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Business English Practice — At the bank

No matter where you live, opening a bank account is one essential part of life, but you have to check around to find out what services a bank provides.

To improve confidence at the bank you must learn what to say. So, let’s practice.

Banking Vocabulary Practice

1. Read the text and answer whether the following statements are true or false.

If you are resident you will find it useful to open a bank account. All the large banks and most building societies have a network of branches across the country and all offer similar services.

A visit to any one of them will be a friendly experience, although to open an account, be prepared to prove your identity in a number of ways. You will find your passport useful, but the bank will also want to see some form of proof that you are living where you say you are. This can be proved by a housing rent book, a Council Tax, water or electricity bill for the property, as long as it’s in your name. In the bank, and elsewhere, you may hear the term ‘utility bill’ – this simply refers to bills relating to the provision of services to your property such as electricity, gas, water and telephone.

There are other local facilities such as credit unions where you can save your money and have access to affordable low cost loans. Where they exist in your local area, contact details can be obtained from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

1. Banking services differ greatly around the country.
2. To open a bank account, you have to provide proof of residence.
3. A water bill from your house without your name on it will be accepted.
4. Banks are not the only organizations which can lend you money.
5. Other credit institutions can be found in every part of the country
1. false
2. true
3. false
4. true
5. false

2. Listen, see if you can hear some of the phrases in the gaps (more than one word is possible).


  1. ___________ a credit card
  2. buy ____________
  3. _______ a check
  4. check your _______________
  5. _________ money
  6. _________ money
  7. fill out a _____________
  8. open a _________ account
  9. open a _________ account
  10. _____ checks
  11. _______ a loan
  12. pay your bills _________
  13. rent a _______________
  14. review your __________
  15. __________ a loan
  16. talk with a __________
  17. talk with the ___________
  18. __________ money
  19. use a _____________
  20. _____________ money
1. apply for
2. traveler’s checks
3. cash
4. account balance
5. deposit
6. exchange
7. withdrawal slip
8. checking
9. savings
10. order
11. pay off
12. online
13. safety deposit box
14. bank statement
15. take out
16. bank teller
17. bank manager
18. transfer
19. debit card
20. withdraw

Setting up a Bank Account

3. Listen to the audio track and check your understanding by filling in the gaps.
A: How are you doing today?
B: Great. Thanks.
A: What can I help you with?
B: I would like to open a 1) ____________ .
A: What kind would you like to open?
B: I need a 2) _______________.
A: Would you also like to open a 3) ____________?
B: That’s fine.A: In order to open these accounts, you need to 4) _________ a minimum of $50.
B: I want to deposit $300.

A: I’ll 5) ________ your accounts for you right now.
B: Make sure to put $150 in each account.

1. bank account
2. checking account
3. savings account
4. deposit
5. set up

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