How to Open a Bank Account

I opened a bank account at HSBC as soon as I reached the UK for my first job in the NHS. Opening the account was very easy.



You can book an appointment by calling the bank. They will ask for your name and address on call.

I just walked into the branch without an appointment on a busy Saturday and they welcomed me with only 5 minutes of wait.



I was asked to show the following documents:

1. My ID (BRP/Passport).
2. Contract with my employer.
3. Proof of residential address (tenancy agreement).
4. A letter from my employer confirming my job details.


The Meeting

I was received by a representative who discussed different options with me; I signed a lot of documents. The meeting took an hour or so.



I was asked to decide my overdraft limit. Please go through the FAQs at the end of this post to know more about overdraft.


Credit & Debit Card

I received my credit and debit cards and their pin numbers via post mail within a week or so.


Online App

Using the HSBC online application, I can check my balance, transfer funds or make payments instantaneously via my mobile phone.


A Second Account

A few weeks later I opened a second bank account, a savings account, at HSBC. The purpose of this account is to deposit money in the bank account and to forget about it. When you don’t see money, you don’t spend money. In this way, you can save some amount of money every month from your salary.


How to Open a Second Account?

Some people prefer to open this account in a different bank, to get privileges from another bank. In that case, you may need more documentation.

I opened my second account in the same bank. In this case, since the bank already has all your documents, there will be no need for any documentation. I visited the bank without an appointment and it took them only a couple of minutes and less than five clicks on my HSBC mobile application to open my second bank account.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which bank should I choose?

I do not have an answer for this. I chose HSBC because most of my friends chose HSBC and they were very happy with HSBC. You can post this question on the Facebook groups to get opinions from others.


2. What is overdraft?

When your account balance reaches zero, you can take a certain amount of loan from the bank. This loan is called overdraft. When you receive your next paycheque, the loan you have taken is automatically returned to the back and your remaining salary is deposited in your bank account.


3. What should be my overdraft limit?

Ideally, you should have enough money or you should save enough money to not need any loans. But it is completely okay, specially during the first few months, to not have much money. In this case, you may need the overdraft. You can think of overdraft as an extra cushion of safety. The more loan you can take, the more cushion you will have.


4. Is it necessary to have a second bank account?

No, it is not necessary to have a second bank account. But you may choose to have a second bank acount to save money, as explained above. The purpose of this account is to deposit money in the bank account and to forget about it. When you don’t see money, you don’t spend money. In this way, you can save some amount of money every month from your salary.

2 thoughts on “How to Open a Bank Account”

  1. Thankyou Dr. Naseer for the details. I was concerned about this. I need to ask about if you arent employed yet and you need to open savings/current account then how we can do it? Secondly if i am on spouse visa with my husband then they will ask me documents of my husband for opening account ?
    Thanks and kindest regarda


    1. I am sorry but I am not sure. However, I just asked someone for this and I was told that it is possible and yes your husband’s documents will be needed.

      I would advise you to call the bank or even better if you could visit them and get all the details yourself. It shouldn’t be an issue. Good luck! 🙂


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