How To Open A Bank Account In Swiss [Step By Step Guide]

In this tutorial, learn how to open a bank account in Sweden and more other aspects. This post will guide you to know the best Swedish banks for you.

How To Open A Bank Account In Sweden [Step By Step Guide]

Looking for How To Open A Bank Account In Sweden? Fortunately for you, this article is the solution for you. Sweden is mostly known as a popular destination or area for expats, especially given its world-renowned efficiency and standard of living. It’s also famous for being one of the happiest, most tolerant nations, which makes it even more attractive. Whether you’re starting a new career, furthering your education or just visiting, there by flourishing a community of expats

If you plan on living there for a medium to long-term stay (of more than a year), then you’ll likely be thinking about opening a bank account in Sweden. This could really benefit you, making payments of good and services, receiving salary from Swedish employers as well as paying bills easier. The country is also largely cashless, which means that you’ll need to pay by card in most places you go.

This article will guide you through the key aspect you need to know when opening a bank account in Sweden, as well as providing an overview of the top banks around. We'll also show you a cheaper way to manage your finances while you're between countries. Meanwhile before we get to that, let's look at how to go about opening a Swedish bank account.

What documents do I need to open a bank account in Sweden

Once you’re in Sweden you’ll be able to open an account at your bank’s local branch. And, usually you’ll need the following documents.

  • Passport/Swedish ID card
  • Proof of address
  • Personnummer (Swedish personal identification number)

Also, you may be asked to provide further documentation, such as an employment contract, so it’s best to check with the bank you’re intending to apply with ahead of time. In compliance with financial regulations, bank officers will also ask you the purpose of your account.

Can one open a bank account in Sweden without a personnummer?

It’s usually a requirement for UK citizens wanting to open a bank account in Sweden, to have a Swedish personal identification number (otherwise known as a personnummer)

To open a Swedbank account, for example, you need to have one before you can even apply. Potentially, you may be able to open a basic account at some banks without a personnummer, but with restrictions. For instance, without a debit card and without access to online banking.

You’ll need a personnummer not only for banking, but for many other situations when living in Sweden. You’ll need it to work, to get a driver's license and to access the healthcare and pension systems. So, for most people it’s best to get one as fast as possible.

To obtain yours, you’ll need to register with the Swedish Population Register through Skatteverket, the government tax agency. You, and all your accompanying family members, must apply in person as there is no online option.

The various items you will need are

  • A valid passport
  • A Swedish residence permit (unless you have a family member that is an EU/EEA citizen registered in Sweden)
  • Proof of your Swedish address
  • One year of coverage of health insurance with a limit of at least 246,500 SEK

In addition, depending on your circumstances you may also need to provide marriage and birth certificates. 

It can take close to 2 - 4 weeks for the tax agency to process the documents and provide you with your Swedish ID card and personnummer. 

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Can one open a Swedish bank account online?

Sweden has very strict guidelines on opening bank accounts. Due to anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering policies, fraud, many banks don't offer the option to open an account online.

Many banks however offer the ability to open accounts with a Mobile BankingID. This is an e-identification for smartphones and tablets that you can use for internet and mobile banking, including while you’re abroad. But, you’ll still need to open a bank account in person before obtaining your mobile BankingID.

How long does it take to open a bank account in Sweden?

The easiest and fastest way for expats to open a new account is to actually visit the local branch upon arrival in Sweden. Bank offices are usually open Monday–Friday, 10am–4 pm.

Given that you have your personnummer ready, the branch should be able to open an account for you during your visit. If you need to apply for a personnummer because the bank or type of services require it, the process will take longer, as you’ll need to do this first.

Which Swedish bank is best for your needs?

Choosing which bank to have an account with will depend on your situation or standard and personal preferences, but we’re here to help with an overview of some of the best options. Although the banking system tends to be complicated in Sweden, it can actually serve as a blessing in disguise for expats by narrowing down the options available for your personal banking needs.

The great thing is that Sweden’s banking system is heavily technologically focused and advanced. That means nearly all banks offer the latest apps and digital services to help you manage your finances daily, both quickly and conveniently.

Sweden’s top banks are Handelsbanken, Swedbank, Nordea and SEB. All of these banks are set up to offer services to UK expats, so you’re likely to find what you need with one of them. With the proper documentation, they should provide you with a relatively simple process for opening a personal account.


A major bank in Sweden, Handelsbanken also operates internationally, with extensive branch networks across its home markets. They pride themselves on their excellent credit rating and with many branches available, they can provide good local customer support.

Services and products include:

  • Current account
  • Savings accounts
  • Debit cards
  • Digital and telephone banking
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Mortgages and loans

Handelsbanken have a useful checklist for travellers and expats wanting to become customers with them, after applying for a personnummer.


Swedbank proudly states that they’re the bank in Sweden with the most customers - with about 7.3 million private customers and about 547,000 corporate customers⁶. Their customer services department offers services in English, as well as Swedish.

Swedbank’s services include:

  • Current account
  • Savings accounts and funds
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Digital and telephone banking
  • Mortgages
  • Insurance (including home, vehicle, life and health) + a 15% discount on all insurance if you choose both house and vehicle insurance


Nordea is a Nordic bank which operates internationally, and is one of the top ten financial services companies in Europe based on market capitalisation.

Services and products on offer include:

  • Personal account
  • Savings account
  • Digital banking - online and mobile
  • Comprehensive Insurance (home, vehicle, life, health, child and pet)
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Mortgages and loans
  • Customer support - 8:00 - 20:00

SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken)

A leading banking group in Northern Europe, SEB are customer, technology and sustainability focused. They are well-known for their apps and award-winning funds.

SEB offers the following:

  • Personal account
  • SEB Maestro charge card
  • Savings funds
  • Pension savings
  • Digital banking
  • Green mortgage and sustainable savings
  • Loans
  • 24/7 customer support

SEB have produced a useful document for non-EU citizens moving to Sweden looking to access their services.

International banks in Sweden

It’s worth pointing out here that there are also numerous international banks operating throughout Sweden too. So if you don’t want a Swedish bank account, foreign bank branches are available including Barclays, HSBC, Citibank and Santander, among many others.

Banking fees in Sweden - what to expect

Maintenance fees

While Swedish banks tend not to require a minimum deposit, and most don’t charge ATM fees, they’ll likely charge a yearly maintenance fee instead. This is usually around 250 SEK (£21.00).


Cheques are rare in Sweden so be prepared to have to pay a sizable fee if you try and deposit one. And some banks might not even accept them.

Foreign transfer fees

If you intend to send money between countries using your bank, then it pays off to do your research about foreign transfer fees.

This is particularly relevant now that the UK has left the EU, and there will most likely be higher fees to send money to and from a Swedish account to a UK account. Take for instance, Handelsbanken charges SEK 60 online (about £5.00) and SEK 150 in branch (about £13.00) to send a payment to a non-EU country, for arrival within 2-3 business days. There may also be further fees charged by the beneficiary’s bank.

Many expats use bank transfers to send and receive funds. However, this kind of payment generally comes with not only international transfer fees from your Swedish bank, but also fees from intermediary banks and the destination/originating bank. All in all, though the fees for these transfers (generally via an international transfer method called SWIFT)

Another fee that’s generally levied against international transfers is hidden in the poor exchange rate that a bank gives its customers when transferring money abroad.

To easily and reliably check on the current mid-market exchange rate between your home currency and SEK to see what your money should actually be worth, use an online currency converter.

Save on international transfer fees with Wise

To avoid steep charges when sending money overseas and to get the best exchange rate, you could choose to transfer your money via this exchange rate.

This procedure uses the real, mid-market exchange rate and not only do you get transparent pricing, but it could be up to 7x cheaper than traditional banks and up to 10x cheaper than PayPal.

In the digital age, we know it can be stressful moving money around online. Which is  why this procedure uses the latest 2-factor authentication to protect your account and transactions. And, there’s also a 24/7 fraud team working round the clock, so you can be rest assured that your money is safe.

Conclusion or Final Thoughts On How To Open A Bank Account In Sweden

So to generalize everything, opening a bank account in Sweden should be a fairly easy process after you obtain your personnummer. Having the right documents ready, you can hopefully open an account without too much hassle. Therefore everything moves on smoothly thus making things perfect. 

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