Question: Astrid from Stockholm: “I am a Swedish citizen and will soon move to another EU country for work reasons. I have heard that some banks in the EU may refuse to open bank accounts to foreigners. Is that true?”
Answer: Nina Koudelkova, Communications Officer from Europe Direct: “Banks are free to choose whether or not to accept your application to open an account, and that’s a private business decision for the bank. Before opening a bank account, the bank needs to get to know its potential clients.
“This may require more due diligence in assessing bank account requests from non-residents. Some banks may therefore have a policy not to accept non-resident customers. Keep in mind that a refusal is only acceptable if there is sound commercial justification. Banks must not discriminate against any EU citizen on the basis of nationality.
“However, there are banks that offer banking products specially designed for non-residents or expats. We advise you to shop around to find out which bank offers accounts to non-residents.
If a bank refuses your application to open a bank account, you may wish to take your complaint to a consumer protection organisation such as the European out-of-court complaints network for financial services, called “FIN-NET”.
For more information about the EU, call 00 800 6789 1011 or check out the website: europa.eu/youreurope
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