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Opening a Polish Bank Account by a foreigner in Poland. Recommendations.


gdj67
30 Oct 2007 #1
Greeting,
I travel to Warsaw every couple of months on business and was wondering how easy it is for a foreign national (I'm British) to open a Polish Bank account. Do I need to have an address or work in the country?

The Zloty keeps increasing in strength against the pound (down from 5.5 to 4.8 in the past year), so it would make sense to have funds over there for my trips.

Has anyone been in a similar situation.

Thanks,
G
nauczyciel
30 Oct 2007 #2
i'm from Canada, living in PL and have a bank acct. no problem. they don't know who/don't care my employer is. I could have made up any address. they did take my passport info.
gavin79 3 | 72
30 Oct 2007 #3
Yes but if you make up an address then you wont know where your statements, bank account details etc are going, could be str8 into the wrong hands...

And also how do they send out your bank card etc with a made up address ?
Kowalski 7 | 621
30 Oct 2007 #4
^ Yes. Bank would mail you your set of passwords first. Then plastic card and token for internet use. Then you'd need to call bank and "activate" bank card and internet token. You may sign all papers at home as bank will deliver all paperwork to you. You send xerox copy of your passport back in enclosed envelope - and you're set. ... So you'd need address to pick up your mail. As for statements bank would offer you internet or sms statements instead of paper ones.
OP gdj67
31 Oct 2007 #5
Thanks for the replies.

I'll give it a try and let you know how I get on.
db1874 7 | 227
31 Oct 2007 #6
You could try Citibank, their website is all in English, call centre speaks English and they send e-statements. There is a branch on the corner of Toworowa and Aleja Solidarnosci (ul. Ogrodowa 58 ) that I find particularly useful as the staff are pleasant and it's open until 7pm. They can also accept foreign currency at this branch.
Talos - | 7
31 Oct 2007 #7
Hey...i am british i live in Warsaw...i opened an Account with Millennium Bank....you need your passport and preferably an address in Poland....a PO Box is ok as well.....my statements are electronic so i recieve nothing from the bank....But i do have addresses in Warsaw...try to find someone who speaks english thats the hardest part
cyg 5 | 119
31 Oct 2007 #8
I can recommend Millennium Bank - very few formalities, and you can open an Internet-accessible account with just a passport. AFAIK mbank.pl is also pretty friendly in that sense.
OP gdj67
1 Nov 2007 #9
Thanks. For ome reason my Polish friends have warnedme against citi bank - they say they don't get a good service. I am contacting Multibank today. All they need me to do is give a Polish address (no proof required from what I've been told) and their form even has a place for a foriegn contact address - so even better. I'll let you know how I get on.
cyg 5 | 119
1 Nov 2007 #10
I tried Citi a couple of years ago, but have since closed my account - I tried to cash an American check once, and it cost me about 20 percent of its face value to do that, and even so it took about a month. For regular Polish banking they should be OK, though I always felt I was getting better service at Millennium.
bickerstonehall - | 3
20 Feb 2008 #11
Thread attached on merging:
Opening a Bank Account

Hi Everybody.
Some advice please.
I am looking to buy a property in Poland. It would be a great help if before I do this I could open a Bank Account to use on my visits to Poland and to transfer money to for the purchase and costs.

Does anyone know the rules and how I can open an account before I have an address in Poland?
I am an EU passport holder from the UK.
Many thanks, John.
GoDfaTheR420 6 | 43
16 Feb 2009 #12
Thread attached on merging:
The Best Bank for Ex-Pats

Hi Guys...

Ok I have been with Bank Pekao SA for the last 5 months......and I've had enough...way too many problems to list here...but for example

Crap customer service...
Terrible internet service
6zl charge for taking money out of other cash machines..
No Call backs
7 days to recieve money from my English bank account
A crappy ''meastro'' debit card which is hardly accepted on line

I make pretty good money...better than I did in England...I brought a bit of my savings over due to the weak Zloty (Advice from an English accountant)...yet they bank don't seem to give a shit...£40,000!!! ......if as expected the Zloty goes back up I should make enough for a new car!

So..I'm changing.....I will choose the bank recommended most on here...If I can't trust you guys who can I trust!

Cheers

I meant to post this in the Life in Poland section!!...damn...I'm sure a kind mod will move it for me!...cheers
db1874 7 | 227
16 Feb 2009 #13
From what I hear mBank is the best account, low charges, easy to open an account and it's in English.

I've had accounts with BPH & Citibank and I'd recommend neither of them anymore.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,734
5 Mar 2009 #14
mBank is sort of in English - the online banking isn't in English, although the website is. They do have English speakers in their call centre, and they do exactly as they say, although it takes a while to set everything up. But they are good, if you don't need face to face services.

ING seem to be well recommended by people.
al111 13 | 89
2 Sep 2009 #15
Merged:Whats the best Foreigner Friendly Bank in Poland

I just need other Expats' experiences my Polish is not yet that Good Ja ucze sie codziennie.
What is the best Bank u recomend i should open an account with some one said Millenium Bank. How good are they and do they have websites and helplines in English? ( Not that they should for some foreigners like us. Im still learning Polish but im eager to improve).

Im told PKO BP have a free transfere agreement to UK with NatWest Unfortunately i have a Lloyds Tsb Account will they allow me to transfere me money into that account or they will charge me for it??

All replies Appreciated
ArturBabula - | 2
2 Sep 2009 #16
If you are staying in Krakow I can recomend you Allianz Bank.
If you want to open bank account I can help you.
jonni 16 | 2,485
2 Sep 2009 #17
Allianz are indeed OK. A lot of foreigners (even most that I know) use Millenium Bank - they are very used to English speakers. I bank with Nordea, who are also very good for foreigners.
laczkokata 1 | 3
2 Sep 2009 #18
Hi, I use CitiBank, they speak English, even on the phone, easy-to-use internet banking page in English too. They send me the monthly summary outside the country, they accepted that I do not have a registered address in Poland now without any issues. I am satisfied with them.
alan2009
2 Sep 2009 #19
hi

I was in katowice on 18 aug to open bank account with BZWBK and the whole thing took 10 mins, english speaking staff, very helpfull with personal contact number and email if there are any problems with using their english website/ online banking, it was far

easier than opening account in ireland(iam irish). they deal with a lot of foriegn students so they know what they are doing
Paulie 1 | 43
3 Sep 2009 #20
bank account with BZWBK

I have banked with BZWBK for over 3 years. Complete and utter rubbish really. Incompetent rude staff, poor advice given if any, terrible rates for savings and loans, charges for using your bank card to withdraw your money unless it is a WBK machine, and I could go on.

Go with Millennium, PKO BP, or Allior Bank.
jonni 16 | 2,485
3 Sep 2009 #21
Complete and utter rubbish really

I agree about BZWBK 100%. Millenium is good, Nordea is excellent, Citibank is good but expensive. PKO BP is good in parts and a bit of a lottery depending which branch you use. PKO SA is not the same and I wouldn't recommend it at all. Avoid Fortis at all costs.

M-Bank and Multibank are good if you do most of your banking on the internet.
andy b 4 | 156
3 Sep 2009 #22
Hi Artur,
Which branch do you work at in Krakow?
I may come along to meet you.
Andy B
benszymanski 8 | 465
3 Sep 2009 #23
M-bank are good but their website is only in Polish. PKO are probably the least foreigner friendly bank in Poland so wouldn't recommend them at all. I have heard good things about Millenium and Alior though.
Wroclaw Boy
3 Sep 2009 #24
Incompetent rude staff, poor advice given if any,

Thats not exclusive of BZWBK, thats customer service in Poland the country on a whole.
al111 13 | 89
3 Sep 2009 #25
Thanks for the Advice lads n lassies this is me experience so far. Went into PKO BP with me wife we live in a LOVELY SMALL town the Rude lady at the Enquiries says PKO only accepts Foreigners with Permanent Residence in Polska.I only have a residence card 'Karta Pobytu' so it means i can only open an account with them after 5yrs of being resident in the country.

Utter bo****ks i thought unfortunately moja po polsku nie dobra. And the wife's not the argumentative type so we just stream out to the next Bank WBK who are Irish owned and alas no problem with Karta Pobytu at well im more than welcome, same as the next Millenium Bank and Kredit Bank.

So my question is. Is there something wrong with PKO BP or should i call their Customer Care Manager to ask about this coz i dont think its real that a foreigner can open an Account with them only after 5yrs of being resident in the country.....
Jay24 12 | 64
3 Sep 2009 #26
Im told PKO BP have a free transfere agreement to UK with NatWest

I went with PKO BP for this reason but apparently the arrangement with Natwest allows for money transfers from UK to Poland but not Poland to UK - if that makes sense. Plus, I'm not even sure if they still have this relationship with Natwest now.

As banks go though, PKO BP seem OK so far.

a foreigner can open an Account with them only after 5yrs of being resident in the country

I was here for 2 weeks and opened my account with PKO BP with no problems, this was in May this year.
mafketis 21 | 7,411
3 Sep 2009 #27
the Rude lady at the Enquiries says PKO only accepts Foreigners with Permanent Residence in Polska.

Total crap, I've helped foreigners open accounts at PKO BP within a week of arrival in Poland.

Tell the lady that she's wrong.
al111 13 | 89
3 Sep 2009 #28
mafketis
DO u yourself work for PKO BP mate?? If so can u give me the number for the Head Office Customer care center need to speak to someone there regarding this issue.
Harry
3 Sep 2009 #29
If so can u give me the number for the Head Office Customer care center need to speak to someone there regarding this issue.

Save your time: they won't give a f*ck, nobody at PKO does. I used to teach a department director (and board member) there. When he joined the bank (after being headhunted) he decided to open a bank account with them and so went into the branch in the HQ building. One desk was closed, one had a queue and one had no queue, so he went to the one with no queue. The woman there said "I must see your VIP card. This desk is for VIPs only." He explained that he was a member of the board of PKO and he wanted to open an account. She replied "I must see your VIP card. This desk is for VIPs only." He showed her his bank ID card and business card. She said "I must see your VIP card. This desk is for VIPs only." She had no other work to do and no customers waiting but simply refused to serve him. That woman was still working at that branch when the board member left the company.

A Canadian I used to work with had a 2000zl debt with PKO and when she was last here (two years after taking out the money) she went to pay it off. First she was told to come back later because the woman who dealt with old debts was at lunch. Then when she came back she was told that she couldn't pay it there because she had to go to head office and pay there because the debt was so old. My friend never paid them the money.
Wroclaw Boy
3 Sep 2009 #30
Heres a good one i had been collecting change for a while, just emptying my pockets into the jar every now and again. Evcentually we decided to change it up we roughly counted 200 PLN. We took it to our branch of BZWBK to have counted. They were not busy but refused to count it on the spot as no body was available, they made an appointment for us to return to the bank two days later when somebody would count it, then we could pay it into our account in person.

WTF

Save your time: they won't give a f*ck, nobody at PKO does.

True, they wont.

On the plus side i nailed the guy at Kentucky for giving me two drum sticks and a wing for a three piece meal the other day, cheecky bastad.


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