Opening a bank account in Scotland: a short guide.

Opening a bank account is sometimes complicated when you’ve just moved to Scotland but it is essential to have one if you want a job.

Conditions to open a bank account in Scotland

To open a bank account, you need to go to a bank office. Opening  a current account is free. You will get a debit card.

Depending on the branch, you will be asked for one or many supporting documents. For example, Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland sometimes accept to open a currrent account only with your passport (that may change after Brexit).

Other banks will ask extra documents such as a proof of residence (usually your letting agreement), your local payslips, your  NIN (National Insurance Number)…

Opening a bank account in Scotland without supporting documents

You may need to open your bank account even before getting your first payslip or finding accommodation.

How do you open a bank account without a proof of residence or a payslip? 

You have two options:

  • Finding a bank which accepts to open a current account with only your proof of identity, such as mentioned above,
  • Searching for online banking.

Online banking option

Before your arrival, you can subscribe with an online bank (or neobank). It’s a good option if you wish to stay  in Scotland for a short amount of time and also if you travel a lot.

Bank cards from these banks allow you to pay and withdraw cash with no fee wherever in the world and whatever the currency, and also to transfer money abroad for competitive prices!

These banks are available via mobile apps where you can easily open and manage your account.

Monzo : 

Monzo is based in the UK.


N26 is based in Germany.


Money Transfer


Transferwise is a British online platform which allows money transfers abroad without paying expensive banking fees. Transferwise uses exchange rate in real time.

Cash withdrawals in Scotland

When you withdraw cash, opt for ATMs mentioning “Free withdrawals”. Other ATMs charge a percentage fee from your withdraw.

Remember to read our articles about accommodation and employment!

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