Opening a bank account in the UK without proof of address

You can open an account with a digital bank in minutes, and some don't need proof of address.

If you need a UK bank account as soon as possible, opening an account with a challenger/digital bank usually takes just a few minutes. You’ll still usually need proof of identity (such as a passport or driving licence) to open a bank account, but some challenger banks don’t require proof of address.

Bank and e-money accounts that do not usually require proof of address

1 - 9 of 9
Name Product Ratings Account fees Funding requirement Interest (AER) Arranged overdraft Incentive Representative example Link
Starling
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
Interest of 15%, 25% and 35% EAR (variable)
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View details
EXCLUSIVE
Revolut Standard
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

Get 3 months of Premium for free.
Account fee of £0.
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View details
Cashplus Personal Account
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
£5.95 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

Credit building feature Creditbuilder is available on this account.
Account fee of £5.95 per month.
Go to site
View details
Suits Me - Premium Current Account
Not yet rated
£4.97 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

Cashback Rewards.
Account fee of £4.97 per month.
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View details
Suits Me - Premium Plus Current Account
Not yet rated
£9.97 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

Cashback Rewards.
Account fee of £9.97 per month.
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View details
OFFER
Monese
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
N/A
Get a free £10 bonus when using your card to make a transaction for the first time using the promo code FINDER (T&Cs apply).
Go to site
View details
Current Account
Current Account
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
£12.5 per month £5 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

Earn cash rewards of up to 3.5% at more than 35 major high street retailers when using CardOneMoney card.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £12.5 per month or £5 per month.
View details
Monzo
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
★★★★★
£0
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER
Interest rates of 19%, 29% or 39% EAR (variable)
Existing Monzo customers can invite their friends to join Monzo and they'll both get £5.
Account fee of £0.
View details
thinkmoney Current Account
Finder score
★★★★★
★★★★★
£10 per month
No minimum funding requirement
0% AER

Guaranteed acceptance.
Current account switch service guarantee badge Account fee of £10 per month or £15 per month.
View details
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Compare up to 4 providers

Banks and e-money accounts that don’t (normally) ask for a proof of address

  • Starling Bank. A UK-based digital bank that lets you set up an account from your phone.
  • Revolut. A UK current account set up on your phone that allows you to hold multiple currencies.
  • Monese. A digital-only account in the UK that you can set up on your phone and comes with a euro account included.
  • Monzo. The UK’s most popular digital bank, where you can set up an account from your phone.

The banks in this list are all challenger/digital banks. You can read more about challenger banks like the ones above in our in-depth article, but basically a challenger bank is a recently born bank, which usually only operates digitally. They try to make banking easier and cheaper for customers, thus “challenging” the market dominance of traditional UK high-street banks.

  • Challengers are digital and mobile only.
  • They don’t have any physical branches and you do everything from an app.
  • Challenger banks are usually free.
  • You’ll get a UK bank account complete with account number and sort code, which allows you to have your salary paid into it.

The most popular challenger banks in the UK are Starling and Monzo, both of which have a full UK banking licence. Your money with them will be protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), just like with any traditional bank.

Other popular options are Revolut, which is in the process of getting a UK banking licence and Monese, which has an electronic money licence issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

There’s also Wise’s borderless account. Similarly to Revolut, it’s a prepaid debit card, rather than a bank. With this account, you can hold 56 currencies, send money overseas at a highly-competitive rate and spend money in foreign countries without facing additional fees.

Which high street banks could help?

HSBC

HSBC is working in partnership with Shelter and other UK and local charities to help those without a fixed home address open a bank account. The No Fixed Address programme is available in selected HSBC branches and to access it you must be experiencing housing or homelessness difficulties and receiving support from one of HSBC’s partner charities.

Alternatively, if you have a UK or EU address, you can apply for HSBC’s basic bank account. This account is designed for those struggling to get accepted for a bank account elsewhere, either due to financial difficulties or a poor credit record.

Metro Bank

In most cases, if you’re a UK, EEA or Swiss National, all you’ll need to open a bank account with Metro Bank is a valid passport, EU national ID card, or UK driving licence. If you’re not a UK, EEA or Swiss National, you will need to show a valid passport containing your current visa or Biometric Residence Permit, plus proof of address.

If you can’t provide some of the documents requested, you can still apply for Metro Bank’s Cash Account and the bank will accept the following:

  • International students – valid passport, plus student visa and a letter of acceptance or introduction from a UK education institution
  • Asylum seekers – IND Application Registration Card issued by the Home Office, plus proof of address and confirmation of asylum support allowance or other income
  • People in care homes or sheltered accommodation – in this situation you should speak to a branch staff member to talk through your options.

Lloyds

If you have a UK passport or driving licence, this is usually all you need to open a bank account with Lloyds, so you don’t need to worry about proof of address.

However, if you don’t have a UK passport or driving licence, you will need to bring two documents into your local branch, one as proof of identity and one as proof of address.

Proof of ID can include:

  • Current EU/EEA passport, photo driving licence or identity card
  • HMRC tax notification

Proof of address can include:

  • Bank, building society or UK credit union statement
  • Utility bill dated from the last six months

If you do not have any of the above, Lloyds says it may still be able to help you open an account if you contact your local branch for assistance. If you do not qualify for any of Lloyds’ main bank accounts, you may be put forward for its basic account (you cannot apply for it directly).

TSB

Similar to Lloyds, if you are opening a TSB bank account online you will usually only need to provide proof of ID. You will also need details of your income, addresses for the past three years and the name and address of your employer. You will need to be aged 18 or over, a UK resident and either an EU national or have permission to stay in the UK for at least 12 months.

Like most other high street banks, if you do not qualify for any of TSB’s main bank accounts, you may qualify for its basic Cash Account.

What counts as proof of address?

Some banks will need a proof of address.

If you’re asked for proof of address, here’s what will count:

  • Utility bills. If you have one of these (telephone, water or electricity, but usually not internet or mobile phone), then you’re sorted as any bank will take them. The same applies to this year’s council tax bill. If you live in a house share, ask your housemate to get one of these bills put in your name, as it may be the fastest way to get yourself a reliable proof of address.
  • EU driving licence. Many banks will take an EU driving licence as proof of address, but if you’ve just arrived in the UK then you won’t have your new British address on your existing European licence, so it might not be that useful. Cheer up though, you can still use it to drive around.
  • HMRC tax notification letter. Not a straightforward solution, but again, most banks will take it. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is the government department that collects taxes. If you already have a payslip and a National Insurance Number (NIN), you may be able to register for a personal tax account and print a certificate of the taxes you’ve paid in the UK for the current year. However, if you’re looking at opening a bank account to get your first salary paid in, you’ve lived in the UK for less than 12 months and you don’t have a British passport, you’ll usually get a depressing message from HMRC saying it’s unable to verify your identity and get you an HMRC tax account.
  • Bank or credit card statement. Not much help if you’re trying to open your first UK account, but banks will accept other bank statements as proof of address.
  • Tenancy agreement. Some banks accept it, others will only take it if it’s issued by a housing association or by the local council.
  • University acceptance letter/enrolment certificate. If you’re a student, you can print one directly from your university’s online portal. Again, some banks will accept it, some won’t.

Criteria can vary from bank to bank, and some branches (and even some employees!) can be stricter than others. All of the above documentation will have to be recent and display both your name and the exact same address you’re using for your application. Traditional banks usually publish a list of the documents they’ll take as proof of identity and address on their websites. Checking it before starting your application will save you from wasting time.

How to open a bank account without proof of address

1. Look at the list of banks we’ve outlined above that don’t normally require a proof of address (these are all digital/challenger banks).
2. Research the different account features on offer with these banking providers and check to see if any offer any welcome cash bonuses.
3. Once you’ve decided which provider you want to go with, download its app from the App Store or the Google Store.
4. Sign up via the app – this usually only take a few minutes.
5. Your account is open! You can use the digital features right away, while you wait for your bank card to arrive in the post.

Challenger banks are also good for moving country

Aside from being quick and easy to sign up to, challenger banks have a series of features that appeal to people who travel or work across different countries:

  • Low fees for using the card abroad. With most challenger banks, transactions abroad come for free, and so does withdrawing cash from ATMs, at least up to a certain limit. If you travel quite a lot or are planning to spend your holidays back home, you could save a nice amount of money in fees.
  • Multi-currency accounts. Both Revolut and Monese already come with free EU accounts alongside their UK ones, and Starling has rolled out the same feature. With Revolut, you’re covered even if the euro isn’t the currency you need, as you can exchange money in 30 different currencies without paying any fee up to £5,000 a month, at the interbank exchange rate.
  • Budgeting features. Most challengers offer a smart digital banking app that includes detailed data reports on how you spend your money, plus ways to put some savings aside for a specific goal, which can be helpful if you’ve just moved to the UK and are struggling to figure out what kind of lifestyle you can afford with your current salary. There are even dedicated budgeting apps available now.

The bottom line

Finding the right documentation can seem like a bit of nightmare if you’ve just arrived in the UK or have just moved to a brand new address where you have no utility bill or ID linked to it. But it is possible to open a bank account in the UK without a proof of address, if you’re willing to sign up to an account with one of the new digital-only banking providers.

Michelle Stevens, Finder’s deputy editor for banking, says: “Not being able to provide a proof of address to open a bank account can create a really tricky situation, as people usually require a bank account to receive their income and pay their bills, and a bank card to buy thing online or in-store. So the arrival of digital challengers on the UK banking scene in recent years is a real boon, as you can often open an account in just a few minutes online or on your phone, and some of these new financial providers don’t require a proof of address.”

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