Guidance to opening a Swedish bank account
What you need to open a bank account.
The right to open a bank account
If you have the legal right to be in Sweden, i.e. you have a right to residence as an EU/EEA citizen, or a valid residence permit/work permit as a non-EU citizen, you have the right to open a bank account in accordance with the Payment Services Directive (Betaltjänstlagen). Each Swedish bank can set their own routines and rules for opening an account and making sure there is no suspicion of money laundering, bribery or similar.
You can freely choose the bank of your choice. To open an account, you can visit the bank’s office. At some banks, you can open your account online, e.g. at Danske Bank.
Banks’ right to ensure security
The bank will ask many questions to find out if you are a secure customer. Some questions might seem unnecessary and private, but it is very important that you answer all questions carefully.
Example of questions asked to prepare for:
- what is the purpose of the account?
- what is your main source of income?
- what is your monthly income before tax?
- will you make transactions to other countries?
- what is your citizenship?
- are you or somebody in your family under threat due to political reasons?
If the bank is unsure of your intentions they may deny you an account.
The bank can deny you a bank account if:
- you cannot identify yourself according to the bank´s requirements
- the information you provide about why you want to open an account is insufficient
- the bank violates any laws or regulations by opening an account
What you need to open an account with a coordination number
• Residence permit (non-EU citizens), visa (if applicable).
• Documentation from the population register (that you are registered with the Tax Agency).
• Decision about your coordination number (from the Tax Agency).
• Employment contract or corresponding document, showing income/equivalent and the length of your employment/assignment (from the department).
• A rental agreement showing your home address, if you have a “permanent” rental contract.
What you must provide to open an account if you have a Swedish personal identity number
• All documents listed above.
• Your passport and a Swedish identity card.
Limited account to full account
A bank account opened with a coordination number has limited features. If you receive a Swedish personal identity number, you can update to an account with more features (e.g. internet banking, credit card)
Once you have received the decision with your Swedish identity personal number, visit the bank and change the status of your account. You must make it clear why you want this change. It is advisable to have your decisions from the Tax Agency at hand.
If you are refused to open a bank account
If the bank denies you an account, you have the right to receive written information about where you can turn with a complaint and how you can appeal the decision. Turn to the National Board for Consumer Disputes (ARN) if you are uncertain.
Report the correct account to the employer
All payments from Karolinska Institutet are made to Swedbank. If you want to transfer your salary to another account, you need to fill out a change of accounts form and send it to the payroll unit. They will make sure the bank gets your new bank account details.
If you plan to leave Sweden, remember to close your bank account. Contact your bank, make an agreement about the closing date, and inform them about any future transactions.
This information has been compiled in cooperation with the Swedish Bankers’ Association and the Swedish EURAXESS network (28 universities in Sweden) on 6 September 2019