Current account for person new to UK


Sorry in advance if wrong forum - wasn’t sure quite where this one fit…

A friend of a friend has recently moved from France to the UK to spend a year learning English.

He is looking to set up a bank account - I was going to recommend Starling due to the ease of setup and lack of need to go to a physical bank.

I’m not sure however what credit/ID checks Starling runs… he obviously has no UK credit history so is there any point him applying - would he be just instantly rejected?

Thanks as ever to the forum for their wisdom.


Most UK banks allow European nationals to open a bank account here as long as they can prove who they say they are and have a proof of address. I wouldn’t expect Starling to be any different. Of course the onboarding exercise (Know Your Customer) might be a little more rigorous as they’ll be unable to verify your friend-of-a-friend by electronic means (i.e. credit reference agencies) so may want to see some more documentation, and I guess they’ll not be granted an overdraft initially either.

But I would suggest they go for it. I’m sure customer services will be able to help if he experiences any difficulties.


The Starling Customer Service team will surely not be phased, and will help in any way they can.


If he is unsuccessful with Starling (but fingers crossed) he could try Monese as they specialise in accounts for those new to the UK.

Hopefully Starling can help, but if not he can get £5 for free when he opens a Monese account and deposits money. Using the referral code MQF6Y4C6



Thanks all - I’ve given him my Starling referral code - let’s see what happens.

I was aware of monese too… albeit that there is the monthly fee which id be trying to save him by getting him a Starling account.

But thank you all. I’m still hoping that someone from Starling might be able to weigh in with the official line…


Barclays will open an account for someone from abroad with no UK records, however for the first 6 months it will only be a basic account then it can be upgraded to a full current account.