Utilities Vs Bank : Which comes first?

This is a real conundrum for newly relocated people like us!

In Sydney, we inform the Utilities providers that we are moving home, set up an account with them, and they send us a quarterly bill which we pay however we see fit, whether it's in person, by credit card, B-PAY, bank transfer or by direct debit. In the UK however, the only way to pay is by direct debit. So in order to set up an account, one needs a bank account first because you have to enter your bank details into the system when setting up your account.

However... in order to set up a bank account, one needs proof of address. Oh that's easy, I say... I have a tenancy agreement for our new home. No, that's not acceptable says the bank. The only proof of address the bank will accept is a paper bill sent to your address from one of the Utilities companies. Right... um, wait a minute...

So, it's only taken about two weeks, but finally Thames Water sent us a Welcome Letter which, thankfully, the bank will accept. Unfortunately the letter is only addressed to me, not both of us. That means I can open an account, but hubby has to wait for the actual bill which has his name on it. Still waiting, waiting, waiting...

^  Treat this Welcome Letter like gold.  Passport + Proof of Address = Bank Account

^ Treat this Welcome Letter like gold.  Passport + Proof of Address = Bank Account