A lot. Try opening a bank account here with no proof of address or student status or even a physical place to live.
- They need to go into branch
- They can only do it from the UK
- They need to have a place to live
- They need proof of that place to live
- They often need certifed student status
- Proof of immigration status
- Their proof of ID might not be verifiable
Try getting an appointment with Barclay’s… try it. Weeks before you can get one, and then chances are you won’t have the “right” documents to prove your ID or your address. So then it’s either:
- Carry cash (we recommend they bring £500 right now)
- Use their overseas bank card, with fees
Often companies will only take UK bank accounts, so:
- Few direct debits allowed
- Fees to transfer rent and such
Even then, they will likely be given a really basic account with very few features. If you’re here for 3/4 years that’s not good enough.
If there is one thing that students complain most about here, it’s how damn difficult it is to set a bank account up. It’s so expensive for them the first few months while they wait for letters to come to their address, or universities to provide official documents (and thousands request this all relatively at the same time and limited staff means it takes a while).
- Partner with universities
- Provide advice in enrolment packs on how to set an account up
- Put the university as the address
- Transfer funds into before they arrive
- Pick up at enrolment
- Day 1 - sorted.