Can a homeless person open a bank account UK? Yes. Homeless people in the UK can open a bank account without the need for photo ID or proof of address. Opening a bank account in the UK without a proof of address or a bank account without ID in UK is possible but not easy for most homeless individuals. Most banks in the UK require you to submit personal details and a proof of address such as phone bill, electricity bill, water or gas bill. However, if you are homeless or new to the country, you may not be in possession of proof of address.
How can I open a bank account without proof of address? In this article, we will show you how to open a UK bank account without proof of address and how to get a bank account when homeless. Several banks offer this possibility to help homeless persons in the UK.
UK bank account without proof of address
- It is estimated that as many as 235,000 individuals have no fixed address in the UK. The real number of homeless people, is thought to be much higher because of homeless people who are not recorded by official statistics.
- Some traditional banks such as HSBC and Loyds have a special banking service if you are homeless. You can also get a bank account here without proof of identity. This kind of service runs through the official homeless shelters. See details below.
- Other online banks such as Monese and Revolut do not require a proof of address. The on-boarding process is fully online. You only need a smartphone, an official proof of identity. With Monzo bank, you must be registered homeless with Lewisham Council.
UK Banks that Don’t Require Proof of Address
Most banks in the UK will need documents to prove your identity and address. However, opening a bank account in the UK without proof of address is possible. You can open bank account without proof of address if you are homeless and have no fixed residential address.
An official ID with a photo is required for many banks. This can be a challenge for someone without a driving license, i.d. card or passport. Citizencard offer age verification ID which could be a first step to getting some ID.
How do I open a free online bank account without ID in the UK or how do I open a bank account without ID? Unfortunately, it is not possible to open a bank account without ID in the UK.
HSBC Homeless Bank Account
HSBC UK offers UK bank account without proof of address, the No Fixed Address, for homeless people without a fixed address. The service resulted from HSCB UK’s initiative to offer bank accounts to victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery.
How to Apply for No Fixed Address
To qualify for No Fixed Address, you must be experiencing housing or homelessness difficulties and receiving support from one of HSBC partner charities. You can verify your identity with a signed letter from the manager of HSBC partners. Your caseworker will contact your local designated HSBC UK branch to arrange an appointment to open a basic account. Once the appointment is completed and your account has been approved and opened, any correspondence from HSBC UK will be sent to the local charity address. If you aren’t receiving support from HSBC partners, you won’t be able to access the No Fixed Address programme.
Lloyds Homeless Bank Account
The Lloyds Bank works with local UK charities to help homeless people to help them open a bank account without address. At the moment, the bank works with charities in Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester and London, etc. For example, the Lloyds Bank branch on Manchester’s Market Street, in conjunction with Barnabus, the Booth Centre and other local charities, help individuals in Manchester affected by homelessness to access banking products and services to support them in their journey to regaining financial independence.
Bora Bora “Bank” claims to offer bank accounts to homeless without ID. Bora Bora is a scam and it is not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to provide financial services or products.
Monese, a virtual financial service provide in the UK, offers no proof of address instant bank account as part of a pilot programme with the London borough of Lewisham in partnership with ProxyAddress. ProxyAddress is a service that gives duplicate or proxy address details to those facing homelessness, so they can access vital services like banking. The bank only needs a selfie and a photo of your passport or national ID card. Moreover, Monese doesn’t credit score new customers.
How Monese No Proof of Address Works
- Register to ProxyAddress. You need to do this by approaching Lewisham Council. You must be registered homeless with Lewisham Council to be eligible.
- Choose Monese as your provider. You’ll be given the option to choose from a list of available account providers, and Monese will be one of them. You’ll get a non-personalised Monese card that you’ll be able to activate in the app.
- Sign up from your phone. Download the Monese app on your iOS or Android phone. You’ll then be taken through a few identity checks, so have your ID at hand.
- Use your allocated address. When you’re asked for your address, use the one allocated to you by ProxyAddress. And once you type in the code in the Promotions section, Monese will also upgrade you to Monese Premium account for free.
Monzo is another UK virtual bank with no physical branches. When you open a bank account with Monzo, the bank doesn’t ask you for proof of address. They will allow you to open an account with a proxy address in collaboration with ProxyAddress service, which is on a pilot phase in Lewisham Council. They will need to verify your date of birth with any of these documents: passport, driving licence (even a provisional one), national ID or any other government photo ID. You don’t have to visit a branch though to show these. Proving your identity goes totally through an online process. You do need to provide an address to receive your card though – if you order one.
The process of opening a bank account with Monzo without proof of address is the same as Monese (outlined above). The only difference is that when given a list to choose providers, you need to choose Monzo. Note that you must be registered homeless with Lewisham Council to be eligible.
Revolut is another example of a digital bank in the UK whose services are offered through an app and a payment card. You can open a UK current account easily from your phone that allows you to hold multiple currencies without a proof of address. Proving your identity goes totally through an online process. You do need to provide an address to receive your card though – if you order one.
Wise Multicurrency Account
Wise Multicurrency Account, formerly TransferWise Borderless, is a free virtual bank account. If you open multi-currency account from Wise, you can choose for yourself how you want Wise to verify your identity. If you don’t have a proof of address, you can use a copy of a photo ID, like a passport or driving license. It will take a day or two to verify your ID.
Suits Me is an alternative banking solution offering an e-current account with mobile banking app and a free Mastercard debit card. You can open a bank account without proof of residence in the UK with Suits Me. The e-current account is also suitable for migrant workers in the UK who find it hard to open a bank account with traditional banks.
This means anyone without a fixed UK address can get an account if they are in need. To get your Suits Me debit card sent to you, you will need to enter an address. This can be the address of where you are temporarily staying, your place of work or that of a trusted friend. Your PIN information wont be sent in the post along with your card due to security precautions.
How to Open Suits Me Account
To open your bank account within 10 minutes without address in the UK, you need to fill in the online application form. Required documents are passport, driving license, or national ID card.
You then need to pick which account suits you best. Suits Me has two plans: Premium and Premium Plus. You will then receive an email confirming your account details, along with information on how to access your online banking and a feee MasterCard debit card.
Suits Me is not a real bank in the traditional sense, so your deposits won’t be protected by the FSCS. However, the fintech is fully licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and keeps your money in a separate from the company’s finances), so that even if Suits Me files for bankruptcy, your deposits would be safe.
Opening Bank Account in the UK Without Proof of Address
You should know that every single bank has got its own specific requirements. After you have selected the bank you want to open account with, you need to ask them how to open a bank account in UK without proof of address for you to know the process to follow and needed documents. The banks we have covered in this article do not require the standard verification of proof of address. Therefore, you can open a bank account without a proof of address in the UK.
According to the UK charity, Shelter, there are estimated 320,000 homeless people in the UK. Homeless people in the UK are entitled to disability benefits and pensions, which require a bank account. However many banks in the UK still want you to provide a proof of address.
Documents Needed to Open a Bank Account in the UK
Generally these documents are needed if you want to open an current account at any given bank. Online banks often don’t ask for a proof of address.
- Proof of your identity such as a passport, drivers licence or national identity card.
- Proof of address. This can be a utility bill (phone, water, electricity, etc), rental contract, council tax bill.
- In some cases, you can also use electoral register entry, NHS Medical card, local job centre, a letter from the warden of a homeless shelter or a letter from your GP.
Types of Bank Accounts in the UK
There are many types of bank accounts in the UK. A current account is the most common account for paying bills and receiving a salary. A current account usually gives you an online app and a debit card. Some also offer a check book and overdraft facility; the bank accounts that come without a proof of address usually don’t.