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Can foreigners open a bank account in Poland? What are the relating formalities? Find out in this article.

If you are working or you have set up a business in Poland, opening a bank account will be one of your priorities. This should not be complicated as the country hosts several national and international banks within a developed banking system. But of course, make sure to inquire on relating formalities beforehand as conditions may vary from one bank to another.

Banking system

Poland has a modern banking system with a developed infrastructure. The majority of the banks in the country are in private ownership — about 80%. Most banks offer the following worldwide services: withdrawal at the counter, ATM machines, debit and credit cards, chequebooks, bank transfers, etc. Note, however, that monthly fees apply. Fees also apply to transactions such as online banking, direct debit, online banking and credit cards. These usually vary from one bank to another. You can deposit funds and apply for loans in Polish Zloty (the national currency) as well as foreign currencies. Internet banking is becoming increasingly popular and all major banks will offer you a wide range of online services.

Opening an account as an expat

If you are already a resident in Poland, opening a bank account won’t be a problem and, with some banks, you will even be able to do that online from your home country. However, if you are not yet a resident, your options may be quite limited, especially if you do not come from one of the EU member countries. In fact, most banks will require a proof of residency and a PESEL number in order to open a bank account for you. This said, there are some banks that are open to working with expats without residency.

 Good to know:

There are three banks that are typically recommended for foreigners: MILLENNIUM Bank, ING Bank and PKO Bank.

Procedures

In most cases, to open a bank account in Poland, you are required to produce the following documents:

  • a valid identity card or passport
  • your resident card
  • proof of residence.

Other documents such as your employment contract, salary slips, proof of address, etc. may also be requested, depending on the bank.

European students are entitled to some facilities such as reduction of charges. Indeed, monthly fees apply at a discounted rate while online banking is free of charge, etc. In all cases, conditions differ from one bank to another.

Most banks in Poland will have someone who speaks English to help you out throughout the procedures — some will even have an English customer service phone line where you can get a free consultation.

Facilities

You are likely to find over 20,000 ATMs around the country. Each bank has its own ATMs. Note that additional fees apply if you withdraw cash from a different bank (one that did not issue your bank card).

With most banks, once you’ve opened an account, you will be eligible for prepaid cards and a smartphone app, which will allow you to make instant withdrawals or access to public transport and cinema halls without having to use your bank card.

Banks

The following are the most popular banks in Poland: Narodowy Bank Polski which is the National Bank of Poland, CitiBank, PKO BP, Bank PBH, ING Bank Slaski, BNP Polska and Getin Banque SA. Many international banks such as BNP Paribas also have branches in the country.

 Useful links:

Narodowi Bank Polski (NBP) – Poland National Bank
NBP – List of Polish Banks
Ministry of Finance – Polish Banking System

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