This article will explain how to open a bank account and get a bank letter for international and EU students.

We strongly recommend that you open a bank account once you arrive in the UK. It is the safest and most effective way of managing your money and making and receiving payments.

Opening a bank account

To open a bank account in the UK, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of your identity (passport or EU identity card)
  • Student visa in your passport or BRP card (non-EU student only)
  • A letter from the Global Office, which confirms you are a registered student
  • Your University of Portsmouth student ID card

Bank letters

International and EU students may be required to show a bank letter from the University (Global Office) in order to open a bank account. You can only request this after you have arrived in Portsmouth and have registered as a student.

Request a bank letter - instructions

1. Choose a bank and complete the appropriate form.

  • Lloyds request form
  • Natwest  will open a bank account without a University letter and applications should be made directly through the Natwest website.  Please note, accounts with Natwest will incur a charge of £10 per month.

  • Santander will open a bank account without a University letter. You just need your university student ID card and proof of your identity (EU ID card or passport).

2. Letters requested before 4pm each day can be collected after 10am on the next day. Letters requested after 4pm each day can be collected after 2pm on the next day.

3. Collect from Global Office Reception. Bring your passport and student card at the time of collection.

Erasmus+ and Exchange students

If your course is six months or less, you will only be able to open an account with HSBC, Barclays and Santander.

Pre-Sessional English Students 

Your letter will be produced by the Pre-sessional English course team in Park Building.

Visiting scholars

Please email us at to request a letter. In your email include information about your given name, surname, date of birth, the name of the University Department you are visiting, passport number, expected start and end date, home address and local address. Once your letter is ready, we will notify you by email.




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