Building a House in Crete, Greece

Opening a Bank Account in Greece.

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You can open a bank account in Greece whether you’re a resident or a non-resident. The minimum requirement to open a bank account in Greece is to provide two documents: 1) Your Passport, and 2) Your Personal Tax Identification Number or Arithmo Forologiko Mitro, which you can get by visiting the Tax Office closest to your address in Greece.

What documents are necessary for a foreigner to open a bank account?

Anyone opening a bank account in Greece – even locals – will need a hefty amount of paperwork to assure the bank they’re creditworthy.

As a foreigner, you might need to have documents translated or notarized, which can add to the expense and complexity. Some banks, however, will accept documents in English as well as Greek. Check out exactly what your bank needs with plenty of time to spare.

  1. Passport
  2. Contact number
  3. Proof of address – usually banks will accept a recent utility bill
  4. Local AFM tax number
  5. Tax registration number in the country of origin, Greek tax registration number, where applicable;
  6. Evidence of your salary – either payslips or a letter from your employer will usually be OK
  7. Signature sample (which means that the person concerned needs to appear at the bank in person at least once).
  8. You may also be asked to provide a reference from your previous bank to show you’re creditworthy and sign a declaration confirming you’re opening an account for personal use rather than for a business

The above information must be evidenced by official documents which cannot be falsified.

Therefore, the bank will normally request a power / telephone / water bill, a lease agreement, a payroll statement, a tax clearance certificate etc.

Moreover, given that these documents are executed in a foreign language, the bank will normally require that they be Apostilled, in order to ensure document originality (this entails further difficulties, as the foreigner will have to address a municipal service, a district court or a notary at his/her country of origin, depending on what applies in each country, in order to have copies of the above documents officially certified or have the notary’s signature Apostilled etc.)

The information required by each bank may slightly vary, but Bank of Greece definitely requires the information set out above.

Can I open a bank account abroad? What about online?

To complete the process of opening your bank account, you must visit a bank in person, and take along your passport.

This is because banks require signature samples, and meet with all new account holders to take any additional information.

That said, you can complete the vast majority of the process online.

After you’ve done that you just need to call your local bank branch when you arrive in Greece, to finish up your application and activate your account.

What banking fees are involved?

When you choose which bank to use, you’ll need to know what fees will be applied to the transactions you make.

Although there won’t usually be an administration fee to open an account, every bank will have charges for some services, such as withdrawing cash from an ATM or making international transfers. Even if these look pretty small, they can add up quickly.

Some banks may have additional requirements such as as utility bills ad in some cases you will be required to present your credit rating as well.

You will be required to sign plenty of paperwork and it is helpful to have a local to help out if you can but in general there will be English speakers on staff.

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