To open a bank account with TSB you’ll need to take 2 forms of identification along with you when you visit your local branch. One document is needed to prove your identity - this is usually a document issued by an official government body, such as a passport, drivers license or national identity card. The second document is used to prove your address, and is often something like a utilities bill or a bank statement. TSB offers an option to start the process to open an account online - but you may find you need to take your documents into a branch for checking once you’ve completed the online application. In either case, you’ll need to show original documents - not copies - to get your account up and running¹.
Some customers might find it hard to provide the most commonly used proof of address documents, particularly if they’re newly arrived in the UK or don’t have household bills in their name. If that sounds like you, you might choose to look for an alternative option. A borderless account from TransferWise can be a great choice, as it allows you to get started with your account online, by uploading a standard copy of your photo ID document, along with a selfie showing your photo ID or passport.
If you’re trying to work out whether you have what you need to open a TSB account, we have you covered. Here’s all you need to know.
A proof of address simply means that you have to provide your bank with an official document which shows your full name and home address. Most banks provide a range of options to help customers comply with this requirement. You can usually use a tax bill or a credit card statement for example, as long as you have an original document, and it shows your full name and registered address.
Banks in the UK are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which requires them to check that accounts are not being used for illegal activity such as money laundering.
One way they do this is by verifying the identity and address of all customers, to make sure no accounts are opened under false names - and this is why TSB will ask you to bring along a set of documents to a branch for checking before you can open an account. All UK banks work under the same guidelines, although they might interpret them differently, so you’ll find slightly different policies in place across different institutions.
To open a standard bank account with TSB you must provide a proof of address which shows you live in the UK. There’s a list of documents you can choose from to do this, which we will cover in a moment. The only exception to this rule is if you’re from the EU - but not from or permanently residing in the UK. In this case you might be able to provide documents proving your address within the EU instead, although there are other eligibility criteria to consider too². More on that later.
If you don’t have the standard proof of address documents - or if you just want to find a simple and flexible alternative - you might consider the multi-currency borderless account from TransferWise. To open a borderless account you’ll need to send a copy of your ID document, and can then choose to either use a standard proof of address, or upload a selfie with your ID document. The whole process is carried out online, and you can be up and running with your new account in just a day or two.
A borderless account is especially useful for expats, travellers, and those in the UK to work or study, because you can hold your money in any of dozens of different currencies. And you can even get local, virtual account details for euros, US, Australian and New Zealand dollars, as well as British pounds, which also lets you receive payments as if you were a local in these countries. You’ll be able to request a linked debit card to spend and make ATM withdrawals, so it’s easy to use. And sending money abroad is also typically much cheaper than using a high street bank, which means that you can save some money as well as reducing the hassle of opening a sterling bank account.
To open a TSB account you’ll need to take along original copies of 2 documents - one from a list of documents accepted to prove your ID and one from the list of documents accepted to prove your address. You can’t use the same document to prove both your address and identity, even though some documents appear on both lists.
Here’s what can be accepted as proof of address¹:
- Full, current UK driving license - if you didn't use this to prove your identity
- Bank, building society or credit union statement, which shows at least 2 transactions in the last 3 months
- Utility bill - not including a water bill or mobile phone bill - from within the last 3 months
- Council tax bill from the current council tax billing year, the bill has to be dated within the last 12 months
- State benefit or pension letter, confirming your eligibility for payments, from within the last 12 months
- Jobcentre Plus letter from the last 3 months, which shows your full address and National Insurance number
- HMRC tax notification from the last 6 months
You must prove your address to open a bank account with TSB. If you don’t have a UK address, and live elsewhere in the EU, you may prove your EU address by providing a photocard driving license, utility bill or bank statement. However, these documents must be recent, and need to be certified before they'll be accepted as proof of your address². Make sure you know what is needed before you attend your appointment, to avoid unnecessary delays.
So there you have it - all you need to know about providing proof of address for TSB. If you don’t have the necessary documents - or you just want to compare your options - check out the borderless account from TransferWise, for a flexible account which you can open entirely online. You’ll choose how you verify your identity, and you can get your account set up quickly, to start sending and spending money at home and abroad.
Sources used for this article:
*All sources checked on January 23, 2019
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