Best Banks in Scotland| Rates, Account Types, Min. Deposit

There are many different banks in Scotland, and it can be difficult to know which is best for you. Each bank has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to research before choosing one.

Some of the best banks in Scotland include RBS, HSBC, and NatWest. They all have various products and services to choose from and several branch locations throughout the country. So if you’re looking for a reliable bank with plenty of options, these three should be at the top of your list.

For over 300 years, Scotland has had a long history when it comes to banking. Due to the vast number of banks in Scotland, the need to go for the best is essential.

Knowing the best banks in Scotland will help you choose the right bank with the best interest rates, account type, and minimum deposit.

This article highlights the best banks in Scotland with their respective banking systems.

However, Scotland’s banking system is very sophisticated and offers some unique advantages, such as not paying bank fees if you remain on your account credit.

So, you can choose between various accounts, depending on the services offered and the duration of your stay in the country.

Let’s dive in!

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How Many Banks are there in Scotland?

The UK has many banks (over 300) with good interest rates, low minimum deposits, and outstanding account types.

According to Wikipedia, 14 banks in Scotland are solving the problem of financial transactions while delivering a delightful banking experience.

Out of these banks in Scotland, they allow three retail banks to print notes for circulation in Scotland: the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale Bank.

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Can I Open a Bank Account in Scotland?

Yes, you can open a bank account in Scotland even if you just moved to the country newly.

However, opening a bank account can be complicated or expensive, depending on your nationality.

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If you are an EU / EFTA citizen, you have the right to open a basic account, which allows you to perform basic banking functions.

It’s always recommended that a foreigner start by opening a basic account.

Let’s show you how to open a basic bank account.

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How to Open a Basic Bank Account in Scotland

To open a basic account, you don’t need proof of Scottish employment or credit history (of course, you won’t have one yet).

The earliest you can open a bank account in Scotland is three months, provided you haven’t found a job.

In general, you will need the following to open a “basic” bank account:

  • Proof of identity (valid passport or European identity card)
  • Current photo
  • Proof of UK address in the form of an electricity bill issued within the last 3 months

After six or twelve months, you can switch to a “current” bank account.

Note: Although you can bring water, gas, or electricity bills to Scotland, telephone or cable bills are not considered proof of identity or address.

How to Open a Current Bank Account in Scotland

If you are in a third country, you do not have the right to open a basic account, so you must wait at least three months to open a “current” account.

Documentation may vary by bank, but generally, the following is required:

  • Proof of identity (valid passport)
  • Current photo
  • Proof of residence in the UK in the form of an electricity bill issued within the last 3 months
  • Details of your current job, income, or savings (including those in your home country)
  • A substantial deposit must be made into your new Scottish bank account, the exact amount of which varies from bank to bank.
  • Pass a credit check

As mentioned above, the deposit required for a third-country citizen to open a bank account in Scotland can be quite large and varies from bank to bank. So thorough market research is crucial to stay informed of the differences in rates.

Now, let’s help you compare and contrast different bank offers in Scotland according to your needs.

List of Best Banks in Scotland in 2024 | Rates, Account Types, Min. Deposit

Scotland does not necessarily have thousands of banks, but their existing banks often stand out in their banking system.

So, we researched banks with outstanding interest rates, account types, and minimum deposits.

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Here are the best banks in Scotland, UK:

#1. Bank of Scotland

Bank of Scotland is dedicated to helping Scottish households, businesses and communities prosper. The bank presence is efficient in all major towns and cities in Scotland.

They combine outstanding customer and long-term commitment to building deep relationships.

The Bank of Scotland operates on three different account types; classic, platinum, and youth and student accounts.

To open an account, you need a minimum deposit of £1 with a 1.50% AER interest rate on balances between £4,000 and $5,000.

Bank Website

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#2. Royal Bank of Scotland

Royal Bank of Scotland was founded in Edinburgh in 1727. Over the years, the bank has paved the way in banking since its establishment.

The Royal Bank of Scotland has a history of making life easier for its customers through its fully-fledged internet banking service. The bank is committed to serving communities and putting customers’ interests first.

Royal Bank of Scotland has over three account types with additional account types: Everyday bank accounts, Joint, and Foundation accounts. The additional account type include Reward, Student,
Child & Teen bank account.

In their everyday account type, there is no minimum deposit, but you can expect to pay a 3% Gross / 3.04% AER interest rate on balances up to £1,000.

Bank Website

#3. Clydesdale Bank

Clydesdale Bank is one bank in Scotland that stands to help you achieve your ambitions and enjoy the security and confidence that saving can bring you, whether you want to save a little regularly or have a lump sum to invest.

Whether you’re looking for an everyday account with perks, great digital tools, or something else, their accounts are designed to help you control your finances.

Make the most of life by saving for the future. You can sign up for their three accounts: basic, current, and savings.

To open an account with Clydesdale Bank, you must deposit at least £1. Also, there is no maximum balance restriction or need to pay regularly.

Each savings on your current account comes with an exclusive linked Savings Account paying 0.50% AER /Gross (variable) per year on your savings balance, and interest is paid quarterly.

Bank Website

#4. HSBC

HSBC is a bank that will manage your money easily with its current account. You also have much to consider with their access to a linked savings account, overdraft, and digital banking.

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This bank operates on two major account types; Current and Savings account.

The current account includes Premier, Advance, Bank, Student, and Children’s, while the savings account is a Regular and Fixed Rate Savings Account, which also extends to children.

To hold an account with them, you need a £1 minimum deposit with a 1.00% AER/gross interest rate), fixed for 12 months.

Bank Website

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#5. Lloyds TSB

The Trustee Savings bank (TSB) in Scotland accepts savings deposits from those with moderate means. TSB is the first-ever Pride of Scotland.

It is one of the retail banks with a trusted customer brand and a committed workforce that offers full-service banking to more than five million customers.

TSB operates on current accounts comprising Spend & Save, Cash, Student, Graduate, and Under-19 accounts.

Whether opening your first-ever bank account, getting set for college or university, or just looking for an everyday account, it is free (you don’t need a minimum deposit).

However, not all account types have an interest rate. Expect a 5% AER interest rate from the student account and a 2.5% rate from the under-19 account. The resting account type doesn’t have an interest rate.

Bank Website

#6. Barclays

Barclays is always proud to support businesses across Scotland.

This bank operates on two major account types; Current and Savings account.

The current account includes an everyday account comprising Barclays Bank, Premier Current, Basic Current, and Joint Accounts; student accounts comprising Student Addition and Higher Education Accounts; young people comprising Children’s Bank and Young Person’s Account; and a foreign currency account. While the savings account is a regular, fixed-rate savings account that extends to children too.

You need a £1 minimum deposit fee to open an account with Barclays while you stand to enjoy a 0.01% interest rate in their Everyday savings account.

Bank Website

#7. Halifax

Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. This bank understands that people like you save money for different reasons. Hence, they have different account plans.

The Halifax range of bank accounts can offer simplicity when managing your everyday spending, or a little bit more, with accounts that include a wide range of insurance benefits.

The bank operates on both current and savings accounts. Halifax’s Current account offers a 0.10% AER interest rate. However, all interest rates for the different account types are variables.

To open an account, you’ll need to provide at least a £5 cash deposit to your account.

Bank Website

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Conclusion

The table below clearly summarizes the list of the best banks in Scotland. You can open an account with any of them according to your priorities.

RankingBanks in ScotlandAccount TypesInterest Rates (AER%)Min. Deposit
#1Bank of ScotlandClassic, Platinum, and Student Accounts1.50%£1
#2Royal Bank of ScotlandEvery day, Joint, Savings, Foundation3% Gross / 3.04%Free
#3Clydesdale BankBasic, Current, and Savings0.50%£1
#4HSBCCurrent and Savings1.00%£1
#5Lloyds TSBSpend & Save, Cash, Student, Graduate, and Under 19s5%/2.5%Free
#6BarclaysCurrent and Savings0.01%£1
#7HalifaxCurrent and Savings0.10%£5

References

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