Opening a current account - what you need

A current account enables you to deposit, store, withdraw and transfer money. It can also give you access to online banking and secure banking apps which help you manage your money. In some countries a current account is also known as a transaction account.

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Check if you're eligible

Most UK banks require you to be 18 or over, although some will accept applications from people aged 16 and over. If you’re between 7-17 years old you may be able to apply for a children’s bank account.

To open a current account many banks will require you to be a resident in the United Kingdom (UK). Non-UK nationals from outside the European Union (EU) or Switzerland may need to provide a visa or residence permit.

What do you need?

To complete your application, you’ll need to provide a proof of identity and proof of address. Here’s a list of accepted documents.

Proof of identity:

  • Passport
  • Driver’s licence
  • EU identity card

Proof of address:

  • Utility bill
  • Telephone bill
  • Council tax bill
  • Mortgage statement
  • Rent agreement

Some banks will require more than one proof of address. If you're new to the UK, you may not be able to do this. In this case a letter from a university or employer might be acceptable.

Explore more: What documents do you need for an ID check

Any other documents?

You may also need to provide proof of your income and be asked about your expenses. If you are, the following should be acceptable:

  • Pay slips
  • Bank statements
  • P60 (statement issued to UK taxpayers at the end of the tax year)
  • Letter from a recognised employer

Check your credit report

Many banks will check your credit history before they offer you a current account. To do this, they use information from the three credit reference agencies: CallCredit, Equifax and Experian.

Before you apply for a current account, it could be worth checking the information these agencies hold on you to ensure your personal information is accurate and up to date. Usually you can do this for a £2 fee.

What next?

If you're ready to open a current account you can apply online straight away.