Do you wish to open a bank account in Belgium? Here is an overview of formalities you will have to fill in.
If you have decided to settle in Belgium you will probably wish to open a bank account there. This will greatly help you in various transactions, such as receiving your salary, paying your bills, etc. Opening a bank account in the country is quite easy. You simply have to produce your identification documents, along with proof or residence.
Note that language is not a barrier as most banks have French and English speaking agents, as well as other languages. Moreover, the Belgian banking system is quite similar to that of many European countries.
Good to know:
You may perform your banking transactions in other branches of the bank you have opened your account in.
Types of accounts
You may choose between opening either a “zichtrekening” which is a current bank account, or a “spaarrekening” which is a savings account. However, interest rates and other benefits and services may vary. Hence, you are advised to inquire with different banks before proceeding or directly with the bank agent during your appointment.
In general, to open a bank account in Belgium you have to produce the following documents:
- a duly filled and signed bank account opening form
- your passport or a valid identity card
- proof of address such as a utility bill.
Some banks even offer the pre-opening of bank accounts facility to foreigners who are leaving the country. Moreover, a minimum deposit is not required.
Checkbooks are not common in Belgium. However, you may be entitled to different payment cards such as a debit card. You may pay your purchases with your debit card. You can as well request for a Cirrus, Maestro, Bancontact, or Mister Cash card.
Credit cards are also available under certain conditions. You will have to inquire on these with your bank.
Fees and account management
Most Belgian banks offer internet banking facilities. Thus, you do not have to move to the bank to perform your banking transactions. But you may also receive your bank statements twice a month (fees apply).
As regards bank fees, these vary according to the different types of bank accounts and services chosen. You could have to pay some 40 to 70 euros a year.
Good to know:
Once you have applied for online banking, you may have to wait for two weeks before receiving your user name and password.