How To Open A Bank Account in Spending

How to get started opening your bank, building society or credit union account.

Proving your identity to open a bank account

You will need to prove your identity when opening a bank account, that means providing information about who you are and where you live.


You will usually need to provide two forms of Identification 

Different banks, building societies and credit unions have their own list of what identification they accept, so check with the bank before trying to open your account.

Using your Young Scot NEC as Voluntary Proof of Age

Banks that currently accept the Young Scot NEC Card are:

  • The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) (can only be used as voluntary proof of age if you are under 20) 
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • TSB (can only be used as voluntary proof of age if you are under 18)
  • Natwest (can only be used as voluntary proof of age if you are under 20)
  • Santander (can only be used as voluntary proof of age for under 18s)

What next?

Once you have got together the documents that you will need, head to the branch of the bank, building society, post office or credit union. 

You shouldn't need to make an appointment. Depending on how old you are and the bank's requirements, you may not need to bring an adult with you. It's always a good idea to phone and ask before you go.

Ask at the main desk or reception for the customer services assistant who you can speak to about opening an account. You'll probably then be shown to an interview room or a desk where someone will go through the paperwork with you and help you choose an account. They should help you choose the best account for your needs.

Could I be turned down for a bank account? 

Basic accounts are available to almost everybody by law, but if you want to open one you'll need to provide the accepted identification. 

Certain accounts have age requirements, but you're able to open an account from the day you are born. So never think you're too young to have an account of your own!

Not sure what account is right for you? Why not read our advice on how to choose a bank account