The U.K. has many banks where you are able to open a free bank account online with no credit check (called basic bank accounts). From Nov. 1, 2009 the U.K.'s Financial Services Authority (FSA) became responsible for regulating how your bank does business with you. Banks have to meet standards and are monitored by the FSA. There are clear guidelines in place ensuring that every adult in the U.K. can open a bank account with no credit check.
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Check out the U.K. Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB) website. It lists the banks where you can open a free bank account online with no credit check.
Select a bank from the list. Make a note of the account name listed under the bank's name. For example, the Halifax Bank calls it "Easycash." Go to the bank's website by typing the bank's name and account type in your browser. In most instances this will take you directly to the correct page to open a free bank account online with no credit check.
Read the information about the account. Check the facilities such as debit cards, standing order and direct debit payments. Ensure you qualify to open a bank account online.
Click "Apply Now." Complete the application procedure. It can take some time. You need to have your personal details to hand. These include: full name, address with zip code, previous address (if less than three years), cell and landline numbers and employment details.
Create a login name, password and password reminder. Follow the online instructions. Procedures vary, depending on the bank.
Make a deposit. Wait for your application to be processed, which can take a week or two. You will be notified via mail and you will need to make a deposit to activate your account. This is usually done at a bank branch although some banks allow you to deposit online.
Open your online bank pack when it arrives. It is sent separate from your bank account details. It contains instructions for setting up online banking and details the extra security procedures needed to protect managing your account online.
Tips and warnings
- Be patient. The complete process from first applying to getting your bank account activated can take several weeks.
- Basic bank accounts do not offer checks or overdraft facilities. Some provide what is known as a "buffer zone." It does not usually exceed £10 ($15.71 U.S. dollars).
- You need to be registered on the U.K. voting roll as this is checked to confirm your address and identity. If you are not registered then you cannot apply online. You can still open an account, but you will need to apply in person.
- Some banks do not accept undischarged bankruptcies. If you have a record of fraud, you will not be able to open a bank account.
- You need to be a U.K. resident to open a free bank account online.
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