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What is a good bank for USA expats in Budapest?

fluffy2560 :

A US citizen married to a German, sitting in Berlin, employed by a German company, paying German tax and with no affairs in the USA, should not need to be burdened by the IRS's reach.

The US citizen sitting in Berlin, employed by a German company, paying German tax will almost always pay no US tax due to both US law (up to $90,000 abroad income is tax free from the start) and tax treaty agreements with Germany. The only "burden" is filling out their 1040 tax return (and necessary attachments).  US citizen in some other countries without a Social Security (SS) agreement do have an extra "burden". But quite frankly, I have no problem paying into US SS since it offers better returns than what one will ever have here in Hungary.

In short, because I do have benefits from my US citizenship, I see paying any required US taxes as perfectly okay.

klsallee :

....Many EU countries have a minimum VAT compliance limit. If you are under that amount in "sales", you do not have to collect or account for VAT for sales in that country (EU mandated distance selling is another issue and does require VAT collection).

And you may not be aware of this, but many small business types can declare themselves VAT free in Hungary. They also do not have to charge or account for VAT. But they also do not get VAT back when buying from from VAT exempt businesses. And original producers, like small scale potatoes growers, do not have to pay VAT even when selling that potato for cash or exchanging for barter.**

Therein lies the rub.   I should have been clearer.  Yes, the VAT thresholds vary but are similar across the EU. A commercial grower in the VAT system could not exchange on barter without accounting for VAT.  So a plumber working for the grower could not provide services paid in potatoes, at least as far as  the grower could not account for this as an expense in his potato business.  Moreover, the plumbers services are still gross inclusive of VAT, even if not accounted for.  If the plumbers services grew over the thresholds - if he provided services to many potato growers but still paid in barter - then he'd have to account for VAT in monetary terms.   

Been tested several times in the UK when people have tried to introduce barter vouchers for exchange of services.  Always the VAT effect stops these schemes from taking off.  I blame the EU.

atomheart :

...., away from civilization give up so many things that could make your life easier, have a lot more freedom, or you can accept the social contract.  :/

Here's another one.   Self-incrimination and accepting the social contract.

It used to be in the UK that if you were caught on a camera speeding, they asked you to declare who it was who was driving.  In a couple of test cases, two people said they would not say who was driving because it would self-incriminate themselves. If I remember correctly,  they won their case, which then went to appeal.  The appeal judge said that because they had a driving license they had "bought into the system" and had to accept the rules that went with it and therefore could not invoke a right to silence to avoid self-incrimination.  No taking the "fifth" as TV shows put it (not quite the same for the UK).

Now, by extension, this could lead to giving up US citizenship over FATCA. I read in the Economist that this is significantly up.  Boris Johnson (UK foreign minister) has given up his accidental US citizenship because of the IRS's reach.   Being a US citizen - even accidentally - does it buy you into the US social contract?

It must be a slow day in Hungary because the postings on this web site are coming in pretty fast.  And it's a very nice day in Balaton (near Siofok) but the water is not as warm as it could be.  We should all be outside!

Hope to go swimming tomorrow, it is lovely weather....

I was not asked for local Hungarian bank account details by the immigration officer during my interview, maybe it depends on what country you are a citizen of or to what citizen you are married.

I opened a bank account at K&H Bank in Oktogon Square, they speak good english and were very helpful, you can ask for Ditta Keller, she assisted me and helped me well.

Reason I chose K&H Bank is because they have many branches and internet banking in English, I like a bank with many branches, to me it shows they are not a small bank. Cannot elaborate too much about charges, I heard all banks in Hungary charge for their services, so, I just went with the one I saw had many branches.

I opened a € account, you can also open a Forint account or both.

Just something to consider: if one wants to do e-banking or set up auto payment in Hungary to pay bills (water, power, etc.), one needs a Hungarian bank account. Banks may or may not allow such payments with other currencies than forint. So good to ask when opening only non-Forint accounts if local bills can be paid from those foreign currency accounts.

Of course, one can also always just pay their bills at the post office in cash.

Yes one of the other reasons to have a fornet account. Like i said we live here and plan on staying several more years so we have no issue and want to open a local currency account. Just want a better bank account with better options than what we have with OTP.

Like it took 6 trips there to get the online access to work, the clerks just could not figure it out, finelly my dad realized that the problem was OTP website, e banking etc does NOT work on the Google Chrome browser. None of the workers there said that, their response was "Everyone in Hungary uses one browser to surf the internet". Like what is that? There are many web browsers and who has heard of a whole country just using one? I mean the mgr and several others were saying this silliness. We were even told to buy a new laptop cause there was something wrong with, not true, also we were told that the problem is we do not have a laptop with a Hungarian keypad, also stupid. This was even with taking a native Hungarian with us so it is more the way they do things not like prejudiced toward us or anything.

But i will say most of the people at all the branches we have been too were nice at least, a bit crazy and weird but still nice.

Thanks every one for suggestions we will try some of these next week and i will post on how it goes.

This Hungarian guy i know told me to go with his bank which i totally never heard of so i doubt i will. It did not even make since to me when i looked at the website.

Anyway even heard of or know how MagNet Bank works?

FeliciaOni :

...... does NOT work on the Google Chrome browser. None of the workers there said that, their response was "Everyone in Hungary uses one browser to surf the internet". Like what is that? There are many web browsers and who has heard of a whole country just using one? I mean the mgr and several others were saying this silliness. We were even told to buy a new laptop cause there was something wrong with, not true, also we were told that the problem is we do not have a laptop with a Hungarian keypad, also stupid. This was even with taking a native Hungarian with us so it is more the way they do things not like prejudiced toward us or anything. .....

That's utter nonsense.   

You can configure your keyboard and Windows to do any character set you want (unless you want to do some weird language like Burmese and need the official fonts).   

I use various web browsers concurrently - Opera, FIrefox, Adblock Browser etc and they all work just fine with Internet banking.   Try Firefox - better than Chrome and less "Google-y".   

The only issue you might have is with Windows 10 and the new browser Edge.  They should know by now  IE has been replaced by Edge and they should have fully tested their software before allowing anyone in their customer base to use it.   

I think OTP needs to go back to basic IT skills school.

klsallee :

Just something to consider: if one wants to do e-banking or set up auto payment in Hungary to pay bills (water, power, etc.), one needs a Hungarian bank account. Banks may or may not allow such payments with other currencies than forint. So good to ask when opening only non-Forint accounts if local bills can be paid from those foreign currency accounts.

Of course, one can also always just pay their bills at the post office in cash.

I can pay HUF bills in foreign currency without any problem.  The biggest issue is the cost as they conversion costs money and it's treated somewhat as a foreign payment and can take days to reach the other account.  I also find that people here do not know what an IBAN or a BIC is.  Usually they have to phone their bank.   IBANs are compulsory anyway now.  People should know.

BTW, in Austria, if you pay a bill from an Austrian bank to another Austrian bank, the amount is credited instantly (I mean within seconds) to the other account.  I found that rather amazing but of course, it's not really.  Just shows how much nonsense people will put up with in terms of fictitious/built in money making scheme "delays" introduced into the banking system.

FeliciaOni :

finelly my dad realized that the problem was OTP website, e banking etc does NOT work on the Google Chrome browser.

I have Google Chrome (version 52.02743.116) and it works fine with OTP e-banking.

If you have things like no-script extensions, do make sure you enabled scripts for both otpbank.hu and otpbankdirect.hu, because the site will not work without scripts enabled.

FeliciaOni :

None of the workers there said that, their response was "Everyone in Hungary uses one browser to surf the internet". Like what is that?

Just people who do not know about IT expressing an opinion. A bit too common in Hungary since everyone it seems has a very strong opinion about everything.

FeliciaOni :

There are many web browsers and who has heard of a whole country just using one?

There isn't as far as I know (except maybe N. Korea).

Just have to learn to not believe everything you are told here. Even by people who are suppose to know what they are talking about.

FeliciaOni :

We were even told to buy a new laptop cause there was something wrong with, not true, also we were told that the problem is we do not have a laptop with a Hungarian keypad, also stupid.

Well, there you go. Not only expressing a (false) opinion, but like I already said, they will try to make it your fault, not theirs;)

Kisallee

You are very very right!

fluffy2560 :

I can pay HUF bills in foreign currency without any problem.

My fault for being ambiguous.

I meant "needs" as in it is a "really, really good idea to do so".

fluffy2560 :

The biggest issue is the cost as they conversion costs money and it's treated somewhat as a foreign payment and can take days to reach the other account.

Yes, my reasons included not just the cost, but also speed in the transfer. Even moving my own money from my Dollar account to my Euro account at the same bank via e-banking took days  -- and I was charged for the transfer. Paying using e-banking using a Forint account usually occurs that same day and there is no fee.

I have not tried all banks, but OTP did not even give me a debit card for a dollar account I had there, only for the Forint account. Raiffeisen gave me debit cards for any currency I chose to have there.

And having a Forint account is easier, at some banks, with e-banking to pay those "yellow check/cheque" by showing a blank copy of these Hungarian payment slips to fill out exactly as one gets in the mail (But OTP does NOT in their English interface provide this, only in the Hungarian language version -- so yes, OTP web development has its problems).

FWIIW: Some US based banks, especially those with no foreign branches, do not allow wire transfers in their e-banking system. Such US banks require the account holder to walk into the bank in person to do a foreign wire transfer. Something US Citizens are not always aware of unless they ask their bank before going abroad. Does not apply to OP, who asked the right questions and picked a bank with branches in Europe.


fluffy2560 :

BTW, in Austria, if you pay a bill from an Austrian bank to another Austrian bank, the amount is credited instantly (I mean within seconds) to the other account.  I found that rather amazing but of course, it's not really.  Just shows how much nonsense people will put up with in terms of fictitious/built in money making scheme "delays" introduced into the banking system.

In Hungary from Forint to Forint accounts, I have done transfers and had it show up within minutes in the other account. Slowest was a few hours.

Yes with OTP we where charge like 8 thousand huf for each debit card for our huf account. That was one issue we had. They did not inform us of this at all in any way. They claim "there is a form in Hungarian that states this but since we do not speak Hungarian they did not bother to give us the form. "

Every branch we have gone too including the one we set up and the one by our flat now has english speaking teller. So they should of just told us that. Not after wards and hearing "oh i forgot it is normal in Hungary"

Whatever like i say the best way to deal with things is to vote with your feet.

I will check out Raffesen many here have suggested that, and K/H seems good from hearing from all you on here.

I have heard some Hungarians suggest FHB is good for expats so we will look at them also.

Had a neighbor who is rather strange anyway suggest  MagNet Bank?

If you think your neighbor is "strange" then don't follow their advice.
I must say, the weather is lovely today,I do not wish to ruffle any feathers...

klsallee :

...In Hungary from Forint to Forint accounts, I have done transfers and had it show up within minutes in the other account. Slowest was a few hours.

That's pretty fast.  I have not had that experience.  We usually pay in cash, then it's certain that you've paid.  Worst case was an interbank payment from foreign currency to HUF which took about 7 days.  That was entirely within Hungary.   5 days is quite common.

FeliciaOni :

Yes with OTP we where charge like 8 thousand huf for each debit card for our huf account.

That's insanely high as a transaction cost.  You need to bank somewhere else with reasonable charges.

FeliciaOni :

Had a neighbor who is rather strange anyway suggest  MagNet Bank?

Never heard of it.   

Make sure it's a bank covered by the standard deposit protection scheme.  All banks in the EU are members of the scheme.  I think the limit is currently bout 80K EUR per account holder (i.e.  joint accounts are covered 2 x). 

BTW, you can operate multiple accounts as you want - at multiple banks.  Maybe HUF at one place, USD at another.  Nothing to stop you doing that.

FeliciaOni :

They did not inform us of this at all in any way. They claim there is a form in Hungarian that states this but since we do not speak Hungarian they did not bother to give us the form.

Did you bother to read the contract that you signed? It clearly refers to the documents that contain a detailed list of all the fees and the places where they announce changes.

I'm not defending the banks, but if you sign a contract without understanding perfectly, you're not in a position to complain IMHO.

MagNet is a very small bank. The last time I checked, they had very low fees, but they have very few offices. Granit bank too has a few interesting offers (0 monthly fee for some of their accounts if you keep at least 100kHUF in the account, or you receive at least ~200kHUF per month, and PayPass mastercard for something less than 4000HUF per year, not sure about the exact numbers), but they too have very few offices. Granit bank could be useful if you wire USD into their HUF account as they're offering a very good currency rate.

The big ones (K&H, Raiffeisen, OTP, Cib, Erste, etc.) are usually a lot more expensive, but sometimes they have special offers (currently I have a Cib account that has no monthly fee and no fee on outgoing HUF domestic wires as long as I receive at least ~80kHUF into the account each month), but you need to watch out for the validity period of the offer, once it's over, you might end up with a 1000HUF monthly fee...

In theory OBA guarantees your deposits in pretty much most banks un Hungary up to 100k EUR, see oba.hu for details.

The documents in English yes we read completely. These other documents that stated the fee for the debit cards was not presented to us in English or Hungarian.

OTP stated that the teller "forgot to look" to see if it was available in English and "did not give us the Hungarian document since we do not speak Hungarian". We then said well since we did not sign to agree to pay those fees for the cards then we should not be charged. The bank mgr said that the tellers have the right to change accounts if they "feel the customer verbally agrees and no written signage is needed"

Whatever like i said we are doing the best thing and just moving on. Hungary still has choices and many banks to choose from. I am not the type of person to complain about how bad something is over and over, i believe if you really are unhappy then change if all possible.

I just posted this as to advice on a good bank!

After bad with OTP and then going to Ober and one other bank that no one spoke English or Hungarian i thought i would around.

We are not going to be putting 100k Huf in any of these banks we just need a simple one.

When we see one is more trustworthy then maybe larger balances but not for right now. We will always use our USA bank account for main money. Half i am not sure i trust the banks here, half USA does not trust them! he hee

FeliciaOni :

...When we see one is more trustworthy then maybe larger balances but not for right now. We will always use our USA bank account for main money. Half i am not sure i trust the banks here, half USA does not trust them! he hee

USA is not immune.   Look at what happened to Lehman Brothers etc. 

All banks in the EU guarantee your deposits for 100K EUR per person.

Getting them to pay up is another matter!

Better to just use the old mattress as a bank!
Just kidding seems all banks are in it for the business, not doing anyone any favors.
I know however in the US they will listen if you call and let them know their fees are too much, so many times we mixed up our accounts and they let the fees slide after we called them up.
I let them know I was moving again to HU and they gave me their international numbers just in case I ever need them, very nice and very personable.
I will say however many years ago,my husband used to deposit his paycheck into the same bank we are still using.
He looked dirty and messy from his job but always made a huge deposit into his savings account in the VIP line. He was always Mr. and treated like a king.
When we had need of a bank loan later when his job went south, he walked in wearing a suit and a new haircut.
They didn't care about that at all only how much he was going to deposit into their bank, they didn't want to give out loans, only take income into their bank.
When you need them, they are never there for you.
We sold out house, put over $120,000 into the bank and once again he was Mr. and a VIP.
Just disgusting how they treat people.
We only use the same bank in the US because basically they are all the same and we just never bothered to change our bank.
Never forget all banks are in it to make money on your money.

I used MKB with no problems.

Marilyn Tassy :

We only use the same bank in the US because basically they are all the same and we just never bothered to change our bank.

In the USA one can deposit their money in a depositor owned credit union rather than a bank. For most US residents, credit unions are better for local savings and checking IMHO. They are also more load friendly to their depositors. Only use a bank if you need interstate or international banking. US based credit unions are not available for most US  expats however.

There use to be also credit union like option in Hungary, until recently, when the government introduced new regulations and pressures that resulted in the Hungarian "credit unions" to be bought out by larger banks. So now your options are mostly limited to banks.

I have heard many people in the US say they use a credit union for loans etc.
We only borrowed money once in our life to buy brand new machinery.
Never had a car payment in our lives, had a few really nice cars but they were bought cash and carry.We did have a bank loan on our house but we put in a large down payment and never borrowed against the house.
I hate to owe anyone anything.
It was nice to finally pay off the machinery, it was allot for a young couple to take on.
My own mother wouldn't loan us any money which I still do not understand, she knew we were good for it.
My husband used to say to me when I complained about not having a big diamond ring like my friends had, he would say, tell them you have a Muraskai Lathe and a Bridgeport mill and see what they say about that!
Crazy guy...
I now do have my ring courtesy of my mother and grandmother so I have learned in time most everything one dreams of comes true. just the timing is never right and sometimes one has the wrong dreams.

Marilyn Tassy :

....
My husband used to say to me when I complained about not having a big diamond ring like my friends had, he would say, tell them you have a Muraskai Lathe and a Bridgeport mill and see what they say about that!...

That's brilliant Marilyn. I am cheering your hubby.

It makes my profligate spending on machine tools entirely justifiable!

Now, what do we have for Mrs Fluffy......."canoe,  10 tonne bearing press, multiple welding sets, SDS hammer drills, car ramps, air compressor, impact driver, racing car jack, two spare 4WD rear axles, ...a fortune ..and it's all for you dear..."

She cannot fail to be impressed by the contents of my tool box......

Yes but does your wife have a shadow graph?
Silly, men like machinery and ladies like sparkly things.
My husband is a fan of cubic zirconia, he says one sparkle is as good as another.
We are now spending on a storage unit in Las Vegas which is full of his tools, he never really plans on machining again but just can 't let go of his handmade tools. He says he is "finished" without them.
When I calculate the money spent on a storage unit  for the past 20 or so years, I am looking at a 2 carat diamond price!!

Marilyn Tassy :

Yes but does your wife have a shadow graph?
Silly, men like machinery and ladies like sparkly things.
My husband is a fan of cubic zirconia, he says one sparkle is as good as another.
We are now spending on a storage unit in Las Vegas which is full of his tools, he never really plans on machining again but just can 't let go of his handmade tools. He says he is "finished" without them.
When I calculate the money spent on a storage unit  for the past 20 or so years, I am looking at a 2 carat diamond price!!

Ah, but Marilyn, that 2 carat diamond, what will it produce other than more sparkles?  Those tools are heirlooms. I can see where Hubby is coming from.

We don't have a shadow graph but if I could get one I would.  Sounds like something everyone needs - just in case.

Mrs Fluffy and I have discussed if I've got some mild OCD with potential for hoarding behaviour later.  Inconclusive.

I am building up to storing my valuable bits and pieces in our outbuilding when the house construction is finished. 

Years ago, I was discussing with a work colleague what we would do if we weren't doing what we were doing.  We both agreed a junkyard/scrapyard for cars and machine parts was probably the best idea.  :joking:   

Not sure I think like that now!  :lol:

fluffy2560 :

Ah, but Marilyn, that 2 carat diamond, what will it produce other than more sparkles?  Those tools are heirlooms. I can see where Hubby is coming from.

Tools in storage to 20 years are not producing anything either.  :(

Like having a classic car and never driving it. Almost a sacrilege.

Ideally, rent out the tools to a young machinist to use. I think the tools would be happier being useful again, and one can still call them your own. And one can even visit them when wished.

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

Ah, but Marilyn, that 2 carat diamond, what will it produce other than more sparkles?  Those tools are heirlooms. I can see where Hubby is coming from.

Tools in storage to 20 years are not producing anything either.  :(

Like having a classic car and never driving it. Almost a sacrilege.

Ideally, rent out the tools to a young machinist to use. I think the tools would be happier being useful again, and one can still call them your own. And one can even visit them when wished.

Oh, too practical but good point even if it's  all subjective.   One can get satisfaction from simply owning. Nothing wrong with having a classic car and sitting and looking at it. To some, it's junk, to others, it's a thing of beauty to be  admired, touched and sat in.   People look at paintings, why not cars. I quite like looking at machines myself.     

Would anyone have the same interest in the tools as the original owner?

When one starts working with tools, one has to sometimes make things - like a trolley for your welder or a bench for your work.  These are quite precious.  Not sure what happened to the screwdriver, trowel and steam engine I made and value excessively.

Might be in storage.

Haha, the irony ;)

fluffy2560 :

People look at paintings, why not cars.

I see it as what are the possibilities of each. A painting has no moving parts. A car does. If something has moving parts, those parts should just move!!!

fluffy2560 :

I quite like looking at machines myself.

So do I. Then I want to fire up that old traction engine and make it do something!

Watching a static engine just "be", to me, is not the same as watching an engine moving and watching the engineering that went into it be the best it can be. Else, to me at least, it is like looking at a corpse, or something that had life, but now is without life. I find that a bit sad.

klsallee :

....So do I. Then I want to fire up that old traction engine and make it do something!

Now you're talking.  If you are discussing steam, that's a completely different subject compared to old cars.  You've got polished brass, steam, water, fire, smoke, motion and power.  I'd almost say that's an object that's alive.

klsallee :

.Watching a static engine just "be", to me, is not the same as watching an engine moving and watching the engineering that went into it be the best it can be. Else, to me at least, it is like looking at a corpse, or something that had life, but now is without life. I find that a bit sad.

I think we're in a forum on HU banking and we're discussing steam engines.

But hey, it's a steam driven society here sometimes (just to keep on track).

Anyway, there is something to be said for still life (fruit bowls etc), which can be interpreted by those interested. It should be the same really on immobile objects.  I know it's a stretch - but not much of one. People find beauty in the Mona Lisa. Does she deserve it? Probably not.

I couldn't sit there admiring say, an Apple Mac Mk 1 however retro (and valuable it might be). Or indeed admire an OTP web page for it's aesthetics.

Men and their "toys" verse women and theirs...
My cuz in Conn, finally had her fathers Cord restored and sold, it is some big deal in a museum now.
Forgot what year it was, the 30's perhaps, really nice now.
She is happy it is stored in a museum now and not in the old garage.Made a preview in a parade and now stored in a auto museum.
My husband is now storing a nuclear sub valve in with my personal items in storage including the remains of our beloved Doberman.
How many times is a nuke valve needed in everyday life. I guess it might come in handy when I use the diamonds off the diamond grinder...Every girl needs a diamond grinder , just in case...

Before they tore down the old train museum in the city park of BP my husband was "bragging" that he could make the entire train himself by hand if he had the proper machinery on hand to do the job, all by himself, he asked me how large I wanted it to be, either to fit in the palm of my hand or to be a large as a city block.
Now that is "sexy" a man who can make a train all by himself!
It all comes down to math!

Marilyn Tassy :

Before they tore down the old train museum in the city park of BP my husband was "bragging" that he could make the entire train himself by hand if he had the proper machinery on hand to do the job, all by himself, he asked me how large I wanted it to be, either to fit in the palm of my hand or to be a large as a city block.

If your husband is every bored and want to make me one, I would settle for one at 1/5th scale.  ;)

fluffy2560 :

Now you're talking.  If you are discussing steam, that's a completely different subject compared to old cars.  You've got polished brass, steam, water, fire, smoke, motion and power.  I'd almost say that's an object that's alive.

Yes, live steam.

klsallee :

I think we're in a forum on HU banking and we're discussing steam engines.

Have the bank pass our brass debit cards, and we can steam punk the banking system.

klsallee :

...
If your husband is every bored and want to make me one, I would settle for one at 1/5th scale.  ;)

Train rides around the vineyard.  It's a winner!  I went on a cable car once at a vineyard.  See it here: Rudesheim Seilbahn

Update

We finally opened a new bank account, yes we are beyond slow i know but whatever! My dad and i kept going into branches and getting odd or really slow service seems a bank job is a way to sit and stare at the wall and do nothing! he hee So my dad thought instead of me just going to the mall looking at huge stuffed bears we should try to talk to the banks there.

Long story short we went to Allee Mall and tried there. CIB was first one we went into, i do NOT suggest them! Not due to how we were treated or anything negative at all, just after 30mins sitting there and the 4 Hungarians that were there when we walked in were still sitting there we let it go. I can understand maybe we had to wait for an English speaking person but the people in front of us were Hungarians and they were already waiting when we walked in the door! So we let them go. I will not say anything negative about them other than that as we never spoke to anyone so i do not know about their fees or terms or anything.

2nd we went to MKB. Surprising they were very very nice. We waited about 10mins a guy came from the back and i guess when he logged in he was supposed to take the next person in line but he stated that he is going to take the english speaking customers since  there was already 4 tellers that speak Hungarian. So he started helping us. Good sign. His english was good and their was another woman that spoke very good english that helped him and answered any more detailed questions we had or if there was something he did not understand totally or know how to tell us. Fees seem reasonable and they did not even demand money to open the account. We had to tell them we want to put some money in!

All forms in English and 2 good English speakers on hand on a random walk in visit is a serious upgrade. So i would recommend at least that branch for english speaking people.

Now i admit i have not logged in to do the online banking yet, i have not transferred usd to it or really did anything with the account yet so maybe i will have to change again! he hee. But i will say this is a good start!

FeliciaOni :

Update....

2nd we went to MKB. Surprising they were very very nice. We waited about 10mins a guy came from the back and i guess when he logged in he was supposed to take the next person in line but he stated that he is going to take the english speaking customers since  there was already 4 tellers that speak Hungarian. So he started helping us. Good sign. His english was good and their was another woman that spoke very good english that helped him and answered any more detailed questions we had or if there was something he did not understand totally or know how to tell us. Fees seem reasonable and they did not even demand money to open the account. We had to tell them we want to put some money in!

All forms in English and 2 good English speakers on hand on a random walk in visit is a serious upgrade. So i would recommend at least that branch for english speaking people..... But i will say this is a good start!

Good update....

I used to use MKB when I first came to HU, 20+ years ago.   They are not very popular with HU people because they are considered expensive.  On the other hand, they do equal service in English, German and Hungarian in Budapest - not in places like Sopron (usually they can work in German).   They are (or were) partially owned by the government as their finances were not that good but they do (like every bank in the EU) have deposit protection up to about 80K EUR.  On the other hand, as far as I remember, their online services are OK but rather clunky and could be better designed.   To register for that, you still have to go into the bank to sign the forms.  I never used their telephone banking as I never needed it. But once set up, it works just fine.  You will need a mobile phone to enter a secret code for each transfer out.   Or you can have a couple of cards in say USD to get cash out the ATM in HUF - cheaper to get it out the ATM than OTC (over the counter). Same card works everywhere.  And you get an SMS every time there's a credit or debit.

One thing which people from other regions find odd is transferring money.  Europe uses IBANs (International Bank Account Numbers) and BICs (Bank Identifier Codes).  This is unfamiliar territory for most of the world but if I remember correctly, MKB's US correspondent is JP Morgan Chase in New York and it's a fast transfer - couple of days or even overnight.

I used MKB in Tata. I liked that I could use the ATM with an English screen. I always could get a teller or manager to speak English. It is different that you set up the account before you put money in.  My job direct deposited later with no problem.

FeliciaOni :

So i would recommend at least that branch for english speaking people.

Or.... Either:

1) Do not come to a country that you do not speak the language, and waste time and effort seeking out others that speak your language, for your convenience.

2) Put a crow bar in your pocket, lever out the wallet, and hire a local professional interpreter to assist with such things. Which is, in my humble opinion, the much, much more polite, elegant, faster, and easier option.

"1) Do not come to a country that you do not speak the language, and waste time and effort seeking out others that speak your language, for your convenience."

So no one that does not speak the native tongue of a country should move there?

When i looked at places to move within EU at least, some do require you to speak the native tongue. Austria for example you must be able to speak German. So i understand if they are not speaking English and i would not respect someone if they said they are upset that people were only speaking German there.

One thing the ambassador to US from Hungary stated to me directly and i could quote him on this as he told me is that Hungary has no language requirement to live there. Citizenship yes which i understand, but it is not a requirement. He also stated that since Hungary is not spoken outside of Hungary, most adults learn English not for any expats but to communicate with their European neighbors! He said no professional could really do their job without having a way to do business with people in other countries and they use English as a universal.

What really was odd if you read one of my earlier posts is banks that do not speak Hungarian? And having Hungarians say that is ok and not have issues with it.

Also one big surprise to me is how everywhere there is USA music! This i do not feel is a good thing as these songs sucked back in USA and to be here and hear Maray Carey Christmas is not a desirable thing! Why listen to something if you do not understand it? If you do not like USA english then put on some Hungarian music at the shopping mall or offices or tv etc.

It is annoying to hear someone talk on the phone in english or talk to each other in english and then seconds later start speaking in broken english and say they do not know what candy is. Or you say something they are interested in and they suddenly learn  english so well. Just silly even.

I have seen this happen not even with me and my father but observing it toward other people.

That said this is more something the younger people do. Most older people are much much more willing to communicate and to tell you the truth other than official things communicating has not been the issue too much. Like i say there is communicating and speaking the same tongue. Anyone can vouch for a time in their life where someone can speak your native tongue and be just as difficult as if they did not know it!

2) Put a crow bar in your pocket, lever out the wallet, and hire a local professional interpreter to assist with such things. Which is, in my humble opinion, the much, much more polite, elegant, faster, and easier option.

I hear these statements over and over on expat forums not even directed toward english speaking expats, all foreign ones so i am starting to think this is just a way people are trying to solicit business to companies.

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