New to the United Kingdom

Whether you're coming here to live, work or study, or as a refugee or asylum seeker we’re here to help. 

Bank account guidance

We offer a wide range of bank accounts and services to help you manage your money.

All our accounts come with a contactless VISA debit card and can be managed through our Internet Banking, Mobile app, in branch and telephone banking.

Who can have a bank account?

Once you're living in the UK, you may be eligible for a bank account.

To apply for a bank account you need to be:

  • 18 or over
  • a UK resident

Under 18s can apply for one of our Youth accounts. 

How to apply for a bank account

  • Applying for an account online is the easiest way to open an account.
  • You can also apply in your local branch, but you will need to make an appointment. 

Contact us to make an appointment

What proof of identity can you use to open an account?

You will need to show one of the following online:

  • Biometric Residence Permit
  • A current UK photo driving licence
  • Passport from the United Kingdom

If you do not have one of the above, you will need to bring two documents to the branch as proof of identity and address.

If you are unsure on what documents you can use, please contact us and we will be able to support you.

Information we will ask you

As part of the application we will ask you for:

  • Your personal details - this includes your date of birth, nationality, and marriage status.
  • Your address - current UK home address and your previous address if less than 3 years. We will accept international addresses for your previous address.
  • Contact details - your phone number and email address.
  • Outgoings - we might need to know how much money you spend on bills, like mortgages and rent.
  • Income - how much money you earn each month.
  • Employment - we’ll need to know what your job is.

You can still apply for one of our bank accounts if you don’t currently have employment or an income.

Take a look at our bank accounts to see which suits you best, you can then start your application online.

You may be offered a Basic Account if you do not meet the conditions for one of our other accounts. Find out more about the features and benefits of the Basic Account.

Guidance for providing your proof of identity online

  • Your name, address and date of birth must match your application.
  • Your document must be in date.
  • Use a device with a good camera, such as, a mobile phone.
  • Switch to a mobile if using a webcam.
  • Make sure there is no glare and the document is well lit.
  • If you are on an iPad or iPhone, you must use safari as the browser.
  • Use the latest version of browsers - old browsers like Internet explorer won’t work.
  • Update your privacy settings so that the camera permissions are enabled.
  • Remove our site from the list of blocked sites.

Refugees and asylum seekers

The easiest way to apply for a bank account is online.

You can also apply in your local branch if you need additional support, but you will need to book an appointment.

The sections above tell you what proof of identity documentation we can accept and the information we'll ask you in the application.

Please contact us if you need advice on the documentation you can use.

Do you need additional support?

We are committed to helping people who have difficulty accessing banking. If because of your circumstances you need support with opening an account, please contact us or visit us in branch.

Contact us or find your nearest branch

Find out more about the support available to you

How to use Internet Banking

Once you have a bank account you will be able to use Internet Banking and our Mobile Banking app.

Can I deposit cash in my bank account?

Yes. You can do this at a Bank of Scotland branch or at Post Office® branches nationwide.

Find your nearest branch

Banking in the UK

You may find that banking in the UK is different from the way you bank in your home country. So you can manage your money most efficiently, it’s helpful to understand where there may be differences:

Making payments and paying bills

What overdrafts are and how they operate 

How to protect yourself from fraud?

Fraud can come in all shapes and sizes and they keep changing to try and trick you. We have lots of advice and support to keep you and your family safe.

Find out how to spot and avoid scams

International payments

Send money to almost anywhere in the world, from almost anywhere in the world.

Find out about international payments

Bank of Scotland plc, Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.