Getting Refugee status means you can now open a bank account. Bank accounts allow you to get paid, deposit money as well as to set up arrangements to pay your rent, and your utilities automatically.
There are many banks in the UK. Most of the offer “free banking” which means you do not pay in advance to hold a bank account with them. However, if you do use your bank account to do things without permission (for example if you attempt to spend/borrow money without permission) the banks will charge you.
Most banks offer accounts that cost money up front, and these can offer things like free travel insurance, the ability to get into debt (also known as an “overdraft”) or the ability to buy foreign currency at discounted rates.
Banks are private companies and they do not have to provide you with a bank account, just because you ask for one. Many Banks are worried about opening accounts for people who come from countries that have a reputation for corruption, or where international banking agreements are not enforced by the Government. This can feel very frustrating.
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