How to Open an Account in Greece?

After 5 years, Greece has recovered from the economic crisis and finally regained its status as one of the most attractive countries for foreign citizens. If you want to go to live in Greece from Russia, you should know some nuances. For example, it is almost impossible for a non-resident to purchase real estate or get a job without an open personal account. How to do this with the least effort, we will tell you in this article.

Required Documents

How to Open an Account in GreeceBefore opening a bank account in Greece, a non-resident must pass an interview. It is conducted by a bank employee, and therefore you should not worry about bureaucratic delays. The main thing to take care of is the preparation of documentation. It is important not only to collect it, but also to translate it into Greek. International English is also held in high esteem here, but rare banks use it in financial matters. In addition to the passport, an employee of a credit institution has the right to demand a Greek TIN – AFM, a tax return, a certificate of income (salary information from the place of work), as well as papers confirming the presence of a permanent place of residence (as such, it is enough to bring utility bills).
In order to open a bank account in Greece, an individual will need to provide a number of documents:

  • Passport
  • Greek identification number
  • A certificate from the place of work indicating the position and terms of service
  •  Income statement
  •  An extract from the previous bank, confirmation of the credit history

Some Greek credit and financial organizations, in order to register a bank account, accept the TIN code issued in the country whose nationality the foreigner has. At the same time, this document must necessarily be translated into Greek and notarized.
Corporate accounts will require identification documents of founders and shareholders, as well as statutory, registration documents, copies of tax returns and income certificates.

Opening an Account in the Bank of Greece by a Foreigner

If an individual with foreign citizenship applies to a financial institution, then he needs to sign a special declaration. In it, he is obliged to indicate the purpose of opening an account. Further, the documents are thoroughly checked, as a result of which the bank makes a positive decision and activates the client’s account. The whole process takes no more than a week.

In turn, a legal entity should prepare documents that reflect basic information about the company and its activities. We are talking about the charter, the minutes of the founders’ meeting (if any), financial statements for the specified period.

There are several reasons for refusing to open an account in the Bank of Greece to a non-resident. These include problems with credit history, negative reputation, etc.

In which Greek bank is it better to open an account?

It is better for a foreigner to consider credit institutions with an impeccable reputation and an extensive network of branches. The following banks are particularly popular among customers:

National Bank of Greece works with both individuals and legal entities. It is under government control, and therefore it is considered reliable.
Piraeus Bank is a favorite of private clients, as it considers individual conditions for opening an account.

Alpha Bank is a financial institution that is no stranger to Internet banking technologies. However, in order to be able to use all services, a non-resident needs to obtain a Greek residence permit (residence permit).

Millennium Vapk is included in the list of institutions that are not afraid of economic crises. Many customers from European countries appreciated its reliability and steadfastness. The bank specializes in working with corporate and investment accounts.

Types of Bank Accounts

There are several types of bank accounts. Which one the client will be able to open directly depends on the amount of funds and the type of settlement operations.

The current account is a universal account that is suitable for any settlement operations.

Savings account – allows you to keep money in the bank and receive interest for it. The number of settlement operations is limited. The amount of the interest rate depends on the amount and term of the deposit.

A depository account is opened exclusively for storing funds. There is no percentage profit, but there is a commission. You can withdraw funds from the account at any time.

Registered – registered in the name of the client. Funds can be managed from any bank office upon presentation of a passport.
Numbered is a confidential banking product. The name of the holder is known only to a few employees, and a unique combination of numbers is indicated instead.

It is quite difficult for a citizen of another country to open an account in Greece on his own. This is due to the strict requirements of most local financial organizations. To save time and nerves, it is worth seeking advice from specialists.

Types of Bank Accounts That Can Be Opened in Greece

Current (Greek – τρεχούμενος [trehuminos])

Designed to perform any settlement operations. Interest is accrued on the funds stored in the current account, but at a rate lower than, for example, on a savings account. Greek banks often link credit cards to a checking account without the client’s consent. This type of bank account can be opened to an individual and a legal entity.

Savings account (Greek – ΤαμιευτηρίΟ [tamievtirio])

It is intended for storing funds in a bank and receiving a percentage profit for it. The amount of the interest rate depends on the amount and term of the deposit. The number of settlement operations on this account is limited.

Depository (Greek – ΚατάθΕση [katafesi])

It is used exclusively for storing funds. Unlike a savings account, a depository account does not accrue interest for storage. Moreover, it is subject to a commission. But you can use the funds from this account at any time.

It can be registered only in the name of the client. To use the funds from this account, it is enough to present the client’s passport.

License plate
It is characterized by increased confidentiality. Such an account is known only to a few bank managers. A specific number appears instead of the name.

Popular Banks in Greece

National Bank of Greece is the largest state–owned bank in Greece. Provides a full range of banking services for local residents. Registration of bank accounts for non-residents is characterized by increased requirements, which increases the level of confidentiality.

Piraeus Bank is popular among private clients due to the opportunity to open a bank account in Greece on individual terms. Provides services for the local population and foreigners. It is characterized by low service rates.

Millennium Bank – mainly serves corporate and investment accounts. In Greece, it is considered an extremely resistant bank to economic crises, thanks to which it has many clients throughout Europe.

Alpha Bank – differs from most Greek credit and financial institutions by providing a full range of banking services through Internet banking. It serves legal entities and individuals. To register a bank account, non-residents will need to provide a residence permit.

Eurobank is considered an innovative–developed banking group operating in seven European countries. It offers a wide range of financial products and services for private and corporate clients. It is characterized by low tariffs and loyalty to customers regardless of citizenship.

If you wish to open a business bank account in Greece, 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.