Banking Category Banking: the easy, simple banking guide

How to open a current account

A current account is a bank account for handling your day-to-day cash. You can use it to deposit money, withdraw money, transfer money to other accounts, pay bills by direct debit, and earn interest.

Open a standard current account and you will get a chequebook and cash card. You may also get a debit card and an overdraft facility. There are many banks in the UK offering current accounts, so it pays to shop around to find the best account for you before applying. Follow these tips and you will have a current account in your name in no time.


Search comparison websites for the best current account for you. and (see Resources) offer comparisons of current accounts from banks such as Alliance Leicester, First Direct, Halifax, Lloyds TSB, HSBC, NatWest and RBS. You can apply via these comparison websites.

Consider what account is best for you. Consider whether you will always be in credit or overdrawn, advises Some banks offer free gifts to entice people to open an account, but these are not always the best accounts for your circumstances. Other considerations are whether your account can be managed in a branch and by telephone or whether it is accessible by Internet only.

Apply for your account. You may be able to do this online. Or you may prefer to apply in person at a branch of your chosen bank or building society. You may have to provide proof of identity, such as your passport or driving licence. You will be asked if you have criminal convictions or been declared bankrupt in the last three years. You will have to provide your name, current address and contact details. You may need two sources of proof of your current address. After you have submitted your application, your bank will take up to a few days to consider it. You will be notified in due course.

Things Needed

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address