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Opening a bank account in Poland from UK / poor CCJ credit rating?


PBank
10 Jul 2015 #1
Hey all, so I've got a quick question! Just been accepted for a job teaching English in Poland for 9 months, nothing too fancy etc etc but still pretty cool. I'm just wondering about two things:

1. Is it possible to open a Polish bank account whilst in the UK? This isn't strictly a problem.

2. Would a poor UK credit rating affect me in setting up a Polish bank account? I have a CCJ from about 5 years ago which restricts me greatly in the UK, but would this likely cause an issue in Poland? Banks around here are happy to offer me basic accounts without overdrafts etc. I just don't want to go out there and find out that I cannot open a Polish bank account (and my current UK bank account aren't going to allow me to make cash withdrawals abroad, but I can use direct debit).

Cheers!
Nathans
11 Jul 2015 #2
1. Yes, normally without unexpected issues (provided you have proper documentation, ie. EU drivers license / passport).

2. I doubt a poor credit rating would affect your chances of opening a bank account. They don't check it (as far as I know) when you only want to open a savings/checking/money market account. You could have problems (ie. they might be able to check) if you want to get a loan / bank credit, but otherwise it shouldn't be anything to worry about.
jon357 67 | 17,059
11 Jul 2015 #3
1. Is it possible to open a Polish bank account whilst in the UK? This isn't strictly a problem.

No - they need to see your contract of employment etc and they will also need to see your passport, not just a scan. Open the account as soon as you arrive. Usually you can use cash machines in Poland as well as debit cards from the UK. Try the Halifax basic account - they allow this.

2. Would a poor UK credit rating affect me in setting up a Polish bank account?

No, it would make no difference whatsoever - you won't be given an overdraft facility in any case and the Polish credit reference agencies and the UK ones do not share information.

Yes, normally without unexpected issues (provided you have proper documentation, ie. EU drivers license / passport)

Nathans, your experience is as a Polish citizen in the UK, not the other way around.
OP PBank
11 Jul 2015 #4
Ah, thanks everyone! My current UK bank won't allow me to withdraw abroad (as I found out in Paris last year!) so was worrying that I was going to be screwed! Also, I'll try Halifax for a basic account too. Cheers!
jon357 67 | 17,059
11 Jul 2015 #5
so was worrying that I was going to be screwed! Also, I'll try Halifax for a basic account too

Banks can be like that. halifax is good, but their debit card isn't great for foreign cash withdrawals due to the rate they change at plus the oversea use fee since it's done through the visa network. Best to bring some banknotes. Moneysaving.com has a list of which banks are better if you go abroad, but basically it's the ones that do the debit card via MasterCard rather than Visa.

My current UK bank won't allow me to withdraw abroad (as I found out in Paris last year!)

Halifax did that to me in Istanbul - sucked my card into the machine even. With some banks you have to ring their customer services and give them a list of countries you're likely to be in - Poland isn't a problem, but places that have a high fraud rate are.

Make sure you stay on the electoral role in the UK - CCJs are gone after 7 years and no need to mention to a prospective bank that you're in Poland :-)

Polish banks are by the way, much of a muchness. I like Nordea, others prefer different ones - there are some (even plenty) of threads on here about which one to choose.
Polsyr 6 | 769
11 Jul 2015 #6
debit card via MasterCard rather than Visa

You mean "Maestro" vs. "Visa Electron"? I didn't know that. I have a debit card in EUR (Maestro) and in PLN (Visa Electron) from the same bank (ING)... And I have used both overseas. Better check and compare charges :)
jon357 67 | 17,059
11 Jul 2015 #7
Maestro and Cirrus both belong to MasterCard - dunno if they convert at their international rate. Mastercard is almost always better than Visa for conversions but only some waive the transaction fee for foreign use (the Halifax Reward credit card and I think Nationwide).

This site: independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/money-and-insurance/atms-abroad is useful, and the moneysaving expert.co.uk I mentioned if the person is coming from the UK.

One plus in Poland is that the systems and networks are fairly new so take almost any card - the OP said his card had been refused in France - that's happened to me in a few places (sometimes one cash machine won't pay out, but one 20 metres away will), mostly in countries where the networks are more established (i.e. old-fashioned).
JollyRomek 7 | 481
11 Jul 2015 #8
No - they need to see your contract of employment etc and they will also need to see your passport, not just a scan.

When I opened my first account in Poland with Nordea, they wanted to see my contract of employment. When I opened accounts with Getin and Millenium later, they just wanted my passport.

My current UK bank won't allow me to withdraw abroad (as I found out in Paris last year!)

You won't have any problems. Depending on the bank you chose, they will either issue you with a Debit MasterCard or Visa. You can use both cards abroad. Of course, there is no guarantee that your bank card won't be swallowed by the ATM, but that does not mean that your bank won't allow withdraws abroad. It just an issue with that particular ATM. Happened to me plenty of times and sometimes resulted in awkward situations.

I have my account with Bank Millenium now. Their internet banking is superb and also available in English. I think they even won awards for best online banking in Poland. With Millenium I have two current accounts so if one card gets swallowed by an ATM I still have the other card and can transfer funds from one account to the other within seconds. And if that second card gets swallowed too, there is still the credit card to help out.

All you need is your passport to open the account. But as jon said, you won't be given an overdraft facility or credit card immediately.
jon357 67 | 17,059
11 Jul 2015 #9
Debit MasterCard or Visa. You can use both cards abroad.

Yes - this is true, but see above about some countries' systems - plus older kinds of card like PLUS/Cirrus/Switch which were taken over by MasterCard and not all banks' systems (especially the longer established ones with older servers) have caught up to that. In Poland all bank networks are shiny and new so should take anything.

but that does not mean that your bank won't allow withdraws abroad

Sometimes a call to the bank's customer services will sort the problem. Best to just say you're visiting though and not living there - otherwise there may be other issues.
adamm19830 10 | 43
17 Oct 2016 #10
Merged: Opening Polish Bank Account Online?

Hi all,

As the subject, Can I open a Polish bank account online?

I'd like to set one up from the UK as I have some money to transfer to be there for when I move out there very soon. Thanks.
jon357 67 | 17,059
17 Oct 2016 #11
I'd like to set one up from the UK

You need to be here in person to do that. You can apply for an account online sometimes however they need to physically compare your photo ID with your face, for obvious reasons.


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