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Get started with UK banking

If you’ve just moved to the UK to work or study, this account will give you the essentials you need, such as the ability to pay bills and have your income paid in. It will also help you to build up a credit history, which may mean you’ll be able to access additional banking facilities with Santander in the future (subject to eligibility).

The Essentials Current Account has a £1 monthly account fee, which will be automatically taken from your account each month.

You’ll get:

  • A contactless Visa debit card for making purchases and taking out money at cash machines.
  • 24/7 access to your account using Online, Mobile and Telephone Banking.
  • Free text and email alerts about your account.
  • Branches all over the UK for face-to-face banking.

There’s is no overdraft with this account.

As you are new to the UK, you may also want to take a look at our Basic Current Account. This account  doesn’t offer an overdraft facility or a cheque book and comes with a cash card and a Top-up Debit card. There is no monthly account fee on this account. 

 

 Please read the full product details, Key Facts document and terms and conditions before applying.
Other accounts are available; see our current account product range to find out more.

 

 

Why choose the Essentials Current Account?

For those who have recently come to the UK to work or study, this is an account that could help you get started.

There is a £1 monthly account fee, that will be automatically taken from your account each month.
 
You can:

  • Have your salary or other income paid in.
  • Pay bills.
  • Set up Direct Debits and standing orders.
  • Transfer money online.
  • Withdraw up to £300 a day from any Santander or Link cash machine.

You won't earn any interest on your balance and this account doesn’t offer an overdraft.

The Essentials Current Account will let you bank in the UK and build up a credit history that may let you access additional banking facilities with Santander in the future (subject to eligibility). 

What you can get

  • Visa contactless debit card: quick and secure method of buying goods and services at home and abroad.
  • Contactless payments with your mobile: link your Santander debit or credit card to your Apple, Android, Samsung device.
  • Retailer Offers: earn cashback of up to 15% at a range of major retailers when you use your Santander Visa debit card. Just sign up, switch your offers on and you’re ready to go.

Things to remember
If you try to make a payment without having enough money in your account you may incur an Unpaid Item Fee of £10. The Essentials Current Account has a monthly cap for Unarranged Overdraft fees of £95 which means that you will never be charged more than £95 a month in Unpaid Item Fees.

There are other charges with this account, such as when you use your card abroad. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions (pdf) and Key Facts Document (pdf) for details.

Overdraft alerts
By 2nd February 2018 we’ll automatically send you alerts about your balance and payments in order to help you avoid charges e.g. when you’re in an unarranged overdraft, a payment has gone unpaid or you need to pay money in to cover a payment. These alerts are free, and will be sent by text message or email if we don’t have your mobile number.

Once your account has been registered for these alerts, you can update your alert settings, including switching the alerts off, at any time by logging onto Online Banking, visiting one of our branches or by calling us on 0800 9 123 123.

You can apply for the Essentials Current Account if you’re 18 years of age or over and have a UK residential address. You can only hold one Essentials Current Account, either in your own name or in joint names.

As you are new to the UK, you may also want to take a look at our Basic Current Account. This account  doesn’t offer an overdraft facility or a cheque book and comes with a cash card and a Top-up Debit card. There is no monthly account fee on this account.

 

 Please read the full product details, Key Facts document and terms and conditions before applying.
Other accounts are available; see our current account product range to find out more.

 

 

If you already have a UK bank account you can switch to the Essentials Current Account in just 7 working days

  • You can switch either to a new account, or one you've already got with us
  • Our dedicated switcher team will switch all of your Direct Debits, standing orders and your salary or other income 
  • Choose when your switch starts - this can be up to 60 days in the future
  • Your switch will only take 7 working days
  • We'll keep you updated of progress by letter, text and e-mail
  • We'll close your old account and redirect any payments to your Essentials Current Account 
  • There's no overdraft facility on the Essentials Current Account so you won't be able to move an overdraft across

How to switch

If you don't already have a Santander Current Account, you can apply by visiting us in branch. We'll ask you during the application if you want to switch an account you hold elsewhere to Santander.

If you're an existing customer and you have an account with another provider that you would like to switch to your existing Santander account, please visit your local branch

To switch you'll need to give us

  • your existing sort code and account number
  • your existing debit card number and expiry date. If you are switching a joint account to us, we'll need the debit card details for all applicants

Check if your current bank or building society is signed up to the Current Account Switch Service

From day-to-day banking to exclusive offers, do it your way
Because we know you have busy lives and are often on the move, we want to give you ways to bank that make life easier. We’re always looking for new ways to bank that help you do what you need to do, with your phone, computer or in person.

So if you're on the sofa, log on with your tablet to see the nearby offers you could make the most of with Retailer Offers. If you want to pay a friend for your share of a night out, use Paym on your mobile to make a quick transfer with no need for bank details. And if you're on the high street pop in for the personal service.

Overdraft alerts
By 2nd February 2018 we’ll automatically send you alerts about your balance and payments in order to help you avoid charges e.g. when you’re in an unarranged overdraft, a payment has gone unpaid or you need to pay money in to cover a payment. These alerts are free, and will be sent by text message or email if we don’t have your mobile number.

Once your account has been registered for these alerts, you can update your alert settings, including switching the alerts off, at any time by logging onto Online Banking, visiting one of our branches or by calling us on 0800 9 123 123.

Need a hand? Send Me The Link is here to help
Send Me The Link lets you send yourself links for our mobile apps, videos, guides and factsheets so you can learn more about Online and Mobile Banking.

Here are just a few of the things you can do:

 

Mobile Banking

Our fastest growing way to bank. Use your phone or device to:

  • see balances and make payments

  • register for Retailer Offers to earn cashback on your spend

  • set up personalised account alerts  to let you know what's going on with your money

And much more

Take a look at our Mobile Banking videos
 

Get the app

 

Online Banking

24/7 banking on your desktop or laptop computer. Everything you can do on mobile, plus:

  • view your statements and other important information online

  • change between paper and paper-free statements

  • manage personal details such as change of address

  • register to receive mobile-to-mobile payments with Paym  

And much more

Take a look at our Online Banking videos
 

Sign up

 

Branches

Come in and see us for:

  • face-to-face support in managing your account

  • free customer wi-fi: bring your own device into branch and we'll help you with our online and mobile services

Find a branch

 

Contact Us

Telephone Banking

  • with our UK-based team on hand until 9pm most nights, and an automated service when they go home, do your banking by telephone any day of the week

  • call us on 0800 9 123 123

Find out more

 

ATM

Use our ATMs for:

  • withdrawing cash

  • making cash and cheque deposits

  • checking your balance

  • managing your PIN 

Find out more

 

Post Office

  • Use Post Office branches to make cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, cash deposits and cheque deposits

Find out more

 

Protect yourself from fraud

It’s very important that your keep your banking details private and secure.

  • Never share a Santander One Time Passcode (OTP) with another person. Not even a Santander employee.
  • Never download software or let anyone log on to your computer or other devices remotely following or during a cold call.
  • Never enter your Online Banking details or bank card details after clicking on a link in an email or text message.

For more information about our approach to security as well as more useful information to help you stop the threat of fraud visit our Security Centre.

Everything you need to know before you apply
We recommend reading the information in the documents below before you apply. You should print or save copies of these documents for your records and future reference

To view these documents, you may need to download Adobe Reader

Before applying please remember to read the full details and terms and conditions.

If you’ve come to the UK to study, you can apply for a Essentials Current Account if you:

  • are aged 18 or over
  • have a UK residential address
  • have moved to the UK within the last 12 months
  • can provide proof that you’ve been accepted in the UK with a higher education provider for a minimum of 1 year (a letter of acceptance/admission from the university/college/school confirming UK study details which includes name, course details, dates, name and contact number and UK home address, or a letter of introduction for UK banking facilities from the university/college/school or a student ID card issued by a recognised UK university).


If you’ve come to the UK to work, you can apply for a Essentials Current Account if you:

  • are aged 18 or over
  • have a UK residential address
  • have moved to the UK within the last 12 months
  • can provide proof of employment from a company registered in the UK (contract or HR letter from a searchable company registered in the UK stating the customer’s UK address in full).

To apply

Visit a branch, find your nearest branch

You'll need to bring proof of your name and address - see a list of acceptable identification (pdf)

Frequently asked questions

  • You can use your Santander debit card abroad to make purchases and to withdraw local currency from cash machines as and when you need it. Simply look for the Visa sign, and feel secure knowing that it's a safer option than carrying large amounts of cash or traveller's cheques.

     

    If you’re a cash card customer you can use your card to withdraw local currency from cash machines abroad wherever you see the Cirrus sign. Charges may apply. For full details please see the General Terms & Conditions

     

    For further peace of mind, please tell us about your travel arrangements using Online Banking (go to 'Use card abroad' in 'Account services'), your nearest Santander branch  or by calling us on 0800 9 123 123 (lines are open 7am to 9pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 9pm on Sunday). We will continue to monitor your account for fraud and unusual transactions whilst you’re abroad. We'll attempt to contact you if we detect unusual activity, make sure we have up to date contact details for you before you travel. If you keep your mobile phone with you, you'll be able to confirm genuine transactions as soon as we contact you. Also, remember to make a note of our phone number from the back of your card, if you notice any unusual transactions or your card is lost or stolen, let us know as soon as possible.

  • Before you can transfer to another of our current accounts we need to get to know you better as a customer. When you feel that you have built up sufficient credit history in the UK, please ask us at anytime to discuss other banking facilities that may be available to you. You can get in touch on 0800 9 123 123 or by visiting a branch.

     

    Find a branch
     

  • A statement period usually runs from the monthly anniversary of the date you opened or transferred your account, unless you've asked for it to be changed.

     

    For example, if your statement date is the 18th of the month, your monthly statement period will cover the period from the 18th of one month until the 17th of the next.

     

    Where we talk about a month in relation to your account, we're referring to the monthly statement period. When we ask you to fund the account each month, or talk about paying cashback monthly - for example - we mean the monthly statement period.

     

    We’ll provide you with a paper statement once every three months, unless you ask us to provide you with a paper statement monthly or you’ve chosen to be paper-free. However often you choose to receive your statements, it will not affect your monthly statement period. For more information please visit the changes to your account page

  • If your existing account is no longer meeting your needs, please get in touch so we can check if we have something more suitable. 

     

    If you’re leaving the UK, you must make sure you close your account. 

     

    You can contact us to discuss your account or request closure by sending a secure message through Online Banking, calling us on 0800 9 123 123 or by visiting one of our branches.

     

    Find a branch
     

Santander UK plc. Registered Office: 2 Triton Square, Regent's Place, London, NW1 3AN, United Kingdom. Registered Number 2294747. Registered in England and Wales. www.santander.co.uk. Telephone 0800 389 7000. Calls may be recorded or monitored. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Our Financial Services Register number is 106054. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fca.org.uk/register. Santander and the flame logo are registered trademarks.