How to open a personal bank account when new to the UK

When you first arrive into the UK to live, work, study or just to visit, it’s reasonable to want to open a UK bank account as a migrant, so that you can hold an account balance in pounds sterling and avoid foreign exchange transaction fees and restrictions on where you can withdraw money from.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get a personal bank account as a migrant in the UK, especially when you have only just arrived into the country and may have little to no paperwork to prove where you will be living during your time here.

The high street banks may ask for extra proof of ID, such as your passport, driving licence or ID card, proof of financial status such as your bank statements from back home, proof of your status as a migrant, student or seasonal worker, and proof of a positive credit rating.

You are unlikely to have all of that with you when you arrive in the UK, and it’s probably not practical to return home just to collect some bank statements and utility bills – so how can you open a current account as a person new to the UK if you don’t have everything the banks want?

The Arro Personal Account is different

Arro are not a bank, and we’re proud to be different. We believe in making access to current account facilities as easy as possible for anyone living in the UK, regardless of nationality and domicile status, and no matter if you are here to stay or just to study or as a seasonal worker.

The Arro Personal Account only asks the essential questions – your name, your age (you must be over 18) and your UK address (even if you have only just moved in), along with some simple contact details so we can tell you your account number once it’s set up.

And that is it. Our online ID check verifies your details down to street-level, so there’s usually no need to send us extra documents to prove who you are, and we never need to run a credit check, so your past financial status will not get you rejected by Arro.

No black marks

Most traditional bank accounts have some form of credit attached to them. That might be an overdraft for if you spend more than your account balance, or it could be a credit card linked with your account. Arro does not.

You get a MasterCard® in your name when you open an Arro Personal Account, but it’s a debit card, not a credit card, and there’s no overdraft on the account either.

This not only means that we don’t need to check your credit rating in order to approve your account, it also means your application will not show up in your credit history at all, so if you are worried about making too many applications for accounts, Arro is a safe option to protect your credit score.

Here to stay?

Your Arro Personal Account is here for as long as you are. We don’t put a time limit on the account or force you to change to a different account if you decide to stay longer than planned on an extended or renewed visa.

If you move to a different part of the UK, just change your address details online so we can make sure we can contact you if we ever need to – for example if you need a replacement or renewed physical MasterCard® debit card sending in the post.

Apart from that, we treat all customers equally, no matter where you are from or how long you expect to stay in the UK. And if you decide to start your own business, the Arro Business Account is an option too, especially if you find your access to traditional business bank accounts is limited for any reason.

How to apply

You can apply today in under three minutes – just visit our easy signup page and fill in the basic details:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • UK address
  • Contact details

You must live in the UK to qualify for an Arro Personal Account, so please make sure you have a current UK address to give us, but you can apply as soon as you arrive in the country – we don’t need years of address history.

We guarantee to accept all eligible applications, with just a basic Fair Fit test, so within 3-5 minutes you should have your account number and virtual MasterCard® details, so you can start moving your money around as you wish.