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Banking in Germany


Banking in Germany

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Banking in Germany

There are four main kinds of banks: public sector commercial banks (Private Geschaftsbanken), savings banks (Sparkassen), credit cooperatives (Kreditgenossenschaften) and the Postbank.

Banking in Germany is a familiar and straightforward process. The most common form of bank account is a Girokonto, which is not dissimilar to a current account in the UK. To open an account, you will need to provide the following information:

  • A form of ID (passport)
  • Proof of address
  • Money for initial deposit

If you bring cash, your account is opened immediately. If you are transferring funds from your home bank, it can take a couple of weeks for the amount to be credited to your account.

When you have opened the account, you will also be given a Eurocard. A Eurocard is pretty valuable in Germany nowadays: it lets you get cash or statements 24 hours a day from any cash machines, and it is also accepted as payment in a growing number of places.


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