How to Open a UK Bank Account Without ID

banks that don't need id to open account
Photo by Dom J

In the UK, it is impossible to find banks; you don’t need any form of ID to open an account, regardless of whether the bank is traditional or digital. Customers of financial institutions are subjected to identity checks in order for the institutions to comply with legislation governing the prevention of fraud and the laundering of illicit funds.

As a result, you may be unable to establish credit or open bank accounts due to a lack of proper identification. Banks take extensive measures to verify your identity before granting you access to a bank account. In this article, we will go through banks that need an alternative ID to open a bank account and who should think about having an account with banks that don’t need an ID.

Can I Open a Bank Account in the United Kingdom Without Any Identification?

As you may undoubtedly guess, the short answer is no. Before allowing you to open a bank account, banks must verify your identification. That’s anti-fraud policy 101, and it protects you as well; you wouldn’t want just anyone opening a bank account in your name.

This also applies to digital-only banks; if you try to open an account online or through an app, you’ll almost always be required to submit a photo of your ID and a video of yourself.

If you don’t have a valid UK passport or driving license, banks may accept other kinds of identification, which we describe below.

How Do You Open a Bank Account if You Don’t Have a Photo ID?

A valid passport or driver’s license is usually recognized as identification when opening a bank account. However, if you do not have these documents, banks may accept alternate forms of identification:

#1. Official Documentation 

Any other government-issued documents with your full name, address, and date of birth, in addition to the council tax bill, credit card statement, and utility bill, will suffice to open a bank account. A copy of your original birth certificate or national insurance card may also be accepted.

#2. Tax Notification from HMRC 

The letter from HMRC at the end of the tax year that provides information about your tax payments and any inconsistencies can be used as identification.

#3. Credit Reference Agency Electronic Checks

You can apply online for a current account with a traditional bank without submitting any additional ID documents if a credit reference bureau has already verified your identity and your credit reports contain sufficient information.

#4. BRP (Biometric Residence Permit)

This document is available when you apply for a visa to stay in the UK for more than six months. The inclusion of your photograph, fingerprints, and immigration status on the document increases the possibility that it will be accepted as a valid form of identity by financial institutions.

#5. Documents for the Home Office

Using an Immigration Status Document or an Application Registration Card (ARC) that the Home Office provides, one can open a bank account.

#6. Blue Disabled Drivers Get a Pass

The council issues a blue disabled driver pass, often known as a ‘Blue Badge,’ which allows those with disabilities to park closer to their destinations.

#7. Benefits Authorization Letter

The office is in charge of distributing benefits and issuing a benefits entitlement letter. The benefits entitlement letter can be used as identification and to create a bank account.

Please keep in mind that the acceptability of these alternative IDs may differ between banks. If you have these other types of ID, such as a benefits letter, it may be easier to create a bank account with a traditional brick-and-mortar bank rather than a digital-only bank.

Also, keep in mind that several of these alternative papers may necessitate the submission of an ID. However, if you lose your passport or the bank refuses to accept expired documents and you need to create a bank account fast before obtaining a replacement, they can still be useful.

Banks That Don’t Need ID to Open an Account

Several high-street banks provide accounts for those who are experiencing financial difficulties, have a poor credit history, or need a consistent address. These bank accounts may be easier to obtain for people who do not have regular credit checks or forms of identification

#1. HSBC 

HSBC is collaborating with Shelter and other UK and local charities to assist those without a fixed home address in opening a bank account. The No Fixed Address program is available in select HSBC branches, and in order to participate, you must be experiencing housing or homelessness and receiving assistance from one of HSBC’s partner charities.

If you have a UK or EU address, you can also apply for an HSBC basic bank account. This account is intended for those who are unable to obtain a bank account elsewhere due to financial difficulties or a poor credit history.

#2. The Metro Bank 

If you are a UK, EEA, or Swiss national, all you need to open a Metro Bank account is a valid passport, EU national ID card, or UK driving licence. If you are not a UK, EEA, or Swiss national, you will need to show a valid passport with your current visa or Biometric Residence Permit, as well as proof of address.

If you are unable to provide some of the requested documents, you may still apply for a Metro Bank Cash Account. International students must have a valid passport, a student visa, and an acceptance or introduction letter from a UK educational institution.

#3. Lloyd’s 

Another bank that has several options for those who do not have proof of address is Lloyds. You only need a passport to open a bank account, making it one of the best options for newly arrived immigrants. You will also be offered the Cash Account here, but keep in mind that its credit card will only allow you to withdraw money from certain ATMs. I suggest going with the Classic Account, which has no restrictions.

#4. TSB 

TSB was a subsidiary of Lloyd’s TSB until 2013. Despite the fact that they are now separate entities, the requirements for opening a bank account are identical to those of their former partner. A passport is all that is required to proceed! These alternate identification criteria may differ. It is critical to confirm specifics with these high-street banks. Some high-street banks, such as Metro Bank, may not demand photo ID but may want further evidence of address.

#5. Barclays

For people who do not have proof of address, Barclays is one of the most accessible banks. European citizens can open an account by presenting their passport. There are several options for non-Europeans. The first is to open a cash card account with no fees. You can do basic things with this account, but make sure you get a debit card instead of a cash card.

Another possibility is to open a Barclays Bank account and use a contactless debit card. If you are a student, you can open a student account with Barclays with minimal paperwork. However, you must be aware that in order to be considered an adult in the United Kingdom, you need to be 18 years old.

Who Should Think About Banks That Don’t Need ID to Open a Bank Account?

Let us now go over certain scenarios in which you should think about how to open a bank account with banks that don’t need ID. We will also go over some feasible solutions for each case.

#1. Unemployed in the United Kingdom

Property prices in the United Kingdom are extremely high. It is tough to afford excellent housing without well-paying work. Opening a bank account in the UK without evidence of address is an important choice if you have recently arrived in the country or are between jobs.

#2. Student Immigrant 

Do you intend to study in the United Kingdom? If this is the case, you’ll want to avoid the extra fees associated with foreign transactions and are likely looking for a no-ID bank account. You have a lot of options because many banks allow you to open a UK bank account without providing evidence of address. Immigrant students are prevalent, and one of the simplest bank accounts to obtain is a student account.

Homelessness is one of the most serious issues in the United Kingdom, particularly in London. If you are a UK citizen or an immigrant legally residing in London and are homeless, there are options for obtaining an address without renting or owning a house. It is necessary to have a UK address in order to receive correspondence concerning your employment and benefits.

However, if you are currently homeless and wish to get a bank account, there are options. You can obtain a virtual or proxy address from which to receive your mail. Your budget will determine the service provider you use, but there are a number of ways to do it for free if you absolutely cannot afford it. Then, you may begin interacting with banks in London to try to select an account that is suitable for you.

#4. Nomads in the Digital Age 

Not everyone wants to spend the rest of their lives inside the same four walls. The growth of digital nomads has fueled banking sector innovation. If you want to travel to as many countries as possible, you may be concerned about your expenses.

If you are new to the digital nomad lifestyle or want to start a company in the UK, you might consider getting a postal address from a virtual address service provider. Virtual bank accounts with no ID are becoming increasingly popular. Online banking with no ID is more popular than ever. However, it is critical that you pick one that is dependable and does not increase service rates in the middle of the process.

Which Bank in the United Kingdom Does Not Demand Evidence of Address?

To open a bank account, you must provide proof of address, which may be difficult to get if you are a non-resident. The good news is that firms such as Monzo and Monese provide a UK bank account without requiring evidence of address.

What is the Simplest Bank Account to Open Online in the United Kingdom?

What is the simplest bank account to open in the United Kingdom? Opening an account with one of the UK’s top banks, such as Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, or NatWest, is usually easier. These banks have been in operation for a long time and are extremely secure.

Which British Banks Accept Overseas Addresses?

Some UK institutions, such as HSBC and Barclays, will let you open a UK bank account while still living abroad. This is useful if you want to get everything in order before your relocation date. Opening an account takes about 10-15 days, but this varies depending on the bank.

What Are the Top Five Banks in the United Kingdom?

By revenue, the top five UK-based banks in 2021 will be HSBC Holdings Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc, Barclays Plc, Standard Chartered Plc, and NatWest Group Plc.

Which UK Banks Will Pay You to Open an Account?

These offers are available simply by opening an account, though they may occasionally require a referral link.

  • HSBC – £205 starting offer + £3,000 prize draw entry + £55 cashback
  • Monzo offers a £5 welcome bonus
  • Santander – Get up to £20 in cashback when you open an account
  • TSB – £20 to £40 reward on account opening

Can You Open a Bank Account in the United Kingdom from Another Country?

Certain requirements must be met in order to open a UK bank account from overseas. These may differ depending on the bank and your unique situation. However, some common needs are as follows: Identification document: A valid passport or national identity card will be required.


Unfortunately, it is not possible to open a bank account in the UK without some form of recognized identification. This is done primarily to prevent fraud. However, providing proof of identification does not always imply displaying a valid UK passport or a driving license. 

Other forms of identification that banks may accept when considering an application to open an account may include a foreign passport, an EU or EEA ID or driving license, HMRC tax notifications, and Home Office documents. Monese, Starling Bank, and Revolut are three well-known digital e-money providers that are easy to apply for.

There are numerous other banks, but we recommend starting with the ones listed above. When you have a house contract or a job in the UK, you may want to branch out and look into other banks. Finally, the most difficult part of your journey will be opening your first account in the United Kingdom. After that, switching to a different bank is usually much easier.


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