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Basic bank accounts

Opening a bank account can be a simple process made through your local branch, over the phone, through the post, and even online. In most cases, you’ll need both a proof of identity and proof of address to open an account.

Bank accounts make it a lot easier to manage your money and living costs as you can arrange for your bills to come out straight away by direct debit.   You’ll need to have a bank account to receive monthly direct payments of Universal Credit. 

Each bank has a list of things that you can use for proof of your identity and your address but in most cases proof of identity can be your driving licence or provisional licence, passport, or national identity card (EU/EEA).  If you don’t have any of these things, don’t panic, as there are other forms of identity you can use – just talk to someone at the bank who will be able to tell you what else you can bring.

Proof of address will usually be something like a recent council tax bill, utility bill, tenancy agreement or mortgage statement. Again, there are other things you can use for proof of your address just double check with your chosen bank.