Opening a Bank Account in The Netherlands for Expats

April 25 , 2021 by: Victoria Anderson

The Netherlands is one of the world’s banking giants, with some of the largest in the banking industry being headquartered here. Most of these banks will be suitable and accommodate Expats, allowing them to open their own Dutch bank account.

There are a large number of banks to choose from in The Netherlands, which has a huge number of 96 different national and international banks, plus around 140 cooperative banks to choose from.

There is technically no legal requirement to open a bank account in The Netherlands, so this should be your first question to yourself when moving there. It is more than possible to live in the country and control your finances from an overseas bank account. However, certain factors should also be considered. Including foreign exchange slippage, as well as fees associated with paying in foreign currencies. So, on this basis, it does make a lot of sense to open your own Dutch bank account. If renting an apartment, it can be a requirement to have a local bank account as well.

There are a few banks in The Netherlands which offer plenty of Expat-friendly services. The main ones being:

It is always worth shopping around to the various bank account providers. It may be that the banking provider you use in your native country is also set up in The Netherlands, and therefore you wish to continue with them. Because The Netherlands is such an internationally friendly country, they do have many international banks (some of which are listed above).

Most banks in The Netherlands will allow expats to either open up their accounts in-person in a branch, or via their website. There may be some extra requirements which slow down the process if setting up the account online. The usual ID, Citizenship number and Proof of Address requirements stand true in The Netherlands as well when setting up the account, so make sure you are prepared to bring these with you.

There can be slightly more checks when opening a Dutch bank account compared to other countries. They may ask for evidence of your income or payslips as well as check your credit rating. Assuming everything at this stage goes smoothly, it can just take a matter of days for you to receive the bank card for your new Dutch bank account.

It is worth noting that while Dutch banks do allow you to open non-resident bank accounts, they often do not allow these overseas accounts to be opened online. Therefore, you will have to travel to The Netherlands just to open the account, unless there is a branch of that bank in your native country.

Mobile banking is heavily used in The Netherlands too, with N26 and bunq being the most popular for both residents and non-residents. These are the quickest banking options available, with minimum requirements for documentation. It is also worth noting that you do not have to provide a Dutch address to open up these mobile banking accounts.


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