Main Local Banks in Belgium
Belgium has a well-developed banking sector, with several local banks operating in the country. The largest banks in Belgium include:
Each of these banks offers a range of products and services, including current and savings accounts, investment services, and loans.
Presence of UK and USA Banks in Belgium
Several major UK and USA banks have a presence in Belgium, including:
Accounts and Services Aimed at Expats
Some banks in Belgium offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. For example, ING Belgium offers an expat package that includes a current account, a savings account, and a credit card. The package also includes assistance with relocation, such as help with finding housing and setting up utilities.
Typical Bank Opening Hours
Banking hours in Belgium can vary depending on the bank and the location. Generally, banks are open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm. Some banks may have extended hours, and some branches may be open on Saturdays. It is always best to check with the bank directly for their specific opening hours.
Areas of Concern for Expats
Expats should be aware of the potential for fees associated with certain transactions in Belgium’s banking system. Some banks may charge fees for foreign currency transactions or international money transfers. Expats should also be aware of the different regulations and laws in Belgium’s banking system, including the country’s strict anti-money laundering regulations.
Opening a Bank Account
Opening a bank account in Belgium is a relatively straightforward process for expats. Here are the steps to follow:
- Choose a bank: Research the different banks in Belgium and choose one that offers services that suit your needs. Make sure to check whether the bank offers services in English or another language you speak fluently.
- Prepare your documents: You will need to provide several documents to open an account, including your passport or ID card, proof of address, and residency permit. You may also need to provide additional documentation, such as bank statements or references from your previous bank.
- Attend the appointment: Go to the bank with your documents. The bank representative will guide you through the account opening process, which may include filling out forms and providing additional information.
- Receive your account details: Once your account is open, the bank will provide you with your account details, such as your account number and routing number. You can start using your account right away, either online or by visiting a branch.
It’s worth noting that some banks in Belgium may require a minimum deposit to open an account, as well as ongoing maintenance fees. It’s important to check the fee schedule and make sure you understand the costs associated with your account before opening it.
In addition, expats should be aware of the different regulations and laws in Belgium’s banking system. The country has strict anti-money laundering regulations and there may be restrictions on certain types of transactions. Expats should also be aware of the potential for fees associated with certain transactions in Belgium’s banking system.