years

One of the most popular digital-only banks in the UK, Starling Bank has an excellent reputation for service and account features.

Good features to know:

  • Free debit card
  • Has a Full UK banking licence, meaning although its an online bank it is a real bank and your money is protected like any other bank. 
  • Address verification may be required (see below)
  • Round up spare change

What documents do I need to open a personal account with Starling?

To open a personal account, you'll need to provide at least one of the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • EU/EEA ID card (national identity card)
  • UK Residence Card
  • UK photo driving licence (full or provisional)

Depending on how easy it is for Starling Bank to identify you, you may be required to give some address details. If you are required to provide proof of address, they can accept documents such as:

  • Current UK driving license with current address (unless already submitted as proof of ID)
  • UK Bank Statement with current address
  • Utility Bills with current address
  • Council Tax letter with current address

You can open a bank account with Starling Bank by downloading their app and following the instructions.


Starling bank

Monzo

Another award winning bank, like Starling Bank Monzo is a full UK regulated online bank. 

Monzo also operates a mobile bank featuring a full UK current account and a full debit card. Paying by debit card is free. Monzo offers three different accounts: Current accounts and 2 premium accounts.

You can open an account online through the Monzo app. 

Here is what Monzo say you need to open a account according to their website.

  • A valid passport
  • Driving licence (your provisional is fine)
  • National ID card
  • Biometric residency permit

Related Article: Monzo vs Starling


Monzo

Revolut

Revolut is a digital banking platform that allows opening a UK current account with no evidence of residence plus a debit card. You may also use the standard mid-market exchange rate and hold money in more than ten currencies.

Please note Revolut is not covered by the FCSC but is regulated by the FCA and like Monese is classified as a electronic money institution. You can find out full details here of how they protect your money.

Opening a Revolut personal account is straightforward.

You just download the app and put in your phone number. 

Then you will set a password and a 6 digit code will be sent to your phone to verify the account.

It will ask you for your name, birth date, address, and email.

Then you will make an initial deposit by putting in your bank details for a transfer to be initiated.

Then you will need to provide a selfie and a picture of your passport for verification.  

You’ll be asked to select either a standard, premium, or metal account, and pay the fee (standard is free).

Related Article: Starling bank vs Revolut

Revolut

Basic Bank Accounts

Most banks offer a basic bank account which works like a normal banking service except you don't have access to additional services like overdrafts.

But you will get a debit card to allow you to spend money normally and the bank accounts can be used for paying bills. Consider these are no-frills options.

To open a bank account with some of the below you may need to book an in-store appointment. 

Here are a few of the banks that offer basic current accounts: 

-  HSBC offer a no fixed address banking service 

online banking

Disclaimer:

The list of bank account providers on this page is a selection of services available and gives you an idea of the kind of options available. The terms "best," "top," "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting any of the providers listed. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. MeMoreMoney will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, MeMoreMoney recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

Some of the services listed in this article are digital money accounts as opposed to banks; (Monese & Revolut) although your money is protected to the same amount it is not protected under the same legislation as FCSC scheme check the providers full terms before committing. 

What can I use as a valid proof of address to open a bank account?

Before you limit yourself to an account with no proof address, you might want to be sure you don't have some form of address already. Although every UK bank can be different in what forms of ID they accept, here are some forms of ID that could be counted towards your proof of address: 

Checklist
  • Mortgage statement
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Council tax bill
  • Landline phone bill
  • Credit union statement
  • Utility bill: phone bill, gas bill or water bill
  • If you are a traveller/international students a letter from the local authority that verifies your address

The moral - check with the bank before you apply, especially if you are applying for a overdraft and want to unnecessary credit checks. 

Opening a Bank Account in the UK Without Proof of Address: Bottom Line

Whether you've been living in the UK for a long time or are just visiting as a tourist, opening up an account at the best bank for you is the first step to making your stay more comfortable if you don't have any proof of address. Not to worry!

This article has shown you options for bank accounts that allow you to open a bank account without proof of address or limited.

As always make sure to do your own research and pick a current account that will suit your needs.

Did you manage to open a bank account? Let me know in the comments below!

Opening a Bank Account Without Proof of Address FAQ

UK banks That Don't Require Proof of Address

The majority of banks in the UK require certain documents to prove your identity and address. You don't need to obtain a residency and your name if you do not have the security of your residence. What makes this a difficult task for somebody who doesn't possess a license, ID card, or passport. 

See the banks listed above to help you find a bank or a electronic money institution that could help you. 

How do I get proof of address in the UK?

There are many ways to get proof of address these could include mortgage statement, tenancy agreement, council tax bill , landline phone bill, credit union statement , utility bill: phone bill, gas bill or water bill.

You can open an account with a digital bank in minutes, and some don't

If you need a UK Bank account as quickly as possible, opening your account with a challenger/digital bank normally takes only a few minutes. You'll still likely need verification (such as a passport or driver's license). Some bank challengers do not require proof of address.

About the author 

Mary Elizabeth

Founder of MeMoreMoney. A self-taught finance nerd, learning by doing and experiencing. Bought first house at 21, paid off student debt, and save 100k by 30. Featured Personal Finance Expert in GO Banking Rates and Yahoo! Finance

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