Opening a bank account in the UK without a proof of address

You can open an account with a digital bank in minutes.

Last updated:

If you need a UK bank account as soon as possible, opening an account with a challenger/digital bank usually takes few minutes.

With these banks, you will need a UK address and a proof of identity (passport or driving license will do), but usually no proof of address.

Revolut Revolut
Exclusive

UK account ideal for moving countries (plus free £10!)

Ends

Monese Monese

Free mobile account for travelling and everyday use

N26 N26

Europe's biggest mobile only bank account

Starling Starling

UK current account with fee-free spending abroad

Banks that don’t (normally) ask for a proof of address

  • Starling Bank
  • Revolut
  • N26
  • Monese
  • Monzo

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. They try to make banking easier and cheaper for customers, thus “challenging” the market dominance of traditional banks such as Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC.

  • Challengers are digital and mobile only.
  • They don’t have any physical branches and you do everything from an app.
  • Challenger banks are 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 N26, which has a full EU banking licence, Revolut, which is in the process of getting one and Monese, which has an electronic money licence issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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), you’re sorted as any bank will take them. The same applies to this year’s council tax bill. Ask your housemate to get one of those in your name, this may actually 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 obviously, in most cases you won’t have your brand new British address on your fairly old 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 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, 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 use if you’re trying to open a first one, 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. Traditional banks usually publish a list of the documents they’ll take as proof of identity and address. Checking it before starting your application will save you from wasting time.
  • 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 take 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 will have to be recent and display both your name and the exact same address you’re using for your application.

Challenger banks are good for moving country

Aside from being quick and easy for sign up to, challenger banks have a series of features that appeal to people who travel, such as:

  • 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’ll save a nice amount of money in fees.
  • Multicurrency accounts. Both Revolut and Monese already come with free EU accounts together with the UK one and Starling is currently rolling out the same feature. With Revolut, you’re covered even if the euro isn’t the currency you need: you can exchange money in 24 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 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.

Compare digital banking apps

Updated November 21st, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Delivery speed
N26
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
None
Between 3-5 business days
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated November 21st, 2019
Name Product Foreign ATM withdrawals Foreign transactions fee Card cost Delivery speed
£200 free monthly
No fees
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
Up to 9 working days
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
N26
1.7% of amount drawn
No fees
Free
5-7 working days
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Free
No fees
Free
Between 3-5 working days
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Withdrawals of £200/$200/€200 or more – free
smaller withdrawals – a charge of £1.50 per withdrawal

No transaction fees (if you spend in one of the 18 wallet currencies)
Free
Between 3-5 working days in the UK, or within 10 days if you live outside the UK

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated November 21st, 2019
Name Product Fees and charges Interest Savings goals
N26
Free
None
n26 'Spaces' feature lets the user open sub-accounts to stash your money away
Free with finder.com, otherwise card delivery is £4.99
No interest
Set budgets in the app
Free
0.5% AER up to £2,000, 0.25% over £2,000 to £85,000
Create different spending goals and protect money from daily spending
None
No interest
Not a feature

Compare up to 4 providers

Updated November 21st, 2019
Name Product Direct debits UK ATM withdrawals Payments Freeze your card
N26
Yes
Free
Use MoneyBeam to transfer money instantly. Is partnered with Transferwise so can send money to 16 countries.
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based bank account that can be used on the go in any EU country. All about the ease of sending and saving money.
Revolut currently only supports direct debits with the Euro IBAN account
£200 free monthly
Easy UK payments and can transfer money between 23 countries
Yes: touch of a button in app
App-based current account with loads of extra features. (e.g. Real time transactions, payment categorisation, save spare change, free international money transfers, buy cryptocurrency)
Yes - future Direct Debits shown as alerts
Free
Pay via bank transfer or using PayPal or Google Nearby
Yes: touch of a button in app
Everything you get from a current account, but with new features for mobile living. (E.g. Goals for saving, spending catgorisation, interest on your balances)
Yes - can cancel with touch of a button too
£200 free monthly
Pay via bank transfer, easier to send to another Monese account.
Report lost/stolen in app to be sent replacement
A multi-currency mobile banking app that aims to be ‘built around you’. Use it to open a fully functional current account instantly, straight from your phone, all supported by a feature-rich mobile app

Compare up to 4 providers

FAQs

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site