Can I open a bank account somewhere in Europe as a tourist?
March 19, 2014 2:13 PM   Subscribe

I am an American, I was here in Finland on a visa waiver, and now on a temporary waiver extension as I am waiting for my "temporary residence permit" application to be processed. I'd like to open a bank account, but the banks here in Finland won't let me. Is there any bank in the EU that I can open a bank with, but without me having much proof of residence?(I only have a letter from my doctor saying I am here recovering from surgery and doing followups). I am subletting a room in a shared house, and have no official paperwork proving so. Ideally I could open a bank account online in Europe, but I could fly there in person if need be. Thanks.
posted by crawltopslow to Work & Money (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Spain lets non-residents open bank accounts. Unsure what the restrictions are but you'd need a non-residents ID which is best obtained at the Spanish Embassy. This may be easier for EU citizens than for non-EU.

This page is about temporary ID codes for foreigners but seems to restrict it to those in work.
posted by epo at 2:26 PM on March 19, 2014

Perhaps you can open an account with HSBC? They have branches in the United States, and all over Europe as well. I know some American expats who do their banking that way.
posted by elf27 at 3:23 PM on March 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Is it specifically because you are American?
I know that foreign banks are reluctant to take on US nationals as clients because the US govt makes foreign banks do so much paperwork about it.
You would probably have more luck with an international bank like HSBC or Barclays or Citi.
posted by w0mbat at 3:28 PM on March 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I know that Bank of Austria lets non-residents open accounts, but your government has royally screwed you on this one. Like w0mbat says, for many banks abroad American customers are just too much trouble and they may refuse to take you. I maintain a bank account abroad and the bank is obligated to maintain a "US Persons" desk just to deal with the hassle.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:23 PM on March 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you have lots of money, many of the big international banks (like many have suggested, HSBC is one) have "foreign currency accounts"'where you can open an account in euros from the US, if that's what you want.
posted by paultopia at 7:08 AM on March 23, 2014

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