Banks in Scotland: How to open a bank account

Looking for a bank account in Scotland? Here’s how to pick the best bank.

If you’re planning to open a bank account in Scotland, you’ll need to think about the type of bank account you want as well as the bank itself.

1 - 20 of 23
Name Product Finder Score Account fees Funding requirement Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Incentive Representative example Link
Reward
4.2
★★★★★
£2 per month
Min. £1250 Per Month
0% AER
39.49% EAR variable (subject to status)
tag iconYou must be 18+ and a UK resident. Earn up to £5/month in Rewards (£4 with 2x +£2 direct debits set up, £1 for monthly app log in) and from 1% in Rewards when you spend with selected partners.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative Example: Effective Annual Rate: 39.49% EAR (variable). Representative APR: 39.49% APR (variable). Assumed credit limit: £1,200 Subject to status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
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Select Account
4.2
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.49% EAR variable (subject to status)
Current account switch service guarantee badge
You must be 18+ and a UK resident.
Representative Example: Effective Annual Rate: 39.49% EAR (variable). Representative APR: 39.49% APR (variable). Assumed credit limit: £1,200 Subject to status. How does this overdraft compare? Representative APRs help you compare the cost of different credit products.
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CASHBACK
Spend & Save
4.3
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.9% EAR variable
tag iconGet £160 to switch & stay. £100 to start a switch before the offer is withdrawn, log into TSB App, make 5 debit card payments. Earn up to £60 double cashback by making 20 debit card payments per month. T&Cs apply.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeIf you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.9% EAR variable/APR representative.
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CASHBACK
Spend & Save Plus
4.5
★★★★★
£3 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
tag icon£160 to switch & stay. £100 to start a switch before the offer is withdrawn, log into TSB App, make 5 debit card payments. Earn up to £60 double cashback by making 20 debit card payments per month. T&Cs apply.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £3 per month.
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Premier Select
3.9
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
tag iconFree 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
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Under 19s Account - Age 11-15
4.0
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0.5% AER

Current account switch service guarantee badge
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Platinum
Not yet rated
£21 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
tag iconFree travel accident insurance – covers account holder, partner and dependent children up to 18 years old.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £21 per month.
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Student Account
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
tag iconEveryday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.9% EAR variable.
View details
Graduate
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.49% EAR variable
tag iconFree 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.49% EAR variable.
View details
Premier Reward
4.1
★★★★★
£2 per month
Min. £1250 Per Month
0% AER
39.49% EAR variable
tag iconEarn £9 back in Rewards per month by making at a minimum of 2 direct debit payments of at least £4.50 each.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.49% EAR variable. Account fee of £2 per month.
View details
Silver - with Vantage
Not yet rated
£10 per month
Min. £1000 Per Month (Minimum two direct debit mandates on account per month)
1.5% AER
N/A
tag iconFree travel accident insurance – covers account holder, partner and dependent children up to 18 years old.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £10 per month.
View details
Foundation
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

tag iconFree 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking customers or £60 if not.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
View details
Graduate Account
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.9% EAR variable
tag iconEveryday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.9% EAR variable.
View details
Classic - with Vantage
Not yet rated
£0
Min. £1000 Per Month (Minimum two direct debit mandates on account per month)
1.5% AER
39.9% EAR variable
tag iconEveryday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.9% EAR variable.
View details
Revolve
3.9
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
2.7% AER

tag iconFree 24/7 Emergency Cash Service to withdraw up to £300 for online and telephone banking.
View details
Silver
Not yet rated
£10 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
tag iconFree travel accident insurance – covers account holder, partner and dependent children up to 18 years old.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £10 per month.
View details
Basic Account
Not yet rated
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

tag iconEveryday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card.
Current account switch service guarantee badge
View details
Classic
4.3
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
39.9% EAR variable
tag iconEveryday Offers - Earn up to 15% cashback from selected retailers when shopping with a Bank of Scotland credit or debit card.
Current account switch service guarantee badgeRepresentative example: If you use an arranged overdraft of £1,200, you'll be charged interest at 39.9% EAR variable.
View details
Smart Start Spending Account - Age 11-15
4.0
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

tag iconLinked savings account.
View details
Premier Reward Black
Not yet rated
£31 per month
Min. £1250 Per Month
0% AER
N/A
tag iconEnjoy unlimited member visits to any airport lounge across the DragonPass network.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £31 per month.
View details
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There are several different banks to consider if you live in Scotland, so here’s how to find the best one.

Well-known Scottish banks

We’ve outlined some of the main Scottish banks below. Other banks such as Barclays and HSBC also have branches in Scotland, but we focus on those with Scottish roots.

Bank of Scotland

Bank of Scotland is Scotland’s first and oldest bank, having been founded by an Act of the Scottish Parliament on 17 July 1695. In 2001, the Bank of Scotland merged with Halifax to form HBOS. Then in 2009, HBOS was acquired by Lloyds Banking Group, making it the largest retail bank in the UK.

Lloyds Banking Group’s registered office and Scottish headquarters are in the historic Bank of Scotland building on The Mound in Edinburgh.

Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland is a major retail and commercial bank and was established in Edinburgh in 1727. In 2000, its holding company the Royal Bank of Scotland Group acquired NatWest and in 2020 its name was changed to NatWest Group.

Most of the bank’s branches are in Scotland, but it also has branches in England and Wales.

Clydesdale Bank

Clydesdale Bank is a retail and commercial bank that was established in Glasgow in 1838. Having expanded rapidly over the decades, in 2018 Clydesdale’s Bank holding company CYBG announced it was acquiring Virgin Money.

The Clydesdale Bank brand is now in the process of being phased out.

TSB

The first Trustee Savings Bank (TSB) was established in Dumfriesshire in 1810, with the purpose of serving the local community. TSBs quickly became popular and by 1986, a number of them had been integrated into the TSB Group which then floated on the London Stock Exchange.

In 1995, TSB merged with Lloyds Bank to form Lloyds TSB, but in 2013 they once again became 2 different banks.

What type of bank account should you choose?

When comparing banks you will need to consider what type of account works best for you.

If you’re after an account to carry out everyday banking tasks such as paying bills and subscriptions, you’ll need a current account. You can have your salary paid into your account and use your debit card to make payments and withdraw cash. Some accounts will also offer an overdraft so consider whether you are likely to need one. Be on the lookout for switching incentives too.

Alternatively, if you want somewhere to stash some extra cash, you’ll need a savings account – ideally one that pays a decent rate of interest. There are several types of savings accounts so consider what would work best for you.

Everyone should have some savings in an account that can be accessed easily in an emergency. For example, in case your car needs urgent repairs.

If you have a lump sum of cash that you can leave untouched for a year or more, locking it away in a fixed rate bond will often give you a better rate of interest. Some savings accounts also let you pay in a set amount each month for 12 months to help you get into the savings habit.

How to choose a bank account

To help you choose the right bank account, we’ve outlined some of the factors to consider:

  • Access. Do you need to be able to pop into a local branch to carry out your banking tasks or are you happy banking online or via an app? If you prefer to bank face-to-face, check which banks have branches near you. If you’re looking for a savings account, consider whether you want to access your money as needed or if you’re prepared to lock it away.
  • Interest rates. Savings accounts and some current accounts pay interest on your balance. Check which accounts pay the most competitive rates, whether there is a maximum balance interest it’s paid on and if you need to meet certain criteria to earn it.
  • Rewards and benefits. Some current accounts will also pay you cashback or offer perks such as travel insurance and mobile phone insurance so consider whether this is important to you. If it is, bear in mind that some accounts will charge a monthly fee.
  • Customer service. If the most important factor to you is good customer service, check which banks have the best customer reviews before you apply.
  • Overdrafts. If you need an overdraft, hunt out one that charges a low rate of interest. If you’re a student, most student bank accounts offer an interest-free overdraft while you’re studying, but the size of the overdraft varies depending on the bank.
  • Kids offers. You might also want to choose a bank account for your child, in which case see whether you get any preferential offers for being an existing customer. Some banks will require that you have an account with them before you can open a child’s account.
  • Business opportunities. If you run a small business, it can be worth opening a business bank account to keep your business and personal finances separate.

Bottom line

There are a number of different banks and bank accounts to choose from if you live in Scotland, so it’s important to do your research and consider which is best for you. Different banks and bank accounts will suit different preferences and circumstances so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of each before deciding.

Frequently asked questions

Banking scores

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. 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. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.
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Written by

Rachel Wait

Rachel Wait is a freelance journalist and has been writing about personal finance for more than a decade, covering everything from insurance to mortgages. She has written for a range of personal finance websites and national newspapers, including The Observer, The Mail on Sunday, The Sun and the Evening Standard. Rachel is a keen baker in her spare time. See full profile

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