Where can I cash a paycheck in London, if I don't have a bank account. Cheap and fast.

  • I think this is a valid question. Banks and moeny shops won't cash your cheques which you get from your employer if you cannot prove your address. Proving your address is really hard in the first few months of living in the UK. Related: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/85/… – SztupY Feb 5 '15 at 11:07
  • @SztupY I think it's off topic as beeing an expat doesn't change anything. But the question doesn't deserve so many downvotes. – Dirty-flow Feb 5 '15 at 15:18
  • @Dirty-flow: based on this logic the linked question could be closed as well, as it is perferctly possible that as a local you don't have proof of address, but is incredibly rare. On the other hand I had the fallacy of assuming that the question is expat related (while this is not stated in the question), as I know expats do face this issue, while most locals don't. – SztupY Feb 5 '15 at 16:46
  • Doesn't make sense. Is it a Sterling denominated pay cheque? Does it have NI deductions? Is it an in-hand payment of some sort drafted against someone's personal account? – Gayot Fow Feb 5 '15 at 23:50

One of my friends had a similar issue when started working in the UK. He got a cheque, but didn't have a bank account to cash it into. Banks will only let you cash in cheques into your own account, and high street money lenders will only cash in cheques if you have a valid proof of address, and will also cut you out of at least 5% of the cheque amount.

If you have valid proof of address, then your best bet is to open a bank account. Smaller branches of banks outside of Zone 1/2 usually open your account on the spot, where you can also immediately cash your cheque, and get the full amount back. You can also later tell your employer to pay your salary to your account instead of giving it as cheques.

If you don't have a valid proof of address, you can try going to money shops, but without a proof of address they will refuse your request, or increase the amount they will keep. At one of the shops we tried to cash the cheque they told us, that they would take away 30% of the value.

If you have a job (which you ought to have, as you got a paycheck), then you should ask your employer to write you a letter, that is usually accepted by branches as a proof of address. You should try multiple branches in your area, some of them will accept your proof of address, and will open the account on the spot (which is both fast and cheap). Heck, some banks even give you some free credit. You can read more about opening a bank account without a proof of address here.

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