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

Jay24 12 | 64
3 Sep 2009 #31
just emptying my pockets into the jar every now and again. Evcentually we decided to change it up we roughly counted 200 PLN

Oh dear. Me and the girlfriend have been doing this. We thought it would help towards our holiday in November. We counted the money last night and we're close to 800 PLN. I'm now worried this is going to be a real pain to get changed - I guess I'm used to walking into a bank in the UK and having them weigh your money and giving you cash. Anyone know where would be the best place for me to change this up?
mafketis 37 | 10,853
3 Sep 2009 #32
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.

No I don't work there but I've always found the branch where I opened my account (kosciuszko street in poznan) to be very foreigner friendly. Maybe it's an exception? I don't know but I'm happy with them.
caveman 4 | 14
4 Sep 2009 #33
Pekao SA have been good to me so far. Plus their online banking has an English option.

I opened a non-resident account (you'll need your passport ID and an officially translated proof of address... stamped because Polish bureaucracy loves stamps on documents!)

In Bydgoszcz near the square there is a really helpful guy who explained everything in English and said that if I need any help just to drop into the branch so he can practice his English skills.

You don't need a residency card but you will need a Polish address and phone number for correspondance and to receive your card/PIN/TANs etc.

One more thing, there is a point in the registration of an account where the computer asks which country you should be paying tax to. Since you've already paid your tax, just select ZZ at the end of the list - otherwise you'll require a tax office number to proceed.

Hope this helps!
Ajb 6 | 232
4 Sep 2009 #34
I opened my account with WBK.. mainly as i live in the west of Poland... and there are hundreds of cash machines so i don't have to pay 5zl to take cash out...

Their internet portal is in English which is useful...

Although i have two accounts with them.. one in zl and one £ mainly because the crap exchange rate at the moment.. although i tend to take money out in £ at the branch and go to a Kantor to get a better rate than the bank...

All i needed was my Passport and my 5 year registration plus you can get a Visa for your account
4 Sep 2009 #35
hey guys, i am irish but i needed to open bank account in poland. i went into bwbzk(even though i work in AIB who own bzwbk) i found the customer service person very nice and he showed me how to log into internet banking and its free when you lodge 1500zl per month. and unlike irish banks, he gave me his work phone and email if i had any problems. also unlike irish banks but maybe not polish banks they gave me a visa debit card in 3 days just before i was to fly back to ireland. I did contact norde bank and they were helpfull but i decided to keep irish connection with bzwbk
Wroclaw Boy
4 Sep 2009 #36
Whats the best Foreigner Friendly Bank in Poland

None of em are friendly foreigner or otherwise. Theyre fcukers period. Customer service sucks go with BZWBK.
Seanus 15 | 19,674
4 Sep 2009 #37
WB may appear cynical to many but he is right on the money half the time. No, I ain't a dog (Snatch) but my experiences square with his. Although I prefer to look at the positive side of things, I can't help but see the other side. I was made to wait 15 mins today whilst the shop assistant decided if she had given me change or not. She wouldn't have made a Pole wait that long. That was purely bloody-minded and wasted my time. I was right and I told her I was. Time is money these days and she gave me nothing for wasting it.

As for banks, DON'T go to PKO. They are lazy bas*ards who don't give a Castlemaine XXXX. They keep you waiting forever and frown as a matter of principle. They should be slapped with huge fish.
Ajb 6 | 232
4 Sep 2009 #38
Speaking of WBK i went in to a branch today to withdraw 500zl because i had forgot my card, to find out they had "forgot" to add my passport as ID on my account, so theoretically I opened my account with my PESEL number with no photo ID.... was made to wait nearly 40mins to sort it out but in the end I got my cash..... I couldn’t believe it! good job I went with my translator (well fiancée... lol)

Other than that.. they are great!
ArturBabula - | 2
15 Sep 2009 #39
4 Podwale St. (right in the heart of Krakow)
pgtx 29 | 3,146
15 Sep 2009 #40
Whats the best Foreigner Friendly Bank in Poland

banks in Poland aren't people friendly in general...
drew128 3 | 55
18 Sep 2009 #41
I had a long 2 days going around out local city for a business account, long queues, uninterested staff, mind boggling rates and charges, left the city very downhearted. Stopped in the local market town for something to eat and for a laugh went into a very crowded PKO bank. I believe this is one of the last communist banks, perhaps someone could put me straight on that.

Went to an information counter, the lady said sorry, but it will be 5 minutes before someone can see you, well thats better the rest to start with. In the end saw a nice lady who gave a good account of the bank, answered all my questions, seem to have good rates and low charges. I went for it and so far no problems, very happy with them. The standard deal was way better than the other banks were offering and she was smiling.......
mw78 3 | 29
18 Sep 2009 #42
alior have been good to me so far, was easy to open a bank with them. just took my passport and my address.
Damien 1 | 4
22 Sep 2009 #43
HSBC is good. They have branches in Krakow and Warsaw as well as a lot of other countries including the UK. I have been using the branch in Krakow because I need a Polish bank account for when I am at uni there. They speak good English and have been very helpful in helping me set up an account.
26 Sep 2009 #44
Merged:Whats the best Foreigner Friendly Bank in Poland

I intend to study in Sweden for 6 months next year (am currently in Krakow), what bank would you recommend?
Nick Mon - | 3
27 Sep 2009 #45
I intend to study in Sweden for 6 months next year (am currently in Krakow), what bank would you recommend?

Nordea is a Swedish / Finish bank operating in Poland.
They have good, secure internet banking in English.
There are plenty of branches around Krakow. Probably depends which branch you try as to how helpful they are in English but ringing the internet bank in Gdansk is no problem.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,379
27 Sep 2009 #46
Nordea is a Swedish / Finish bank operating in Poland.

You'll need 1,000zl to open an account at Nordea. But they don't hit you with interest charges. (unless i'm mistaken)
slick578 11 | 16
29 Sep 2009 #47
I bank with Millenium and think they offer pretty good service,
at least compared to the UK any how.

Foreaxmple there was a delay in issuing my debit card as my first name isn't recognised in poland or whatever, so to say sorry they gave me two usb sticks? random but loads better than my experiences with natwest and barclays in the U.K.

Interestingly, what is the best way (cheapest) in peoples opinions to transfer cash from a UK account to a Polish one? I see no reason to keep my natwest account anymore.
drew128 3 | 55
29 Sep 2009 #48
When I got my PKO account I transfered £100 as a test more than anything else, as I get paid from Denmark normally, anyway the Halifax took their normal fee and PKO did not make a charge to receive, so a bit of a bonus I thought. I had to give a reason to move this money for the Halifax, so thought money laundering was good, but not an option to tick for that. The company in Denmark have made payments and they pay at their end, PKO have not charged anything to receive Do you know what Nat West will charge per transaction?

I would have thought you would have to go in person to the bank to close it, unless you mean just to empty the account and let it rest so to speak.

Some of the chaps here seem to have good advice regarding other ways.
slick578 11 | 16
29 Sep 2009 #49
I can't transfer money to internationally using by accesing my account online, it says I need to go into the bank to do it and the fee is £25 (which doesn't seem cheap)

I am being paid in Zloty's to me Polish account which is fine but I'd like to have all of my money in one place.

Although, it might be easier just to take cash out of the bankomat when I need access to my £ funds.
drew128 3 | 55
29 Sep 2009 #50
I have the option in my Halifax online service. slick578, guess all banks are different. As I remember it was a tenner for any amount transfered. I do take money out using a ATM, but at the end of the month you get charged anyhow, the debit card I have from the Halifax they charge a lot to us that, my credit visa credit card from the Halifax less. I have not used them for a long time as I have money here and the £ is a bit pants.
29 Sep 2009 #51
Hi guys

I transfer money from my AIB(Irish) account to my BZWBK account, it costs just 0.75 cent if you can wait 2 days for it to appear in account(bzwbk do not charge to receive it, and if i want to transfer money from Poland to international account I can do so on line, the customer service guy showed me how when I opened my account in Poland.
mwjc69 - | 5
7 Oct 2009 #52
Go with WBK, I was only in the country for only a couple of weeks and was able to open an account on the spot with no appointments etc. They were happy to help and my account was open and ready to use there and then. Had to wait only 3/4 days for the card. I have a dual account in UK and PL. The process was reasonably fast, I brought my passport, tennancy agreement and was ready to go. Although they charge you for balance checks and using other machines there are generally a few machines in and around cities and towns so there is no need to walk far. I was given a debit card and there was no deposit needed for opening the account, all they asked was that i made 3 purchases in 3 months via debit which was easy. The whole process was totally hassle free.
QEDUK - | 4
8 Oct 2009 #53
My girlfriend and I opened an account with PKO BP. It took us over an hour and loads of paperwork, even though she had a permenant address to send all the documents to. They wouldn't let her translate everything to me inside the bank saying that she could do that "when we got home". As a result we ended up getting charged for everything under the sun as they tried to rush my girlfriend into signing up. 4 months later when we finally got back to Poland on our next visit, we went to PKO BP, closed the accounts and transferred them to BGZ. Much friendlier service, (this is very important to me), and charge a lot less.

ps. BGZ is quite modern in atmosphere too. PKO BP came across as very "stuffy" and tried to give the impression that we should be grateful for them taking our money.
jonni 16 | 2,482
8 Oct 2009 #54
You'll need 1,000zl to open an account at Nordea. But they don't hit you with interest charges. (unless i'm mistaken)

I opened my account there with 10zl.

Nordea are OK, and their customer service is more Scandinavian than Polish.
BevK 11 | 248
14 Oct 2009 #55
Millenium have been good for me.
hotcarl 2 | 2
15 Oct 2009 #56
ING have been good for me.
isa 10 | 41
15 Oct 2009 #57
The term "friendly bank" is an oxymoron in Poland. Yes, an account in Millennium was super easy to open - fast and painless. It's been all downhill from there - there are fees for everything, even depositing money. Beware!
dxx 12 | 108
18 Oct 2009 #58
I got raiffeisen in Krakow, happy about it.
al111 13 | 89
19 Oct 2009 #59

"oxymoron term" thats for sure, some of the charges i have seen in these banks are just outrageous but then again thats the reason Poland is Overbanked they are all coming here to make a quick buck.
tadoz 2 | 35
25 Oct 2009 #60
I can highly recommend Deutsche Bank (I have researched many banks before deciding on DB), many branches around Poland, online banking in Polish and English, low fees, cordial service, easy setup for foreigners, have been banking with them for over two years and no complaints so far …

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