Your Money



Everything you need to know about your money.

Opening a Bank Account

There are a number of banks with good reputations in Bristol. All have a slightly different account opening procedure.

You will need to make an appointment with the branch where you wish to open an account. This can be done online, or we have provided contact information for some banks below. At busy times there can be an up to 4 week wait for an appointment so we strongly advise you to book an appointment in plenty of time.

Please note that some processes may differ under Covid-19 restrictions. The branch will be able to advise. 

You will need to attend your appointment with your passport and your Biometric Residence Permit if relevant. You will also need to take a reference letter from the University which can be provided on request to your Employee Services Hub Team. The requirements of this letter differ depending which bank you are opening a branch with so please confirm which bank you are applying for an account with and the following information with your request:

HSBC Bank plc

Branch Tel:+44 (0) 3457 404404  Email: (Branch Manager)

Lloyds Bank

Branch Tel: +44 (0) 345 4255295  Mobile: +44 07867 190108


Account Opening tel: +44 121 695 9238


Transferring money to the UK

It is important to ensure you have sufficient funds when you arrive in the UK. Opening a bank account is not straightforward if you move from overseas and it may take up to two weeks before you receive a debit card which can be used to withdraw money from local cash machines. In addition, you may need to pay a deposit or rent in advance before you can move into rented accommodation.

Your bank in your home country may be able to advise you on how to transfer funds to the UK if you have not yet opened a UK bank account. There are also many specialist companies that provide money transfer services, such as Western Union or Transferwise.

Traveller’s cheques are another option, as they can be purchased in your home country and then exchanged for local currency when abroad, often free of charge. Traveller’s cheques are available in Pounds Sterling and can be used in banks, Post Offices, bureaux de change, and some shops, hotels and restaurants.

Most shops in the UK accept credit cards from other countries. You should check the terms and conditions outlined in your credit card agreement, as you may incur fees for using your card abroad.

National Insurance Number

All working individuals in the UK aged 16 and over and below the state pension age, and earning above a certain threshold amount (set by the government) need to pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs). These are collected by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) through the University’s Payroll system and go towards state benefits, such as the National Health Service (NHS) and the state pension.

An employee from overseas, coming to work in the UK will have to obtain a National Insurance (NI) number and immediately start paying NICs in the UK on the same basis as people who normally live and work here. A NI number is a unique identifier (issued by the HMRC) that enables the HMRC to track the payments made for NICs for all individuals. All employees of the University must obtain a NI number and notify their department as soon as they have it, so that Payroll and Pensions can be informed.

If you have had to apply for a visa you may have a National Insurance (NI) number printed on the back of your biometric residence permit (BRP). You don’t need to apply for a National Insurance number if you already have one, or one is printed on your BRP.

If you don’t have a National Insurance number, you must apply. You can only apply for it once you’re in the UK and you must apply by phone.

National Insurance number application line
Telephone: 0800 141 2075
Textphone: 0800 141 2438
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Welsh language: 0800 141 2349
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm
Find out about call charges

You must have the right to work or study in the UK to get a National Insurance number.

Relocation Expenses

The Relocation Expenses Policy compliments the University’s staff recruitment and selection processes and aims to support new staff in their relocating to take up a role at the University of Bristol.

Relocation assistance may be claimed by eligible new staff appointed on an open-ended (permanent) contract or a fixed term contract of one year or more (not including extensions to an existing fixed term contract).  

Where the appointed member of staff currently lives outside a 50 mile radius of Bristol and moves within 30 miles of their new place of work they will be entitled to a relocation package. Arrangements for this will be made through Human Resources.

All claims should be submitted within a year of the employment start date. However, if this not possible for exceptional personal reasons, it may be possible to agree a deferred time scale with the relevant HR Manager.

The HR Director's decision is final in relation to the application of this policy.

Income Tax

Income Tax is a tax you pay on your income. You don’t have to pay tax on all types of income. 

You pay tax on things like:

You don’t pay tax on things like:

(please see link:

Council Tax

Council tax is your way of helping to pay for many local services like emergency services, rubbish collection, libraries, schools, street lights and much more.

Council tax is charged on the household. It's based on the value of the property and not on what the household earns.

The amount of council tax you have to pay depends on which property band your home is in.

Your final bill will be changed if you qualify for any of the council tax discounts or exemptions.

(please see link:

Payroll Details

Salary is paid monthly by credit transfer into your nominated bank/building society account. This is normally on the 26th day of the month (or the last working day beforehand if 26th falls on a weekend or bank holiday). Pay day is usually earlier in December. To ensure your salary is paid into your bank account you will need to return your Staff Record Form as soon as possible.


The University runs two pension schemes:

You may also have a pension with:

(please see link:

Wills in the UK

It is important to make a Will as it outlines exactly what you want to happen to your assets when you die. Without a valid Will in place, your hard-earned assets may find themselves distributed under the rules of intestacy. More often than not, this results in your assets being distributed in a way that you would not want and your loved ones loosing out.

Different countries have different rules around inheritance, property and tax. You need a Will that protects your assets as much as possible and ensures that your wishes are carried out in regards to your estate. It is vitally important that any Will meets the requirements of the country in which you live and is legally valid. If you do not have the right type of Will in place then you risk the following:-

1. Your assets may not end up where you want them to go.

2. It can take time to deal with the administration across different jurisdictions.

3. It may result in you paying more tax than is necessary.

On relocation to the UK you may need to re-do your foreign Will so that it does explicitly state that it's to be valid world wide and it is also dependent on whether you have significant UK assets. In some circumstances, you may need to have a new Will drawn up.

Not all UK law firms possess the expertise to deal with Wills from those relocating from overseas. Existing international staff have used the following practice which is based in Bristol:

Burroughs-Day LLP, est 1829 (recently taken over by Metcalfes)

Queen Square House
18-21 Queen Street
Bristol   BS1 4NH
T: 0117 3211762

It is worth noting that the tax implications are different for each country so if you require advice on this matter it would be advisable to speak to an appropriate legal representative within the native country that your Will was written.