How to Open a Bank Account in Poland [Complete Process]
Poland's economy is expanding, thanks to an influx of immigrants fleeing nations hit by economic crises and political strife, as well as a large number of young, educated people looking for work in international corporations with operations in Polish towns.
Geographically, Poland is centrally located in Europe, with several low-cost flights connecting it to the rest of the world, as well as a well-developed bus and train network.
Many people will make their decision based on the low cost of living, high quality of cuisine, attractive natural and historical locations to visit during their vacations, or the well-known friendliness of Poles. People travel here to look for jobs, to work as an expat in a corporation, become a student at one of the many universities, or maybe to retire in a cheaper place with great health care quality.
If you're thinking of moving to Poland (permanently), you'll need to open a bank account. To assist you, we've created a guide that walks you through the procedure in simple steps.
What Should I Look for in a Polish Bank?
In Poland, there are over 600 different banks to select from, including both private and public institutions. That means you'll need to gather some crucial data to assist you narrow down your options. To begin, double-check that the bank you're considering accepts non-residents — not all of them do. Then, because Poland's official currency is the Polish Zloty (PLN), rather than the euro, you'll want to be sure the bank will let you trade in numerous currencies. Other important considerations include:
- Fees: — Banks in Poland are not unduly expensive in general. You should anticipate to pay between 15 and 20 Zloty each month on average (under 5 Euro). When evaluating banks, it's important to take into account all possible fees. In Poland, in addition to the price of opening and maintaining a basic bank account, fees for credit and debit cards, as well as overdraft and cash withdrawal fees, may vary from bank to bank.
- Speed and ease of use: — Administrative Poland's processes have been noted to be slow and cumbersome as a new member of the EU. Check internet reviews and forums before opening a bank account with a traditional bank to prevent excessive wait periods and other annoying difficulties. Check to see if online banking is available, as well as the availability of ATMs across the country.
- Languages of customer service: — Most banks have English-speaking employees and call centers. There may, however, be certain exceptions. Before signing a contract, double-check the service languages. Tip: If the bank's website is only available in Polish, customer support will most likely be in Polish as well!
What are the Requirements to Open a Bank Account in Poland?
Both residents and non-residents are eligible to open a bank account in Poland. However, if you don't speak Polish fluently, understanding out what's required can be difficult, as regulations differ from bank to bank. This is especially true if your residence permit hasn't been sorted out yet. If you are not yet a Polish citizen, certain banks have products tailored to your situation.
They'll probably ask for your passport and evidence of residency in your home country. If you decide to create an account before obtaining a residence permit, keep in mind that the number of banks and accounts available to you will be limited — especially if you're coming from outside the European Union.
What Documents do You Need to Open a Bank Account in Poland?
Even if you have a valid residency permit, it's always a good idea to double-check the precise paperwork necessary by your preferred bank. However, you can anticipate to be requested to submit the following standard requirements:
- Proof of identity: — You'll require proof of identity in the form of a government-issued document (e.g., a national ID or passport).
- Proof of address: — Utility bills (e.g., gas, electricity, internet, etc. ), bank statements, or other formal communications are examples of proof of address (not older than 3 months). You will also need to submit a PESEL number if you are opening a resident account (the Polish acronym for "Universal Electronic System for Registration of the Population"). When you register your home in Poland, you will be given a PESEL number.
- Proof of employment: — If you need overdraft alternatives, you will most likely be required to provide proof of employment. A contract/letter of employment, as well as, in many situations, an annual tax return and declaration from the Tax Office for freelancers, are examples of this.
Can I Open a Bank Account in Poland as a Non Resident?
It's best to check with banks to see what their specific requirements are. Some of them have policies that are welcoming to foreigners and merely require confirmation of identity, which is usually a passport, as well as proof of residence in the nation where you live.
4 Best Banks in Poland for Residents, Foreigners, Expats and Students
Many banks in Poland are part of worldwide conglomerates, resulting in a strong banking infrastructure. From students to major enterprises, they all provide a wide range of services and financial goods.
The ATM network in Poland is extensive, allowing you to do all fundamental transactions, and many novel means of completing transitions were implemented early on — contactless payment was a phenomenon in Poland before many other nations had even heard of it. Almost every bank has a sophisticated mobile app and online banking, as well as a variety of digital payment alternatives and mobile wallet compatibility.
Check with your local bank to see if it has a correspondent relationship with any of the Polish banks; if so, opening an account will be much quicker and easier.
However, here are the best Polish banks to open an account with.
This is an online and phone bank that focuses on PC and mobile banking. The bank serves its more than 5 million customers through third-party agreements with ATM networks; thanks to its digital nature, even though it only has 47 locations across the country, you can easily complete all of your banking transactions with the help of its online and telephone customer service.
Account fees are low, but keep in mind that ATM cash withdrawal fees vary depending on the type of card you get with your account and the institution behind the cash machine. You can get your money out for free, sometimes anywhere in the world, or for a relatively high fee, depending on the type of card you get with your account and the institution behind the cash machine.
2. Bank Pekao
Bank Pekao has been in operation for almost 85 years, has a huge network of branches and ATMs, and provides a full range of financial services. Personal current and savings accounts, as well as credit and debit cards and investment services, are examples of these. Banking can be done over the phone or online, and it will be simple to use in English.
Bank Millennium is a great offering with a free current account and a cashback offer. Millennium provides a wide range of banking services, from simple current accounts to a variety of credit and debit cards, as well as savings, insurance, loans, and investment choices.
Because of its connections with a number of ATM networks, it is possible to withdraw money more easily and at a lower cost throughout Poland. It's also one of the more foreigner-friendly banks.
PKO is one of Poland's largest and oldest financial institutions. PKO has approximately 1000 locations around the country and offers a broad range of services including mortgages, insurance, investments, and business loans. You can open a variety of bank accounts with them, including online, however their service is not available in English.
Complete Process for Opening a Bank Account in Poland
If you have a residence permit, a PESEL number, and a residential address in Poland, the majority of banks will make the process simple. Traditional banks allow you to walk into a branch with all of the following documentation.
However, you should account for processing and waiting hours before your application is approved and your bank account is fully functional. Plus the time it takes to deliver the debit/credit cards, the average wait period is between five and two weeks. This can be more difficult if you have not yet arrived in Poland or if you have arrived without a valid residence visa.
Can I Open a Polish Bank Account Online?
Yes. There is, however, a clear distinction between residents and non-residents. If you are a Polish resident, you can open a bank account online with at least a few Polish banks. Most banks will not allow you to open an account remotely if you are going to expatriate to Poland but have not yet moved there.
This barrier can be overcome by choosing a non-traditional bank or a local bank that is part of a global banking organization with which you already have a relationship.
Final Thoughts on How to Open a Bank Account in Poland
Poland is an interesting choice for settling down overseas, with a booming economy, gorgeous castles, world-class museums, and diverse wildlife. However, one of the first things you'll need to do when you arrive is open a local bank account. The procedure isn't difficult; all you need to know is where to begin.
That being said, this article will direct you on which bank to choose in Poland and what it takes to open an account with them such as the requirements, fees...