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A good bank for foreigners?

Pref. with an English customer service/online bank

irbdavid
post 6.Jan.2012, 11:35 AM
Post #16
Joined: 28.Jun.2011

I'll chime in with my experience here:
I started work in Uppsala a few months ago, and tried to open a bank account with Swedbank, and Handelsbank - both said I couldn't open an account without a Swedish ID card. At this stage, I had a personnummer, UK passport, employment certificate including salary and a few other bits and bobs.

Nordea was the third bank I tried, and I was able to open an account there and then, under a c/o address. The only downside was that they wouldn't give me a credit card (and only a visa-electron card for my account), saying that I needed to have been with them for a year to do this. I think my salary is marginally above the Swedish median, so I was a little miffed about this, as it makes life a bit of a pain since I do a lot of travelling abroad for work and shopping online.

Nordea's online banking is a little flaky compared to the bigger UK banks I have used, but it works. There are fees for transferring money abroad, but they are not particularly extortionate.

Any suggestions / experiences anyone can offer on the credit card front?
What really frustrates me is the hugely varying experiences people have had with banks here applying inconsistent rules to different people. It hardly fills me with confidence when I am proposing to let these people manage my money :s
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Kibiri
post 6.Jan.2012, 12:42 PM
Post #17
Joined: 1.Jun.2008

^ I suggest you go get an id card from skatteverket. Check their website, there is info in english. As you have a UK passport, it is quite easy for you to get this swedish id, afaik. Then the bank will treat you as a normal person and should give you credit card.

Alternatively, you may get a credit card from a doesnt-seems-to-be-a-bank card issuer. I have such a credit card, through my employer, and my employer pays the yearly fee for it. If your employer doesn't offer such thing, of course you can get it yourself. Most of these credit card companies are much less anal than normal banks. Have a look here http://www.compricer.se/kreditkort/
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mikewhite
post 6.Jan.2012, 11:50 PM
Post #18
Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 8.Sep.2010

Having noticed branches of Handelsbanken in the UK, I have wondered whether a little forward planning from the potential emigrant might be useful - in which case (for the UK emigrant), open a UK account with Handelsbanken prior to the move to Sweden.

Although I don't imagine they would guarantee anything, I think you might get a much easier ride opening a Swedish account with the same bank group.

Worth considering anyhow - the same applies to any other Swedish bank group with "foreign" branches offering standard accounts.
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skogsbo
post 7.Jan.2012, 01:15 AM
Post #19
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

I have a hand.. bank ac , thanks to a fantasic local manager in SE, but yes, his 1st question was do you have a UK a/c. Didnt matter in the end though.
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eurobloke
post 9.Jan.2012, 08:02 PM
Post #20
Joined: 22.Nov.2010

QUOTE (mikewhite @ 6.Jan.2012, 10:50 PM) *
Having noticed branches of Handelsbanken in the UK, I have wondered whether a little forward planning from the potential emigrant might be useful - in which case (for the UK e ... (show full quote)

Handelsbanken in the UK is more like a version of a private bank then a bog standard commercial bank like Lloyds TSB. For example my local branch is the middle of an office block in a business park. It looks as thought you can't just pop-in and ask whether you could open a current account in there.
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Lungbög
post 9.Jan.2012, 08:12 PM
Post #21
Location: Malmö
Joined: 27.Mar.2010

I use Swedbank, and if I don't understand something, Google Chrome translates it for me.

I also have a Swedbank Danmark account, which my branch in Malmö opened for me, and they let me transfer my salary over for just 10kr a transaction biggrin.gif

oh to be clear, I pay about 70kr a month for the account itself and the two cash cards
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oddsock
post 5.Feb.2012, 01:32 PM
Post #22
Joined: 19.Dec.2008

QUOTE
Any suggestions / experiences anyone can offer on the credit card front?
What really frustrates me is the hugely varying experiences people have had with banks here applying inconsistent rules to different people. It hardly fills me with confidence when I am proposing to let these people manage my money :s

Länsförsäkringar were the answer to my problems.

I first joined Hanselsbanken because they had English internet banking. But then they wouldn't give me a Swedish Mastercard debit card until I had proven my credit reliability with them over a period of 7 months. I had a perfect credit record in my previous country of residence, all they had to do was phone my previous bank. They also insisted I have Swedish ID. Even though I presented them with passport, Swedish work contract, printout of personnummer from Skatteverket, etc.

So I immediately switched to Länsförsäkringar. No problems there. They don't have English internet banking, but they are generally more flexible and foreigner friendly. Gave me a Mastercard debit card straight away based on the documents I presented.

Been here three years now and still don't have the mystical Swedish ID. Has never been a problem using EU driving license while paying in shops.
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Mb 65
post 5.Feb.2012, 08:15 PM
Post #23
Joined: 20.Nov.2006

If you want to transfer money from an English bank to a Swedish bank use Forex you can do it on line once you have set it up with them. they give better exchange rates than the banks. I have used them several times and everything went really smooth.
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BritVik
post 5.Feb.2012, 09:25 PM
Post #24
Joined: 22.Oct.2011

If you have a bank in the UK, then you can maintain that account there. Also, if you have a credit card with them, that can be continued with them. There should be no problem with maintaining your existing bank account and card. Making payments from a bank here to one there is then no problem, and vice versa, and can be done on line. Swedbank and HSBC use similar methods for security i.e. the mini-digital key.
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BritVik
post 5.Feb.2012, 09:29 PM
Post #25
Joined: 22.Oct.2011

QUOTE (Lungbög @ 9.Jan.2012, 08:12 PM) *
if I don't understand something, Google Chrome translates it for me.

I bet you have fun with Google translations - - they are about as good as a 49Kr note. laugh.gif
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BillyB
post 5.Feb.2012, 11:10 PM
Post #26
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 31.Oct.2008

I have had 6 happy years with SEB.
Never had a single problem. Credit Card, Mortgage..all been great.

I even got a bag of self raising flour as an introductory gift.
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skogsbo
post 6.Feb.2012, 08:00 AM
Post #27
Joined: 20.Sep.2011

QUOTE (BritVik @ 5.Feb.2012, 08:25 PM) *
If you have a bank in the UK, then you can maintain that account there. Also, if you have a credit card with them, that can be continued with them. There should be no problem ... (show full quote)

Nordea seems to have ties to the RBS empire, which may improve or worsen transactions.

Never had a problem with Handels...
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gakku
post 6.Feb.2012, 12:00 PM
Post #28
Joined: 19.Jan.2011

I have been with Handelsbanken. They were generally ok about debit cards and the like, but when we went to ask for a mortgage, our branch was extremely difficult so we decided to look elsewhere. Nordea were the most flexible so we're moving our accounts there.
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aino
post 6.Feb.2012, 01:11 PM
Post #29
Joined: 14.Jan.2010

I had a funny experience with SEB when they tried to refuse giving me the little electronic dongle for their online site, despite my having a house loan with them. We have SEB still (me and my husband, who's Swedish), largely for grandfathered reasons. SEB does seem to target the "high end" - whatever that means.
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*Lizak0101*
post 6.Feb.2012, 07:32 PM
Post #30


Handelsbanken:

My husband was able to open an account without a p.n., but can't do online banking.
He transfers money for rent each month, yet walks into a branch and they give him a hard time about it.

He now has his p.n. and wants to get the dongle for online banking, but is told he needs a Swed ID. They would -take- his money without a p.n. or ID, but he can't easily access his funds without these.

He cannot add me to the account as his spouse. In a normal banking situation, this would take approximately 10 minutes with proper ID (which I still don't understand why a passport isn't enough).
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