How to Open a Bank Account in Greece
How To Open a Bank Account in Greece
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If you’re planning to relocate to Greece or purchase property there, having a local bank account is essential. In the past, opening a new bank account in the country was challenging due to heavy regulations. However, with the improving economy, these restrictions have been eased, making it easier than ever to open a bank account in Greece.
To open a bank account in Greece, the process is simple. Follow these steps to get started in the country.
Step 1: Get Your Greek Tax Number
Before opening a bank account in Greece, it’s important to be aware of the requirement to obtain a Greek Tax Number/AFM number (Arithmo Forologiko Mitro). This unique nine-digit tax number is necessary for various activities within the country. To obtain your AFM, you can visit a tax office in Greece. Alternatively, the accountants of our expert team will issue it for you within a couple of hours.
Step 2: Choose Your Bank
Greece is home to a variety of national and international banks. There are 4 systemic banks in Greece.
There are also banks and financial institutions that are not considered systemic (a differentiation that comes from the Greek crisis of 2012), such as:
- Attica Bank
- Pancreta Bank
- Ottima Bank
- Aegean Baltic Bank
- Viva Bank
You will also find many cooperative banks that operate mostly regionally, such as:
- Cooperative Bank of Chania
- Cooperative Bank of Peloponnese
These banks provide a range of financial services and play a significant role in the Greek banking sector. When researching the best bank for your needs, it is crucial to compare the associated fees of each account. Some banks may impose a set-up fee or a monthly administrative fee.
These fees can occasionally be waived as an introductory offer and later implemented, so it is important to carefully review the terms and conditions. Our expert advisors will gladly provide comprehensive guidance to help you select the most suitable banking institution for your requirements.
At Greece Visa Homes, we specialize in assisting investors and families across the globe who wish to acquire property in Greece. Our team of expert advisors is on hand to provide you with comprehensive guidance on property acquisition and the associated tax obligations in Greece. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions; we’re here to help you navigate the process effortlessly.
To get started, CONTACT us today.
Step 3: Prepare Your Documents
When opening a bank account in Greece, certain documents need to be submitted. Although the specific requirements may vary across different banks, the following are generally needed:
- Proof of address (such as a utility bill)
- AFM number (Greek tax identification number)
- Tax returns/income statement from previous places of residence. Note that you may have to provide statements for a couple of years ago.
- Proof of salary (payslips or an employer’s letter)
- Recent mobile phone bill\or any possible proof of your telephone number
- Tax Residence Certificate (translated in English or Greek)
- Signature sample (which means that you have to appear at the bank in person at least once)
- Occasionally, banks may also request a signed statement confirming that the account is for personal use and not for business purposes.
It is important to note that these documents must be translated (if it is not in English) and certified by the Greek Consulate in your country of residence.
Step 4: Visit the Bank
To open a bank account, simply visit the branch of your chosen bank. Our team will book an appointment for you. There, you will be provided with the necessary forms to complete and sign. Please be prepared for some paperwork and a visit to our branch office. It would be ideal to have a translator accompany you to assist.
While we can handle the bureaucracy for you, please keep in mind that Greeks often prefer in-person banking, so expect some waiting time. Based on our experience, the entire process should not take more than an hour. The good news is that online banking and ATMs are widely available in English.
Additionally, it is worth noting that some banks may require an initial deposit to activate the account. Although this is not a universal requirement across all financial institutions, you have to pay for services such as debit card, online banking, etc.
Read also our guide on how to get a Passport in Greece.
Useful Information About Banks in Greece
- When considering opening and maintaining a bank account, it is important to check the associated costs, as these can vary from one bank to another.
- If you plan to use a debit card, be sure to inquire about any applicable fees.
- Banks typically operate from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. However, larger banks in urban areas may have extended hours during the week and even open on Saturdays, depending on their location.
- In Greece, individuals must be at least 18 years old to open a bank. Nevertheless, several banks extend the opportunity for minors to have accounts as long as they obtain consent from their legal guardian.
- It is customary for banks in Greece to impose fees for utilizing ATMs outside of their network. Ensure that the bank you select has conveniently located ATM branches, or consider opting for a bank that provides complimentary withdrawals from external ATMs.