Open a bank account

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If you are studying in Finland for a longer time it is advisable to open a Finnish bank account. Opening an account will be easier if you make some preparations even before you leave your home country. For banking services – such as for opening an account or granting a card or student loan – foreign citizens need to show generally accepted and valid documents. Please take with you:

  • Your passport
  • Residence permit card (if applicable)
  • Certificate of student status at the University of Helsinki (given to you normally at the Welcome Fair)

Also prepare to provide the following information to the bank official by answering their questions as every bank has an obligation to know its customers:

  • Your name
  • Address in Finland (registered at the Local Register Office)
  • Personal ID code (should you have one e.g. on your residence permit card)
  • Nationality
  • Whether you are in a prominent public function in a foreign country (and are thus a Politically Exposed Person, PEP) or a member of the family or close business partner of such a person
  • Your occupational status which describes your financial position (= student)
  • Whether you will use the bank as your main bank
  • Origin or source of your funds and regular payment transactions or cash flows
  • Estimated amounts of your regular payment transfers (= certificate of scholarship)
  • Estimated amounts of your foreign payments and reasons for them

NB! The practice of opening a bank account varies according to bank and branch in Finland. Each case is decided individually by the bank.  However, every bank has a statutory obligation to open basic payment account services to anyone who has a legal residence in an EEA member state.

In many banks you can get your account number immediately, but getting a Visa Electron bank card will take longer and an access to internet banking even two to four months after the account has been opened.

TIP! Our students have had good experiences with OP Bank for example.