Opening a bank account in Scotland

With over 300 years of banking expertise, in Scotland your money is in experienced hands. And there’s a variety of bank accounts to meet all your financial needs.

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Bank Account

In Scotland, the currency used is the British pound. Although Scottish banks print their own versions of the pound, it's also widely accepted in the rest of the UK.

Your pay and expenses like your mortgage, rent or other bills will be handled through your personal account. So setting up a bank account once you arrive in Scotland is a top priority.

Types of bank accounts

Did you know that Scotland is one of the few countries where you will not be charged for banking services as long as you stay in credit on your account? And there’s a range of banks and types of accounts with varying rates of interest, terms and conditions to meet your lifestyle.

You can find out about what’s available by:

  • Searching the web
  • Using free services like the Money Advice Service website or calling them on 0808 800 0118
  • Reviewing accounts on comparison sites like moneysupermarket.com

What you need to open an account

After completing an application to open a bank account, you’ll need to provide current proof of your identity and your Scottish address to the bank. This can vary depending on the bank, but may include:

  • Passport or National Identity Card
  • Driving licence
  • Tenancy agreement
  • A letter from your employer in Scotland confirming your address
  • A pay slip from your Scottish employer

You may also need to provide a written reference from your previous bank.

Banks in Scotland put your financial safety first so run thorough security checks to safeguard against illegal activity. These checks vary and may take longer depending on what country you are coming from.

Using your bank account

Once your application is approved, you’ll normally be given a current account. Generally this includes a cheque book and a debit card that allows you to pay for things directly from your account and take money out of cash machines.

You’ll also be able to set up direct debits from your account to pay bills like rent and electricity. And you’ll always be able to get information about your account with 24-hour access through online and telephone banking.