How to Open a Bank Account

Getting a bank account

We can help you open a basic bank account and even help by using your tenancy agreement as one of the proofs of ID you require.

We have a special arrangement with Barclays which provides a Basic Current Account that offers free, no-frills banking for customers. With this account, you can:


  • Choose between a Barclays Visa debit card or cash card (ATM only)
  • Make payments from your Barclays Basic Current Account by Direct Debit or standing order 
  • Withdraw up to £300 a day (if you have available funds) from Barclays ATMs or at Post Offices, or wherever you see the LINK sign
  • Manage your account online, by phone or in the branch

More than one million people living throughout the UK don’t have a bank account but there is a way that many people can get one in just a few short steps. 

What is a basic bank account?

These bank accounts allow you to store money and pay out. They do not, however, have an overdraft facility or offer any in-credit interest.

Some do give you a debit card so you can make payments in stores and online and all enable you to set up direct debits.

Are they completely free of charges?

If you are overdrawn, have a direct debit or set up a payment when there aren't funds in the account you will receive a charge.

As such it is very important that you know exactly what money you have in your account and manage it carefully. 

Who can open a basic bank account?

Apart from a few exceptions (such as a history of fraud), anyone can get a basic account, even those with credit history problems. Barclays has agreed with Incommunties that your tenancy agreement is suitable as a form of ID. Due to financial regulations, you will also need to have one other form of ID, usually in one of the following forms:

  • Full, current passport
  • Current European Union member state Identity Card
  • Current UK Photo card driving license or UK full paper driving license
  • Identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland
  • Benefit books/benefit entitlement letters; including pension,
  • Child Benefit, income support, disability and Job Seeker's Allowance
  • HMRC Tax Notification or assessment letter