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Finances in Portugal

Portugal has a sophisticated financial and banking system. The main banks in Portugal are connected to the country's Multibanco system, which gives customers access to various operations from their bank accounts. As of today, Portugal now has over 150 banks. This comprises a variety of Portugal's newest mobile banks, public and cooperative banks, private national retail banks, and international banks.

Opening a bank account might be good if you're relocating to Portugal. Although having a Portuguese bank account is not legally needed, doing so will make it simpler to pay taxes, receive compensation from a Portuguese employer, and acquire permanent residency.

Bank Accounts - Landing Pad

Do You Need A Bank Account In Portugal As A Foreigner?

As a foreigner, having a bank account in Portugal is unnecessary for managing your funds. You can do this using a foreign or offshore bank account. However, if you are moving to Portugal or have relocated there, having a Portuguese bank account will considerably simplify your life. This means you will spend less time and money on daily financial transactions. Plus, it will simplify several tasks, such as receiving funds, getting a mortgage, and paying Portuguese household bills.

In Portugal, banks charge little or nothing for services like ATM withdrawals, SEPA transfers, etc. You can use your account anywhere in the Eurozone if you have a bank account in Portugal. You will probably need to create a bank account if you intend to invest in Portuguese real estate to be eligible for a Golden Visa or if you are considering alternative visa choices.

What Are The Bank Services In Portugal?

Most banks in Portugal provide individuals and businesses with a range of services. These services include:

1. Current Accounts

The most typical type of bank account in Portugal is a current account. You can make regular purchases from this account, use ATM withdrawals to pay bills, etc. Many banks have current specialist accounts with unique advantages, including deposits, withdrawals, payments for goods and services, direct debits, interbank transfers, and transfers via payment applications operated by third parties. This account can be opened as a student account or a non-resident account.

2. Loans and Overdraft

Accounts with an overdraft feature are available. Most banks provide personal loans for emergency needs, vacations, and home improvements.

3. Mortgages

Mortgages with fixed and variable rates can be obtained in Portugal through the lending resources of most Portuguese banks.

4. Savings and Investments

A savings account could be useful for travelers wanting to save money while in Portugal. Higher interest rates are offered by this sort of account and time deposit accounts, but you can still withdraw money quickly if needed. Also, they provide investment funds and Portuguese pension plans.

5. Digital and Mobile Banking

Every major bank in Portugal provides online and mobile banking services. This gives a user 24/7 access to their account. It relieves the stress of going to the ATM or bank to conduct transactions or inquire. You can access your account and other bank services in the comfort of your home.

How To Open A Bank Account In Portugal

Having obtained the necessary information above, the next step you should take is to choose the bank that offers the kind of service that suits your choice. It is a fast process; you should have your bank account ready in 30-40 minutes. With the power of your attorney, you can still have your account opened if you are not present in Portugal by paying for a fiscal representative. Although, some banks may restrict the type of account you can open remotely.

What Are The Documents Required To Open A Bank Account In Portugal?

As a foreigner, you may open an account either as a resident or non-resident. Some restrictions are placed on a non-resident account and require more documentation. Most Portuguese banks require you to visit their local branch in person, while others allow you to open it online. Either way, you are required to submit some documents. These documents vary from bank to bank because it's the bank's choice. Below are the documents you will need to open a Portuguese bank account.

  1. Proof of Identification (e.g., a passport or national ID card if you are an EU citizen)
  2. Proof of address (this includes rental contract and commodities bill received in the last three months)
  3. Portuguese NIF Number
  4. Proof of employment (if you work in the country)
  5. Portuguese Phone Number
  6. A Photograph

What A Foreigner Should Consider When Choosing A Bank In Portugal

The bank you choose to open an account with will depend on the considerations that are most important to you. However, it is recommended that to investigate your possibilities. When opening a Portuguese bank account, you might want to consider the following factors:

1. Research

Ask people to recommend a bank to you based on their experiences. Talk to foreigners around you and find out what the service is like in the different banks you are considering. Do your research about the costs of bank fees and maintenance charges for credit or debit cards. Also, will you need to deposit before you open an account?

2. Multilingual services

As a foreigner new to Portuguese, it's safe to go for a bank that offers services in the language you understand.

3. Type of accounts

You do not want to open an account in a bank that doesn't have good options for non-residents or students.

4. Convenience

Consider how fast and easy to open an account with them and their international transaction processes.

If You Are Refused A Bank Account In Portugal, What Can You Do?

If you fail to meet any requirement, Portuguese banks can refuse to open an account for you. If you think you have been mistreated, then you can:

  1. Contact the bank's complaint department to see if it can be fixed.
  2. Contact the regulator of the banking industry, Banco de Portugal (the central bank of Portugal), if you aren't satisfied with the response.

As a foreigner in Portugal, a bank account will make your stay in the country much easier, especially concerning domestic affairs.

Victoria King

After many frustrating months I finally followed the advice of a friend and engaged LandingPad for my entire administrative setup in Portugal. What a blessing! Big thanks to the entire team

Jeffry Jacobs
Entrepreneur (Marketing)

When I moved to Portugal, LandingPad set up a fully functional company for me within 2 weeks. I could not have done it without them!

Julie Masclette
Fund Manager

Professional and competent team, helped with my entire relocation to Portugal, thanks!

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