How to open a Bank Account in Portugal

Opening a bank account in Portugal can be either one of the most crucial points in establishing your local life or an inevitable step in setting up from abroad. In both cases it is something you will most likely have to do at a certain point. In Portugal, process like this may seem a bit complicated and let’s be honest – as soon as you start it, you will very quickly realize that you need some help. Even though Portuguese banking system is considered to be one of the most sophisticated in the world, with its inter-banking network Multibanco placed in the list of most advanced systems in the world, there are still many issues. In this article we will talk about the process of setting up an account and what difficulties you may meet over the course of your interaction with local banks.

If you are planning to open a bank account in Portugal, the first thing is to understand what the procedure looks like and what will be required on each step. In order to open an account the bank will need to create your file and provide information to the compliance department, hence you will be asked to submit following documents:

  • Scan of your passport
  • Proof of address (could be an utility bill for example)
  • Portuguese NIF + fiscal number in the country of residence
  • Proof of profession (contract or income statement)

Please note that if the documents are not in English or Portuguese they should be translated with lawyer’s certification. Those documents will be used to create a client’s profile and afterwards will be sent to the compliance department for validation. After the documents are approved, the bank will request you to sign various forms and consents which will be sent to the main branch.

Finally, the account manager will be authorised to issue a code that will allow access to online banking features and also to order a physical card. The card can be delivered to a Portuguese address or abroad.

In my opinion the trickiest part in this whole process is communication. As it was noticed on numerous occasions, speaking Portuguese and being local makes the opening of bank account much easier. A lot of times foreigners are very confused and not understanding the logic behind some things that bank officers requested them to do. It is also important to understand that it will probably take much more time than you expected if you do it by yourself.

The team of E-residence lawyers can become your guide in this difficult journey and save your time, effort and money. Our physical presence in Portugal and vast experience in this field allow us to open bank accounts for all nationalities easily and safely.