How to Open a Bank Account in Sweden
Previously, Sweden did not belong to those countries where migrants from Eastern Europe and Central Asia moved en masse. But the situation is changing. In the spring of 2022, the Uzbek authorities announced the imminent opening of an embassy in Stockholm — the first representative office of this republic in Scandinavia (before that, the nearest diplomatic mission was the embassy in Latvia). This means that interest in moving to Sweden from Uzbekistan and neighbouring countries will grow. In this article, we will talk about one of the necessary procedures on the way to legalization in the country: opening a bank account in Sweden.
How to Open a Swedish Bank Account for an Individual
Opening an account in a Swedish bank for an individual implies the fulfilment of two basic requirements: identification and a clear answer to the question: “Why do you need this?” Let’s talk about each of them.
Identification, namely documentary confirmation of the client’s identity, is mandatory for everyone who has decided to open an account with a bank in Sweden. There are several options to do this:
- Present a valid Swedish identity document: passport, national identity card or profile via BankID. A driver’s license issued in the country is acceptable.
- Present a foreign passport or other document with a photo containing information about citizenship, which must be issued by a government agency or other authorized body. Please note that bank employees may request additional papers.
- If the listed identifying documents could not be presented, it is necessary to confirm the identity and citizenship with the help of other papers obtained from an independent and reliable source.
Reasons to Open a Bank Account in Sweden
Now consider the second requirement. When opening an account, you need to explain why you need it and how it will be used: for transferring salaries or other monetary remuneration, for paying rent, storing savings, etc. The bank may also ask other questions to get to know you better as a customer. We recommend answering honestly and openly.
If both requirements for the establishment of a bank account are satisfied, the client gets the opportunity to use basic services: card issuance, deposits, mortgage lending, etc.
But it is not uncommon for banks to refuse, not only to residents from abroad, but also to EU citizens.
The Bank has the right to refuse if:
- cannot establish the identity of the applicant in a sufficiently reliable way,
- considers the information provided about the reasons for opening an account insufficient,
- there is a possibility of violating any legally established norm or regulation.
The bank may also refuse to open an account if the applicant’s “dishonest behavior” has been revealed in the past.
How to Open a Swedish Bank Account for a Student
Foreign students, in addition to an identity card, will need:
- residence permit or visa (exception — EU citizens),
- notification of admission from the university (antagningsbesked) indicating the duration of study.
How to Open a Swedish Bank Account for a Non-resident
To open a bank account for a non-resident, it is necessary to provide not only a passport, residence permit, etc., but also a tax identification number that allows you to track the receipt of income and payment of tax fees. It can be obtained from any local tax office.
The list of documents required for a non-resident to establish an account may vary depending on the client’s citizenship and the purpose of being in the country, so the lists are compiled individually.
A non-resident who does not have official income in the country can also open a bank account in Sweden, but his opportunities will be limited: there will be no Internet banking and overdraft.
Memo to the non-resident
Do not forget that during the visit to the bank:
- you must understand the questions of the staff and answer them,
- if you need an interpreter, invite him with you,
- you will be asked where you got the money from, prepare answers,
- other persons do not have the right to use your account and other services in the absence of an agreement with the bank,
- you may be asked additional questions or make other demands.
Banking services are provided in Swedish and English, but in some places you can find services in Russian. Opening accounts for non-residents does not require additional payments, but a commission is charged for processing transactions.
Comparison of Banks
Before contacting the bank, we recommend that you study the current offers. By default, the banking service includes the issue of a debit card, the ability to use telephone and Internet banking. Telephone support services usually work from 9:00 am to 21:00-23:00 pm.
- SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken) is one of the largest financial groups in northern Europe. Annual maintenance costs 420 SEK. Free service for up to 18 years or 21 years (depends on the type of account).
- Handelsbanken is a large bank with a high rating of long-term lending. It has branches all over the country, as well as in the UK, Denmark, Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. Free service for children and youth under 21, as well as students under the age of 27. Service — 25 CZK per month, except for those with Mastercard, Allkort, Platinum Bank Card.
- Nordea bank is a financial group with 1,500 branches in 19 countries around the world. Monthly maintenance — 39 CZK. For children, youth under 22 and students — free of charge.
- Swedbank is a credit institution founded in 1820. It serves 10 million private and corporate clients in Sweden, Estonia, Denmark and Lithuania. Maintenance — 39 CZK/month. Free for children, youth under 21 and students.
How to Open a Company Account
Obtaining a bank account by legal entities will undoubtedly require more documents. So, to register a company, it is necessary to provide personal documents of all founders and official representatives.
Banks may require registration securities of the company and certificates from the tax service. To create a company account, you need to provide a certificate of registration (certificate of incorporation), which allows you to work in the country.
Opening an Account for an Offshore Company
It is impossible to open an offshore account in Sweden, but it is theoretically possible to register a bank account for an offshore company. But financial experts do not recommend doing this. The reason is scrupulous inspections of companies by banks, as well as the requirement to disclose the identity of beneficiaries. In addition, the Swedish tax system does not allow businesses to reduce their tax burden.
How to Close an Account
Closing a bank account is a standard procedure. The user comes to the branch, fills out an application, and the operator, after checking the status of the stored finances and existing obligations, closes the account (provided that everything is in order).
If we are talking about closing independently opened accounts (for example, in a mobile application), then you can delete them yourself.
If you wish to open a bank account in Sweden, our team here at IB-IA GROUP UAB will be delighted to assist you. We have eight years of experience in helping clients to open bank accounts in Europe. We tap into our vast network of trusted partners in the European financial services industry to offer the most suitable and cost-effective solutions that improve the functioning of the businesses we serve.