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Opening a bank account

Visit our Banking Hub in the Students' Union during enrollment week to open a bank account in the UK.

Our Banking Hub will be available on selected dates during enrollment week and it will be located in The Study on the 3rd floor of the Students' Union.

Most of the major UK banks will be present in the Hub, allowing students to open accounts at the bank of their choice on-site, or book appointments to open accounts in their local branch.

How to open an account

Using your Cardiff University username and password, log in to SIMS and follow the instructions. If you need help, follow our step-by-step instructions to enrolling online.

You will need to collect your student student ID card before you can generate a bank letter.

Generate a bank letter

If you are setting up a new bank account, you will probably need to provide the bank with a letter confirming your student status and correct term-time address.

You can update your address and request a bank letter through SIMS online. Simply log into SIMS and click ‘Generate a bank letter’ under the ‘My proof of enrolment’ section. A copy of the bank letter will be emailed to you as a PDF and will also be stored in your student record in SIMS online.  You must keep the email as some banks will require it (see below).

Watch a short video on how to generate a bank letter and change your contact details in SIMS online.

video on how to generate a bank letter and change your contact details in SIMS online

You can access SIMS online from any device, but during the September ID card collection period, a room is also available in the Students' Union to enable you to do this.

Below is a summary of how to use your bank letter with the major banks – however, please check with your bank to ensure you have everything you need.

Bank
Recommended branch
Requirements
Barclays 1-5 St David's Way, Cardiff, CF10 2DP You will need to access SIMS online at the bank (a computer will be available). Print your PDF in the bank.
HSBC 56 Queen Street, Cardiff, CF10 2PX Pre-print a PDF bank letter and take it to the bank with any other required documentation.
Lloyds 31 Queen Street, Cardiff CF10 2AG Pre-print a PDF bank letter and accompanying email from Cardiff University and take these to the bank with any other required documentation.
Natwest 96 Queen Street, Cardiff, CF10 2GR
Pre-print a PDF bank letter and accompanying email from Cardiff University and take these to the bank with any other required documentation.
Santander Ground Floor, Cardiff University Student's Union A letter is not required but may be helpful to cross reference your term-time address.

Single semester exchange students

If you are an exchange student and completing a placement at Cardiff University for six months or less, your banking options are more limited.

Below is a summary of banks that Cardiff University is currently aware of that offer banking services to students in Cardiff for six months or less.

BankRecommended branchRequirements
Lloyds31 Queen Street, Cardiff CF10 2AGPre-print a PDF bank letter and accompanying email from Cardiff University and take these to the bank with any other required documentation. Visa holders not currently on a Tier 4 student visa, will require additional proof of address in Cardiff such as a tenancy agreement.
SantanderGround Floor, Cardiff University Student's UnionA letter is not required but may be helpful to cross reference your term-time address.

You'll need to book an appointment with a member of staff at the bank to fill in the application forms. It will take at least an hour to complete them, or perhaps longer if there are a lot of other students in the bank doing the same thing. Be prepared to wait.

If you are likely to need to apply for a visa extension, please do not choose a paperless bank account, because you'll need to have paper copies of bank statements to send with your visa application. Don’t throw your statements away. It can take a week to get a duplicate bank statement – so make sure you keep them.

Transferring money to the UK

The easiest way to send money from your home country to your UK bank account is by electronic transfer.

To do this, the bank in your home country will need your:

  • bank’s name and full address
  • name as given on your UK bank account
  • bank account number
  • bank sort code.

Banker's draft

You can also transfer money using a banker’s draft. This is a document drawn up by the bank in your home country and sent to you by post. You'll then present the banker’s draft to your bank in the UK. Before you transfer money, ask what charges will be made by the bank and how long it will take.

Make sure that you keep copies of the relevant documents in case there is a dispute with the bank in the future.