Opening a Bank Account

Find out about the documents required and the procedure for opening a bank account in Germany...

It is quite easy to open a bank account in Germany, although it is essential to be registered in the country and have the correct documentation. The following documents are required:

  • Proof of registration in Germany (polizeiliche Anmeldebestätigung): This can only be obtained by EU member state residents or holders of a German residence permit
  • Address in Germany: This is written on the registration form and is required to obtain an account in the country
  • Passport: As proof of identification
  • Student Identification: In order to open a student account

Go to the chosen bank taking the documents and ask to open an account (ein konto eröffnen). There are several forms to complete; a bank clerk will be able to help. A welcome pack providing information about the bank's services is normally presented and the account details and bank card are sent by post within a few days (depending on the bank).

It is wise to keep copies of all bank documentation as well as statements for future reference.

Services offered

The services provided by the bank and the administrative service charges may differ from bank to bank.

Services normally offered include:

  • Current account (Girokonto)
  • Debit card (EC Karte)
  • Overdraft facility (Dispokredit)
  • Partner banks offering free withdrawal from their ATMs
  • Setting up standing orders (Daueraufträge)
  • Opening a second account
  • Opening a savings account (Sparkonto)

Administrative costs which may be charged:

  • Charges for opening an account
  • Yearly administrative costs
  • Credit card costs
  • Withdrawal costs from other banks
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