Greece has plenty to offer to its visitors, be it the culture, climate, cuisine and some of the serene locations in the region. It’s no surprise that many people fall in love with this country and choose to settle for a longer period of time. If you are one of them, and are thinking of moving to Greece as an expat, or starting a business in Greece then you are required to open a bank account.
The Greek banking system has taken quite the hit in recent years, several international banks have left the country, and smaller banks shut down or merged with the larger ones. The banks were also subject to high levels of control during the height of the financial crisis in the country, making it tricky to open an account. However, the good news is that these restrictions are being loosened as the economy recovers, making it much easier to open your new Greek bank account.
The largest banks currently operating in Greece are Piraeus Bank, Eurobank EFG, National Bank of Greece and Alpha Bank, whereas some international banks such as HSBC and Citibank are also operating in the country.
How to Open a Bank Account in Greece?
Once you have chosen the ideal bank, you must also take a moment to consider what kind of account will suit your needs. Most of the Greek banks will provide you with savings bank account, investment account, students account, time deposit account etc. Along with opening a bank account, you will also get a cheque book, pass book, debit card, and you can also issue standing orders for the payment of utility bills and credit card.
Opening a bank account in Greece is a straight-forward process. All you have to do is visit your desired bank in person and take along your passport; this is because banks in Greece require signature samples. You can also meet with all the new account holders to take any additional information. You can complete the majority of the process online.
To open the bank account in Greece, you would require the following documents:
- Copy of your passport
- Proof of address [bank usually asks for utility bills]
- Tax returns from your previous country residence
- Arithmo Forologika Mitro , or AFM, which is a tax number
- A formal statement declaring that the account will not be used for trade
All the above documents must be certified by the Consulate of Greece in the country of your residence. If the documents from the country of residence are in English, the Greek bank may dispense with the official translation of the documents in the Greek language, but this depends on the particularities of each case. If, however, the documents are in another language, it is almost certain that all or some of them will have to be officially translated in the Greek language, so the legal department of the bank can review them.
The opening of the bank account cannot be completed without the presence of the owner of the account, and a power of attorney can only serve to complete the initial stages of the process, not the actual opening of the account.
Learning about the banking system in a new country can be a little daunting, and you might require assistance from an advisor to ease up the process. Business Setup Worldwide will help you open a bank account in Greece. Our advisors in Greece will understand all your requirements and help you chose your ideal bank. Right from choosing the bank account to gathering all the documents and submitting them, we will be with you. If you are still skeptical, contact us today and we will help clear all your doubts.