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My girlfriend (EU resident - Italian) is moving to London for 5 months beginning next Jul for a research placement.

The college where she's staying asked her to pay the rent via Direct Debit at an U.K. bank. Since she's just staying for 5 months I'm asking if there is any way to pay a Direct Debit like this without opening a bank account. Or in alternative which UK bank would allow her to open a bank account online from Italy before actually going to the UK (she will be working at University and I would spare her the trouble of opening a bank account there).

Thanks

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    In her shoes I would contact the college and ask if there is any alternative to Direct Debit for non-UK-account-holders. – Vicky Jun 15 at 8:24
  • @Vicky We asked them but they keep saying it's the only option... we also told them we could pay the whole sum of the entire 5 months in advance. – KingBOB Jun 15 at 13:06
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OK, so to answer your actual question: No, there is no way to arrange a Direct Debit without a UK bank account.

I've explained in a comment that in her shoes I would contact the college and ask if there is any alternative to Direct Debit for non-UK-account-holders, however you've tried that and were told there is no other option.

So, in that case she will have to set up a UK bank account. There are a few cases where this might be possible to do online / without having a physical UK address yet (eg if she has an account with an international bank with a presence in both the UK and her country of residence) but in most cases she will simply have to wait until she is here and then set the bank account up ASAP on arrival.

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