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Opening a Bank Account

Many international and EU students choose to open a UK bank account upon arrival in the UK. Most of the major high street banks have branches on Kensington High Street, which is within walking distance of the Kensington campus.

As an international/EU student it is not possible to open a student account, however you will be able to open a basic account at most high street banks.

Required Documents

In order to open an account, as a general rule you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Passport/ID card
  • Evidence of your overseas address (utility bill or bank statements
  • Evidence that you are an RCA student; you can request a Bank Letter on the Letter Request Form on the RCA intranet once you have registered on your programme – letters cannot be produced before you register
  • Proof of your UK address (utility bill/tenancy agreement).

In some cases, you may find it difficult to provide the required documentation to open an account. 

If you encounter any problems please visit the Student Support Office.

Tips and Advice

As it can sometimes be difficult to open a bank account in the UK you may wish to look at the possibility of opening one in your home country prior to arriving.

Bank of China: students are able to open an account in China.

Barclays: students are able to open an account in a number of countries.

Please note: the above is for information purposes only and the RCA does not recommend any banks. Other banks may also offer this service. Contact individual banks for information.

Processing times for opening a bank account can be up to three weeks. You should ensure that you have other ways of accessing your money for this period (e.g. Travellers Cheques or Travelex Cash Passport).


Student Support Office

+44 (0)20 7590 4140