Ukrainian sponsored refugee accounts


We’re currently looking at possibly taking in a refugee via the sponsored route when it opens, and we will want to help them set up a bank account in the UK, along with a mobile etc etc , how easy will it be to set up a Monzo account? Will they need documents they may have left behind/lost to set it up, or there a way around that? or will there be a special route for them?

I think HSBC might be your best bet. Their basic accounts are easy to get and they do an account where you only need basic documents.

Refugees will get documents as they come through border force.

This post is 4 years old but may still be relevant.

I wonder if Monzo will publish an update regarding Ukraine and opening an account, especially if they arrive without a biometric visa (Border Force may allow people to apply for documents after arrival from Ukraine) and have lost Ukraine national ID documents.


Has Monzo said anything about Ukraine? They do a lot for a lot of other initiatives, but I might have missed anything on this topic.

(Just tagging @AlanDoe because it would be lovely if we could find a way to help refugees to easily get a UK bank account).

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I would have thought they would be issued with a biometric document, as it seems that’s been part of the issue this week (fingerprint scanners breaking down etc).

If they’re issued a biometric residency permit then there won’t be a problem opening an account once they’re in the UK.

If they’re issued a biometric application card then we can’t accept those of proof of ID.

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More generally, do you need to have proof of UK residency or a visa to hold an account? Or would an overseas passport and a UK address be okay?

No we can’t accept a biometric application card.

Passport and address will be fine :+1:t3:


Ah sorry, I don’t know too much about this googles the difference between a biometric residency permit and an application card

BRP is for standard immigration routes from non EU nationals, or for international study.

ARC is for asylum seekers.

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May be this is not the right thread, but it might be worth offering re-upload video for Ukrainian passport holders in case they got it wrong instead of declining account (the lady I am helping pressed wrong button and submitted at wrong point where she did not consider it as completed and ready, then got decline immediately, now struggling to start process over as app saying we can’t offer account).


Under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, Ukrainian refugees are issued with a Biometric Residence Permit, so as per your comment they should be able to apply for a Monzo account, right?

Has Monzo made a big deal of this? You should let people know.
The only account we could open for our refugees was a Wise account, as Starling has still not declared it is happy to allow refugees to open an account with them, and high street banks are stuck in the last century.

Most banks offer this with the right ID.


Thanks Carl, that’s good to know. But it’s much more preferable for refugees to be able to open an account quickly and easily just by downloading an app. I’ve not checked recently but I don’t know any high street banks that open accounts in-app (via web yes, but if you don’t come up right on credit check they will ask you to go into the branch, and most refugees will only really have a mobile phone, not a laptop).

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Barclays is app based application with instant access.

I feel TSB was too but I could be wrong.

Ah I’m showing my age (and the fact I haven’t applied for a new bank account - except Monzo - for a while) :see_no_evil:

Most others wait for a letter in the post to activate banking etc online/app.

Very old school, but removes doubt of fraud I guess.

I thought Monzo accounts weren’t active until the letter (card) arrived.

It’s been a while since I opened my account so I’m not sure.

Me too, but I’m not aware the policy has changed.

Sure mine worked out from day 1 without the card, though was 3 years ago maybe more.