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The Refugee Council  have created a guide to banking for refugees, available in several different languages (Nov 2020)

The Citizens Advice Bureau also has a section on opening a bank account once you have refugee status (scroll down to the last section)

LASSN (Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network) has some useful information for refugees on how to open a bank account

You are free to choose which bank account you open. Some banks are more experienced than others in opening accounts for refugees. Some banks better understand the challenges that refugees can face in opening banks accounts especially with regard to proof of address and ID documents that can be required by many banks. If you do not have the ID (identity) documents or proof of address documents that a bank may require, or if you are worried you do not have the right type of documents, please do speak to the bank manager or customer services at the bank to see if there is alternative documents they will accept. 

We understand that a number of banks have publicly announced that they are available to help refugees in the UK to apply for bank accounts, including the following listed below but feel free to try others. We cannot recommend a particular bank to you. We can only share information about banks we are aware of that are extending support to refugees but this list is not exhaustive. If you are aware of a bank that has helped you or another refugee to apply easily then please let us know so we can add them to the list.

Some banks require you to register in a local branch of the bank, some require you to register online or over the phone. You will need to ask the bank you want to apply to about how you apply or look online for more information.





Royal Bank of Scotland


Virgin Money UK

Ulster Bank Northern Ireland 

Advice about debts

If you need help with advice about debt or money worries please contact your local Citizen’s Advice Winchester District for advice