One of the main challenges facing Ukrainian refugees in the UK is how to open a bank account with limited documentation and little knowledge of the banking system in the UK. Thankfully, there are banks that offer free bank account with flexible requirements for Ukrainian refugees in the UK. Even with limited documentation, you may be able to have a bank account with IBAN, debit card, access to SEPA and a banking app.
Read this post in Ukrainian: Безкоштовні банківські рахунки у Великій Британії для біженців з України
Free Bank Account for Ukrainian Refugees
- A number of banks have started offering special, free bank accounts for Ukrainian refugees. For example, there are banks that offer accounts for Ukrainian refugees in Latvia and Poland, while Moneta offers free bank accounts for Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic. Incharge has just launched a banking app for free accounts in Europe for Ukrainians.
- There are also a number of free money transfer services for sending money to Ukraine from the UK and elsewhere. Here are some of available services for money transfer to Ukraine.
Online Account for Ukrainian Refugees in UK
Wise Free Account for Ukrainian Refugees in UK
Wise, formerly TransferWise, offers an online multicurrency account for Ukrainian refugees in the UK. The account allows you to hold, receive and spend money in multiple currencies and get a debit card.
You will get account details for GBP, EUR, USD and other currencies. You can also add money to your account in 21 currencies: AUD, BGN, BRL, CAD, CHF, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HRK, HUF, JPY, MYR, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, SEK, SGD, TRY and USD.
Monese Account for Ukrainians Refugees in UK
The UK e-money institution, Monese, offers an online EUR and GBP accounts with no fees for Ukrainian refugees who need a local account in the UK to send or receive payments. The Monese account, which comes with IBAN and SEPA support, is free.
Revolut Account for Ukrainians Refugees in UK
Revolut allows Ukrainian refugees in the UK with limited documentation to access their money by linking the Revolut app to their Ukrainian bank account. You can open Revolut standard account with no monthly fee. The account can also be used to send or receive money as well as exchange currency. Foreign currency exchange fees have been removed.
Amaiz Account for Ukrainians in UK
In order to support Ukraine, Amaiz, the banking app in the UK, offers free account to Ukrainian refugees in the UK. Money transfers to Ukraine will be free with no commission until the end of July and all Ukrainians’ accounts come with a £15 donation from Amaiz.
Amaiz was founded by Ukrainian born Sergei Dobrovolskii in 2017.
How to Open Amaiz Account as a Ukrainian Refugee in UK
- UK phone number
- UK address. You can use your relative’s or sponsor’s address
- Tax Identification Number (TIN). You need to provide the Ukrainian Tax Number and indicate Ukraine as a Tax Jurisdiction.
The final step is to verify your identity by scanning your documents:
- Stamp from the Border Force UK confirming crossing the border
If you meet all the requirements above, you will immediately have access to your account and receive a your payment card (MasterCard) sent to the address you used during registration. You will also receive the £15 bonus for the start after account is active.
Zero transfer fees to Ukraine will last until July 31, 2022. The transfer limits to Ukraine are currently up to £10,000 (or equivalent currency) per transaction/per month. There will not be monthly fee until the end of December 2022.
Other Banking Options for Ukrainians in the UK
While the banks listed above allow you to open a free bank account as a Ukrainian refugee in the UK online, other banks such as the ones below require you to physically visit the bank to open your account.
The Royal bank of Scotland Ukrainian Refugee Account in the UK
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is one of the largest retail and commercial banks in the United Kingdom. The bank has responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by offering a basic bank account to Ukrainian refugees without monthly or account opening fees.
Royal Bank of Scotland Account Features
The bank account for Ukrainian refugees in the UK offers the following features:
- Basic bank account with no monthly fee
- Contactless debit card to make purchases and withdraw cash at any ATM
- Royal Bank of Scotland mobile banking app to make fee-free international payments and transactions
How to Open Royal Bank of Scotland Account for Ukrainian Refugees
To help RBS Bank communicate with you about your account, it is recommended having a valid email address and phone number set up in your name before applying.
If you are a Ukrainian refugee in the UK, you can apply if you:
- Are 18 or over and a temporary UK resident
- Have a valid Ukrainian passport or Ukrainian national ID card in your name
- Passport insert issued by UK visa application centre confirming your right to enter the UK
- Passport stamp issued by UK BorderForce confirming your right to enter the UK
- Confirmed visa application issued by UK visa application centre confirming your right to enter the UK
- Biometric residence permit issued by the UK government following completion of your application process once you have arrived in the UK
- Identity documentation should be in-date and in the name of the applicant applying for the account. – – Visa documentation confirming the right to enter the UK must have been issued within 6 months of the application date.
Download the form for applying for Ukrainian refugee account. Once downloaded, please print, fill out & bring into your nearest branch along with appropriate ID to complete the application. One form per application. You can also access key information for Ukrainian speakers.
Due to anticipated volumes, expect a wait of 7-10 days for most accounts to open. Once your account is open, you will receive confirmation from RBS, along with your account details and information on accessing your account. You have a number of options to access your account, including Digital Banking and RBS mobile app.
To access RBS mobile app, you need mobile numbers starting with ‘07’. The Royal Bank of Scotland currently does not support Ukrainian numbers for access to the mobile app.
Ulster Bank for Ukrainian Refugees in the UK
Ulster Bank is part of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS). Therefore, it offers bank account features for Ukrainian refugees in the UK similar to RBS. Bank account opening for Ukrainians in the UK has the same requirements as those outlined above for RBS.
Other Free Banking Services for Ukrainian Refugees
- Open Account for Ukrainian Refugees With Bunq
- Bank Account for Ukrainian Refugees in Latvia
- Moneta Bank: Free Account for Ukrainians in Czech Republic
- Free Bank Accounts for Ukrainians in Poland Without Proof of Residence
- Incharge App: Free Banking App for Ukrainians in Europe