Access to UK banking for students from Europe
Europe as a whole has a complicated financial services map, with some multinational banks, some EU banks authorised to carry out activities but not to collect deposits in the UK, and of course some countries that are not member states of the EU at all.
We will take Brexit into account below, but it is worth remembering that not all international students from Europe are from EU member states, and the exact effects of Brexit either way will depend on who you bank with and where you are from.
This makes it a very confusing time for international students from Europe, not only when trying to get a UK bank account, but also in other areas like tuition fees, bursaries and scholarships, and even concerns over the number of EU students who will be allowed to study in the UK in the years to come.
Where do EU students come from?
Germany, France and Italy dominate the top spots of the EU countries that send the most international students to the UK, with over 12,000 per year each.
Next is the Republic of Ireland – the only other country that sent more than 10,000 international students in 2015-16, according to UKCISA figures.
The next three are all popular holiday destinations for British people – Greece, Cyprus and Spain – while EU member states further east, including Romania, Bulgaria and Poland complete the top ten.
Roughly one in five students in higher education in the UK come from outside of the UK to study here. Of these, 30% are from the EU, with the other 70% from elsewhere in the world, including non-EU European countries.
UK banks vs. Brexit
It’s impossible to talk about Europe – and especially access to UK services for EU citizens – without mentioning Brexit and its impact on the UK financial services sector.
The full effects of the UK’s EU Referendum vote will take many years to be seen – perhaps even several generations – and it is likely that the UK banks will change their terms for EU international students more than once as those years go by.
Unfortunately it is likely to mean that it is more difficult to get a UK bank account, especially if the banks decide to stop accepting the EU ID card as proof of your identity – this might mean only a passport or full driving licence would be good enough.
Different banks will have different criteria, especially if they are part of a multinational group or have a parent bank that is in a mainland Europe EU member state, so it’s impossible to predict how students from Europe will be treated by all UK banks as a whole.
EU student access to Arro Personal Accounts
Arro Money do not discriminate between UK citizens, EU students and international students from outside of the EU – we offer guaranteed acceptance to all eligible applicants with the same basic criteria and Fair Fit test.
That means the application process for EU students to get an Arro Personal Account is not affected by Brexit, it should not take any longer and there is no reason why you are any less likely to be approved.
We still just need:
- Your name.
- Your current UK address (where you live during your studies here).
- Your date of birth (applicants must be over 18).
- Contact details (to send your account number and debit card details).
If you are in a non-EU European country other than the UK, exactly the same rules and process apply to you too – there is no difference in access to Arro Personal Accounts and you are still covered by our guaranteed approval.
If you have had trouble getting access to a UK bank account for students from Europe, whether from an EU member state or not, we would encourage you to consider the Arro Personal Account as an alternative.
As we said, we do not discriminate against applicants based on where you are from – the whole process can take as little as three minutes, there’s no application fee, and we will not run a credit check, so your credit history will not show your application even if we are unable to accept you for any reason.
But with guaranteed acceptance for all eligible applications, we aim to provide Arro Personal Accounts to as many European students studying in the UK as possible, giving you the freedom to manage your own money for as long as you are here.