In this chapter, we focus on banks in the Netherlands with an Expat Desk.


The types of accounts offered are

  • Current accounts (lopende rekening)
  • Savings accounts (spaarrekening)
  • Foreign currency accounts (vreemde valuta rekening)


Other services that banks may offer include

  • Debit and credit cards
  • Internet (internetbankieren)
  • Telephone banking (telefonisch bankieren)
  • Investments (beleggingen)
  • Private banking (banking for those who have at least €1m available to invest)
  • Insurance (verzekering)
  • Loans (leningen)
  • Mortgages (hypotheken)
  • Fixed term deposits (lange termijn deposito's)
  • Life assurance (levensverzekering)


Some banks offer tailored accounts for children, as well as private banking facilities.  You can also open a joint account, possibly cheaper or more convenient than opening two separate accounts.



Anti-money laundering regulations have become stricter since 2004, this means that to open a current account or a foreign currency account you need to provide identification.  EU citizens require a valid passport or an ID card, proof of residency from the GBA (gemeentelijke basis administratie), a verification document such as a gas and electricity bill or a rental agreement with your address, proof of income and your Citizen Service Number (BSN, Burger Service Nummer, previously SOFI tax number). 

These documents are not required if you only wish to open a savings account, however a savings account is always linked to a current account.


For non-EU citizens, registration with the IND (immigratie- en naturalisatiedienst) and a work permit are also required.  If you open a joint account you must present the documents described above for both holders. Minors under 18 opening a current and/or savings account must be accompanied by at least one legal representative and their own identification should also be brought.


A bank account operates from the day it is opened.  After opening a bank account you will receive postal notification when your bank debit card is ready for collection. 

You must go in person, taking your passport or other acceptable identification. 

Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) code will arrive separately in the post.  This is a personal four-digit number used for all withdrawals and some bank transactions.  This number will be chosen for you, but normally you can change it later at a bank cash machine (ATM).  The card can be coupled with a credit card and an overdraft facility.


In the ACCESS guide "Banking, taxation and personal finance" you will find more information about opening a bank account, currency, day-to-day banking activities, how to pay, other forms of banking, and useful websites.

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