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The Basics of Opening A Bank Account in German

September 01, 2021
Germany is the type of country where you might earn a lot more than you expected. Before long, you might even consider yourself richer here than you ever were anywhere else in the world. So with this in mind, you ought to have set up your own local bank account here, right? How else will you be able to properly save your money and manage your finances? It'd be unwise not to do it when you get here. But if you're nervous that it's a complicated process, there's no need to worry. Here are the basics of opening a bank account in Germany.

The Basics of Opening A Bank Account in German

Can You Open A Bank Account in Germany?

As with any other thing you have to deal with in Germany, from your taxes to healthcare, you always have to ask if you're actually allowed to do it. Or rather, does your current status in the country allow you to do it. And it applies to opening up a local bank account. Do you need to be a legal resident of Germany in order to set one up here? The answer is no, not necessarily. In fact, some international banks that operate in the country even allow you to set your local account from overseas. But dealing with local German banks, however, is an entirely different story!

Different Types of German Banks

Do note that Germany has different types of banks that you can go for. You probably already know about the international banks, but what about the local institutions? For example, there are the private German banks which, apart from the international banks, have proven to be most suitable for foreigners. Most private German banks like Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank have experience dealing with foreign clients and can even be accessed abroad. Sparkassen, on the other hand, are savings banks commonly used by public shareholders. Though it's the most common type of bank, it's most beneficial for locals than expats.

The Basics of Opening A Bank Account in German

Online Banking in Germany

Another type of local German bank is direktbank, or the digital bank. Over the past few years, online and mobile banking has become popular in Germany, as is around the world. And while most other banks have gone on to establish their own online portals, there are those that are exclusively devoted to digital banking. They include DKB, Revolut, bunq, and more. The main difference between these direktbanks and other banks' online platforms is that they offer easier conditions for banking, such as free accounts with no minimum deposits and the like. It's important to note, however, that direktbanks have no physical branches you can visit in Germany.

Documents You Need to Show

Now, when you want to set up a local bank account in Germany, you will need to show a few requirements. They include identification documents (valid passport or residence permit), proof of address (rental lease or utility bills), and proof of income (employment contract or company ID). Some banks may also require a SCHUFA credit rating, so prepare that if you have it just in case. Ultimately, this is where your status comes into play when opening a local bank account in Germany. Many of these are documents that you can only get when you become a legal resident. With that said, international and digital banks allow you to start the process abroad, meaning you won't need to show some of these requirements.

The Basics of Opening A Bank Account in German

What to Consider When Choosing A Bank

When choosing a local German bank to set up your account, you have to consider a lot of things first. Number one is the bank's language. Of course, it'd be easier for you if the staff in your chosen bank are able to speak in English or even in your own native language. Two, there are the costs. From minimum deposits to banking fees, see if your bank charges too many fees for various services and if you can afford all of them. Three, accessibility. Does your chosen bank have a branch near you? And four, non-resident accessibility. You have to know if your bank allows non-residents to set up accounts with them.

Best German Banks to Go For

After knowing all of that, the best German banks you can go for are private, international, and digital banks. Deutsche Bank is good as it's a local institution that's already well-known around the world. With so many foreign clients, it's practically an international bank. And speaking of international banks, the likes of HSBC and Santander may prove easier for you regardless of your residency status in the country. The same goes for digital banks too. Most direktbanks don't necessarily care whether you're a legal resident of Germany or not. So make sure to consider most of these when the time to choose your bank comes!

The Basics of Opening A Bank Account in German

When you go to Germany, it'd really help if you set up a local bank account here. No matter how long you'll stay here, if you will remain in the country for a substantial period of time, opening a local bank account allows you to manage your finances wisely.

Manage your finances in Germany properly with a local bank account! When you do, it'd be easier to get what you want; even your own luxury home here!



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