The unit of currency in the UK is pound sterling (£). There are 100 pence to each pound. Cash is available in the following denominations:
Coins: 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2 (There are many designs!)
Bank Notes: £1 (very rare), £5, £10, £20, £50, £100
Bank notes issued by Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale, Bank of England and Bank of Ireland are all fine to use.
We would advise trainees to avoid getting £50 and £100 notes from banks, because they will not be accepted everywhere due to the high rate of forgeries!
It will probably be necessary to open a bank account to receive your pay from your employer. There are banks located all over Glasgow, the following have several branches both in the City Centre and West End:
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
Bank of Scotland
There is also one HSBC and one Barclays branch in the City Centre.
You will probably receive a bank card which is the main method of withdrawing money at an ATM (Cash Machine). You cannot use a bank card to make internet bookings however if you are issued a Visa or Maestro debit card, this may be possible.
ATMs accept cash or debit cards from most international banks and credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, American Express) too at a commission charge.
When you open a bank account, you will be asked to provide proof of address (which you can obtain from the accommodation office), proof of identity (usually your passport), proof of work address and perhaps other things. You should always ask before you open a bank account as different banks have different requirements, and if you cannot open an account in one bank please seek advice from the LC or the Summer Reception Officer (SRO).
The SRO or the IAESTE team at the British Council in Edinburgh can help you open an account only by issuing you a letter which will provide proof of your income and reason why you want to open an account. You should not have to send your passport away by post to open an account. If opening a bank account takes you longer than 4 weeks, please contact the SRO or the IAESTE team at the British Council for help and advice.
ATMs at banks do not charge a withdrawal fee.
ATMs elsewhere (in shops etc) can charge up to £2 per withdrawal!