Advices

ADVICE #100

How to open a Bank account in Germany?

Opening a regular Bank account by an individual in Germany (here it is called girokonto), on the one hand, extremely simple, even for non-residents: just the passport with a valid visa, and sometimes a proof of address in any form satisfactory to the Bank employee. However, in reality things are not so simple.

Opening an account is not the obligation of the Bank, and right, which he can use or not. A potential client from "third" countries (not from Germany and not from the EU) must prove to the Bank the reliability and potential trouble-free running. Therefore, many banks simply refuse to open accounts for the Russians, and the remainder carried with them these "interviews", figuring out that this person is, where and who is working where he got the money and why does he have an account in Germany.

All these questions must be obtained full, complete, and non-suspicious answers. Therefore, before to go to the Bank, standing in advance (by phone or the Internet) to find out from his employee if the Bank to open an account Russian and, if so, on what conditions (what additional documents will be required). Note: banks in Germany have a high level of autonomy, so in case of failure in one office you can try to apply to another branch of the same Bank in the same or another city.

The process is much easier when you have a German address for correspondence, and ideally a local resident served in the same Bank and is able to confirm reliability of the Russian. Another good option is to bring a representative real estate Agency, which will confirm that the Russian is going to buy an apartment or a house in Germany. Account opening is practically impossible, if a potential customer comes to the Bank with a suitcase of cash (and any amount exceeding 100-500 euros depending on the Bank). Banks in Germany prefer to work with non-cash transfers and payments and with very suspicious to cash.

The cost of servicing Bank accounts in Germany depending on the Bank and the tariff plan ranges from zero to several tens of euros per year. The "free" services generally involves a significant minimum balance in the account and a high speed or relatively expensive paid transactions. With girokonto sometimes granted disparada (overdraft).

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