Get a UK account for Polish workers new to the UK

There are more Polish people living in the UK than any other non-British nationality, with the number of UK-resident Polish nationals passing one million for the first time in 2016.

In comparison, there are just 362,000 Indian nationals, 335,000 Republic of Ireland nationals and 328,000 Romanian nationals – the next three largest represented countries after Poland in that same year.

Overall, one in six non-British nationals who normally live in the UK are Polish, and if they were all to live in one place, they could fill a city the size of Birmingham.

With such a substantial population living and working in the UK either on a seasonal basis or all year round, you might think access to UK banking for people from Poland seeking work in the UK would be easy, but unfortunately this is not always the case.

Why get a UK bank account?

Whether you get a UK bank account from one of the high street banks or an electronic money account from Arro Money, you get a sort code and account number, and an account balance in pounds sterling.

Remember, the UK never started using the euro as its currency – so if you have worked in EU member states on mainland Europe, you will be paid in a different currency when you start to work in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Having an account that is based in the UK and has a balance in pounds sterling means that you don’t have to think about exchange rates every time you buy something in the UK, and won’t have to pay foreign currency fees for the purchases and cash machine withdrawals you make here.

A local account also makes it easier for employers to pay you. Like a bank account, an Arro Personal Account gives you a sort code and account number, which should mean employers can pay you your wages directly into your account.

It’s faster, easier, and usually more accurate than getting paid in cash, and it means the funds are right there waiting for you to spend by debit card, transfer to another account online or withdraw from an ATM.

First time in the UK?

Don’t worry, you don’t need years of UK address history or banking records to get an Arro Personal Account, so if you are new to the UK or are here for relatively short-term seasonal work, it’s still a good option.

You can apply as soon as you arrive in the UK, using your name, date of birth to verify you are over 18, and your current UK address wherever you will be staying while you are here.

We check this automatically using online databases for 160 different countries including Poland, so you usually will not need to prove your address using any paperwork, documents or letters from your employer.

The Arro Personal Account was designed especially to suit the needs of people who are new to the UK and don’t have time to waste waiting for the UK high street banks to make a decision on whether or not you are allowed an account.

With Arro Money you get guaranteed approval, subject to basic eligibility and our Fair Fit test, and your new account can be up and running and ready to use in as little as three minutes.

What you get

Every Arro Personal Account comes with the same features, whether you are a UK national, a long-term visitor to this country or just here for a fixed period of seasonal work.

As soon as your application is accepted, you will get:

  • Access to the Arro Money online dashboard to manage your account.
  • Sort code and account number so people can pay into your account.
  • MasterCard® debit card details so you can make online card payments.

We send your card details to you via SMS so you can use your virtual debit card instantly, and we also send you a physical MasterCard® debit card with the same card number and details, which should arrive in the post to your UK address within a few days.

Your physical MasterCard® when it arrives acts as the cash card for your Arro Personal Account and as a regular debit card, which means you can:

  • Make withdrawals from ATMs throughout the UK.
  • Use your card as a reminder of your details when you shop online.
  • Buy things in shops using chip and pin.
  • Make contactless payments where available.

To get started, fill in our quick signup form as soon as you arrive in the UK – we just need your name, date of birth, UK address and contact details, and it’s so easy you can apply even if you do not speak fluent English.