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opening a bank account in Germany
Thread poster: Conroy Fritz

Conroy Fritz  Identity Verified
Paraguay
Local time: 12:07
Member (2004)
German to English
Nov 8, 2005

Hi,

I reside in the US and am looking to open a bank account in Germany. I assume that German agencies will save themselves fees if they can pay me through a German bank.

Would anyone have a suggestion for a bank with which to open an account? I would need one that would allow me to transfer money from Germany to the US and convert Euros to US dollars. Do you think this ultimately saves me money in wire transfer fees and currency conversions, or is opening an account in Germany not even worth the hassle?

Thanks in advance,

Conroy


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Matt Baird
Germany
Local time: 18:07
German to English
Deutsche Bank Nov 8, 2005

Hi Conroy,

Of course the bank you choose is ultimatley your preference and any of the major German banks should present no problem. I opened an account last year from the states with Deutsche Bank Frankfurt-Rossmarkt ( I think this is the central branch for international customers). I contacted them through the DB website and they sent me the necessary materials to fill out and send back. The process is a bit tedious and they require that the documents are certified by a German consulate. (By the way, double-check whether each page must be certified and not simply the signature page as the consolute will charge you for each stamp, in my case something like 6-8 pages at $21/page.

Once you open your account, DB offers online banking that is fairly easy to use and you can initiate international wire transfers that way and don't have to worry about bank hours. I find their fees reasonable and exchange rate fair.

And you are right, your German clients will be quite happy to have a local account they can easily wire payments to.

I can give you a direct contact person at my branch if you email me directly.

Good luck!

Best,
Matt


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:07
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Be careful to open a normal consumer account, not a business account Nov 9, 2005

I opened once an account at Dresdner when visiting Germany, had to sign 8 times, but it took only a few minutes. But later I noticed I opened a business account which cost me 8 Euro each month. Normal accounts are free and serve your purpose as well.
After a year I closed it, because then transfer fees were abolished in the Euro zone.
So any account in the Euro-zone nowadays is ok, it does not have to be Germany. German customers can transfer money to other Euro-states without fees, so if you come to any on a trip you can open an account there, France, Italy, Benelux, Finland, Spain, Portugal, Austria.
But make sure they have online banking.

Regards
Heinrich


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Europeo
Local time: 18:07
Italian to German
+ ...
Some proposals about opening a bank account in Germany. Nov 9, 2005

Hi!
I live in Germany and I have my Girokonto at a bank in the cash group (www.cash-group.de), it's not really expensive and I a appreciate that I can take money from several other banks without fee.

From the abroad this is not very interesting and I think you don't need a Eurocheque card for shopping in Germany.

I think (eventually & may be) a direct bank would be a possibility for you. They don't have "fisical" buildings and are usually cheaper.

Take a look to
http://www.financescout24.de/girokonto/index.do and www.finaztest.de ( from www.stiftung-warentest.de)

Ciao!
Europeo


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Michael Rose
Local time: 18:07
German to English
+ ...
Postbank Nov 9, 2005

You can do online banking and
international transfers cost just EUR 1,50.

There are no monthly fees if you have a certain turnover.

The service might not be as good as at Deutsche Bank, so I don't know whether you can open an account with them from outside of Germany.


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Ian M-H
United States
Local time: 12:07
German to English
+ ...
Many banks charge for "normal" accounts Nov 9, 2005

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
I opened a business account which cost me 8 Euro each month. Normal accounts are free and serve your purpose as well.


It isn't universally true that German banks maintain "normal accounts" free of charge. Some do offer free banking, but in many cases this is tied to regular income being paid into the account (a monthly credit of at least 1,000 euros, for example). Free banking plus interest on current (=checking) account credit balances, which is common in the UK, is certainly not the norm in Germany.

As an alternative to surfing through the various German banks, Conroy might try asking his bank in the US (or one of the major international banks based in the US) what they recommend - it might be cheaper.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:07
English to German
+ ...
Postbank doesn't open accounts for non-residents Nov 9, 2005

Hi,
Postbank's online banking service is pretty good, but...
...I don't know whether you can open an account with them from outside of Germany.


...this is the problem: they don't open accounts for persons permanently resident outside Germany (speaking from own experience trying to help a fellow ProZian open an account with Postbank).

Best, Ralf


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Fred Neild  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
+ ...
Other options Nov 9, 2005

Hi,

I am not well acquainted with the European banking market, but with the EU in mind, shouldn't you consider a country like Luxembourg or another one (part of EU) with similar tax benefits for foreigners? I am sure someone at Proz can help you with this.

I hope this helps.


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:07
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Why Germany? Nov 11, 2005

As I mentioned above, other Euro-countries offer the same advantage but may have more flexible and cheaper banking systems than Germany.

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