You must provide proof of address to open a bank account in the United Kingdom. UK banking laws require banks to know who you are and where you live.
BANK IDENTIFICATION PROCESS: An address proof letter usually meets the requirements for confirmation.
The bank identification process specifically applies to those seeking to open a new account. But it also relates to those who are already an existing customer of the bank.
The law is part of a greater system of banking rules and regulations. They are set up to prevent fraud and money laundering, by way of a confirmed identification process.
Asking for your proof of identification is a basic prerequisite.
The reasons for this procedure should be obvious. You could argue that some branches have been a bit lax about this law. Perhaps their intentions focus on meeting targets for getting new customers on the books.
This is no longer the case, even without the legal obligations. They need to properly identify you and determine your place of residence. That seems a reasonable banking procedure to happen in the United Kingdom.
Banks will be handling your money and working on your behalf. They hope that you are the type of customer who will deposit reasonable sums of money into your account. Perhaps you will need to borrow money from them at some point? Whichever of these engagements happen, banks make big money out of the transaction.
As time goes on, the probability is that you will use more of the bank's financial services. This will inevitably mean some form of communication with them. That enables bank staff to ensure they are dealing with a person who is the real 'You'!
There are two requirements that you must satisfy to open a bank current account, or others. You will need to give proof of identity, and proof of residence. It will require different documentation for each aspect.
So, you cannot use your driving license, or other official identification, to meet both requirements. That means you need two separate forms of identification.
You use one item for verifying your identity. The other provides the bank with an address proof letter confirmation.
As a rule, you will find the bank assistant dealing with your application will be quite helpful and courteous.
They will have performance targets to meet insofar as how successful they are at landing new customers. They are not there to obstruct your path. They are there to gain you as a long term customer.
What if one of your documents has both an identity photo and a residential address proof? In this case it fulfills only one of the requirements. You can use it as proof of address or as a means to provide positive identification, such as:
You cannot use the same document twice!
Note: As a rule you cannot open a bank account without proof of address in the United Kingdom.
Note: In most cases these are an accepted letter to confirm address in the United Kingdom.
Also in this section...
What is Considered a Utility Bill?
In general a utility bill could be a receipt for services. It can include heat energy, supplies of domestic or commercial electricity. In some cases a receipt for cooking fuel, mains water or sewerage will suffice. Waste rubbish collection fees and a basic telephone service may also provide proof of a utility service.
Is a Council Tax Bill a Utility Bill?
A current Council Tax Bill is an accepted proof of a utility bill. You can also use a mortgage statement or a current full UK driving licence.
Confirmation of Address Proof Letter for Bank Account Opening in the United Kingdom