When you're in the UK
To open an account in the UK you should take your: passport, your last three bank statements from your current account (from your home country) and a letter from your landlord stating your address. Opening an account in the UK is free, but it is likely to be more time consuming.
Before you arrive
You can also open a UK bank account whilst still in your home country, there are several companies that offer a "package" where you get, amongst other things, a UK bank account before you arrive or immediatly when you arrive.
Getaukjob Landing Packs
Check out the UK Bank Account options and open an account before you arrive.
Once you have a job, you will need a Bank Account and a National Insurance number. The National Insurance Number (NI) will be used for tax purposes. You will need to give this number to your employer to ensure you are paying the correct tax. You can apply for your NI card once you start working through your local job centre plus office.
NI Helpdesk: +44 (0) 0845 6000 643
If you're not looking for permanent employment and wish to contract in the UK you will need to use a limited company to pay your taxes. This can be set up by a number of companies or accountancy practice, depending on the type of set up you require. Your visa type may also effect the options available to you when contracting in the UK - check with the company you are contracting with.
BITE Consulting - IT Contracting