Open a bank account

If you first arrive in the UK, the first upmost necessity should be accommodation. It could be difficult to find a dream home in the UK as it may need a lot of time and effort to search for a house or a flat. These are some of the websites you can look at when you are searching for accommodation:

  • Traditional banks (Barclays, Lloyds and Santander)

    Generally charge higher fees but come with investment banks and other high-end services

  • Newer banks (Metro Bank and NatWest)

    Serve 7 days a week or offer more corporate services with lower fees

  • Virtual banks (Starling Bank, Monzo and Revolut)

    Mainly for customer offers and rebates, international remittances and personal or commercial lending services


Documents needed to
open an account

Every bank is different with what documents they need to open a bank account. In general, some personal identification documents such as passport or ID card or address proof may be needed. It is better to check with the bank beforehand.


Debit card

A personal current account usually comes with debit cards, which can be used in the UK for almost any daily consumption including:

  • Rental payment

  • All kinds of utilities

  • Council tax

As the card culture in the UK is very common and cash is less and less in use, the debit card serves as a very important tool to get around. It is like a mixture of EPS and credit card but even more convenient than that. You can add most of your bank cards to your wallet on your smart phone and you'll not need to bring your physical wallet anymore! You can just pay with your phone in most stores!


Transferring money
from Hong Kong

Transferring money between Hong Kong and the UK could be a problem. Some money transfer service providers such as Wise (formerly Transferwise) is available for that. It uses market’s intermediate exchange rate to send money for a lower fee, without the inconveniences such as the need to go to the bank to handle the remittance in person, higher fees, poor exchange rates and being kept awaiting for funds to be remitted when using bank wire transfers.

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