The Portuguese banking system was only slightly affected by the recent global financial crisis. The economic sector has changed significantly over the past years, with several Spanish banks opening branches in the country. Expats living in Portugal are advised to open a bank account to be able to pay some bills. All banks in this country are part of a national group of banks called Multibanco. If you are visiting Portugal from abroad or if you travel regularly to this country, a bank account allows you to maintain complete control over your finances.
Banking in Portugal is controlled by the Banco de Portugac (Bank of Portugal). The most important commercial banks include Banco Afisa, Banco BPI, Caixa Central de Credito Agricola Mutuo, Banco Internacional do Funchal (BANIF), Banco Popular Portugal and Banco Commercial Portugues (BCP). Foreign banks include Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Barclays and ABN-AMRO. Euro (EUR) is the prevailing currency in this country.
The multibanco system in Portugal offers a variety of facilities to customers. Account holders can use the Multibanco Debit Card to make purchases at ATMs across the country and for goods. They can load Time Talk on their mobile phones and pay utility bills online. If you have just moved to Portugal and have a Portuguese bank account, your utility bills will be paid directly from your account. There are no restrictions on the amount of money coming in and out of the country.
To open a bank account in Portugal, EU residents will need the following documents:
• an identity card or passport
• Proof of residence
• NIF Number
• Residency Card
The applicant must be at least 18 years of age to open a bank account. You will also need to visit your nearest branch office. Even though you can open an account from abroad, bank officials usually prefer to see applicants in person. Non-EU migrants must provide proof of employment, tax card, proof of address in the country of origin and a passport. If you are not sure which bank to choose for your new account, do proper research and compare several banks before making a decision.
There is a lot of paperwork involved in opening a bank account in Portugal. Many expats have difficulty providing all the required documents. Those who are self-employed need proof of business in Portugal. The minimum deposit required to open an account is usually around 250 Euros. Account holders have access to a wide range of banking services and products.