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Germany – Banking

Germany is a country with a well-established banking system. There are many options available for expats looking to set up a bank account in the country. In this article, we will answer some common questions about banking in Germany, including information about local banks, major UK and USA banks, accounts and services aimed at expats, typical bank opening hours, areas of concern, and how to open a bank account in Germany as an expat.

Local Banks in Germany

There are several local banks in Germany that expats can choose from. Some of the main local banks in Germany include:

  • Deutsche Bank: It is one of the largest banks in Germany and offers a wide range of banking services.
  • Commerzbank: It is the second-largest bank in Germany and offers a range of services such as current accounts, savings accounts, and investment products.
  • Sparkasse: It is a group of savings banks that operate across Germany. Each local Sparkasse is independent, and they offer a range of banking services to individuals and businesses.

Major UK and USA Banks in Germany

Many major UK and USA banks have a presence in Germany. Some of them include:

  • HSBC: It is a global banking and financial services institution that has several branches in Germany.
  • Citibank: It is a US-based bank that has a presence in Germany. They offer a range of banking and financial services to individuals and businesses.
  • Barclays: It is a British multinational investment bank that has several branches in Germany.

Accounts and Services for Expats

Most banks in Germany offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. Some of these include:

  • Non-resident accounts: These accounts are specifically designed for expats who do not have a permanent residence in Germany.
  • Multicurrency accounts: These accounts allow you to hold and manage funds in different currencies.
  • English-language banking: Many banks offer English-language services, including online banking and telephone support.
  • Credit cards: Banks in Germany offer a range of credit cards, including those with cashback rewards and airline miles.

Typical Bank Opening Hours

Most banks in Germany are open from Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Some banks may have extended opening hours on Thursdays or may be open on Saturdays. However, it’s essential to check the opening hours of your local bank as they may vary.

Areas of Concern

Expats should be aware of the following areas of concern regarding the banking system in Germany:


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  • Fees: Some banks may charge high fees for their services, so it’s essential to compare the fees of different banks before opening an account.
  • Language barriers: While many banks offer English-language services, it’s still possible to encounter language barriers when dealing with some banks.
  • Identity verification: Banks in Germany are required to verify the identity of their customers, so expats should be prepared to provide several documents, such as a passport or ID card, proof of residence, and proof of income.

Opening a Bank Account

  1. Choose a bank: Research different banks in Germany to find one that meets your needs. Some banks offer English-language services or have branches in your home country, which can be helpful for expats.
  2. Gather the necessary documents: To open a bank account in Germany, you will typically need to provide your passport or national ID card, proof of residence in Germany (such as a rental contract or utility bill), and proof of income or employment (such as a payslip or employment contract).
  3. Make an appointment: Most banks in Germany require an appointment to open a new account. You can typically make an appointment online, over the phone, or in person at a branch.
  4. Attend the appointment: At your appointment, you will need to provide the necessary documents and answer any questions the bank representative may have. You may also be asked to fill out paperwork or sign an agreement.
  5. Wait for approval: After your appointment, the bank will review your application and may request additional information or documentation. Once your account is approved, you will typically receive your account information (such as your account number and PIN) in the mail.
  6. Activate your account: To activate your account, you will typically need to make an initial deposit. You can do this by transferring money from another account, depositing cash at a branch, or using an ATM.

It is important to note that the exact process for opening a bank account in Germany may vary depending on the bank you choose and the type of account you are opening. It is a good idea to research the specific requirements for the bank and account you are interested in before you start the process.


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In this short video, we dive into the significant health care updates and changes happening globally in 2024. From Germany's insurance cost adjustments to Cyprus's renewed COVID-19 precautions, we cover the essential news you need to know.

Germany's Health Insurance Update:

Starting in 2024, residents in Germany will see a slight increase in their health insurance costs, with a 0.1% rise to a maximum of 1.7%. This adjustment aims to expand coverage for medical care not currently included in statutory health insurance, such as select dental treatments, IVF, and early cancer screenings.

COVID-19 Measures Reintroduced in Cyprus:

With over 3000 new COVID-19 cases, Cyprus is stepping up its game by reintroducing health measures. Requirements now include proof of a negative COVID-19 test for entry into various facilities, emphasizing the importance of vaccination, especially for the elderly, to combat the evolving virus strains.

Free Health Trials in Trieste, Italy:

Trieste launches an initiative for free health screenings, including echocardiograms and blood tests, focusing on preventive care against non-communicable diseases. This move underscores the city's commitment to improving public health through early detection and prevention.

Spain's New Health Advice App:

Madrid introduces a groundbreaking app offering reliable health advice to counteract the widespread misinformation online. This app, part of the 'Madrid Te Cuida' initiative, will guide users to accurate information, from diet tips to medical queries, ensuring the advice is vetted by health professionals.

Expat Satisfaction with Healthcare in Mexico:

A study reveals that expat retirees in Mexico are largely content with the healthcare quality and costs, with many citing significant savings compared to the United States without compromising on care quality. This insight sheds light on the growing trend of healthcare tourism and relocation for medical reasons.

Stay tuned as we unpack these updates, providing you with the insights and implications of these healthcare changes. Whether it's the impact on your wallet or the quality of care you can expect, we've got you covered in this comprehensive overview of health care in 2024. Don't forget to like, share, and subscribe for more health news around the globe!

YouTube Video UCB21b-C4O2aXm7H18_GsXMQ_nC_Fs6gU22U

Expat Focus International Healthcare Update January 2024

Expat Focus 31 January 2024 10:36 am

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