I need to open a local PLN account to facilitate paying bills while I am here in Warsaw. I'm here for two years and I don't want to have to do everything at the post office. I speak very little Polish. What bank would you recommend? I am hoping for a basic free checking account, if they have those here, and I need English-speaking staff. I had planned to use HSBC but when I went into the branch here they said they are leaving Poland by the end of October.
I like Nordea bank, but for English-speaking staff you might try Millenium, especially the ul. Nowy Swiat branch. Expats who don't speak Polish often reccommend it. You'll need quite a bit of documentation to open the account - the bank will tell you what you should show them. For further details you might like to use the search function - there have been several exhaustive threads on this already.
You should be aware that levels of service etc may differ from your home country!
BTW, they don't use cheques in Poland very often - only usually from business accounts and even then very rarely. Private individuals just don't use them. You'll get internet access though to pay bills and the little red forms they use instead of cheques are easy once you get the hang of them - you don't even need an account to use them.
I am opening my business with Pekaeu bank i think its called, its part of UniCredit and operates in 22 countries and they offer 1 zlotty international transfer!
Great as my Polish Business will be transferring money back to my UK company all the time..
I am just waiting for my REGON Number I have no idea how long it takes to process but its been 7 days!