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Opening bank account and Swedish ID card

With a Swedish personnummer

post 9.Jun.2016, 08:12 PM
Post #1

I moved to Sweden in 2014 and after obtaining a personnummer I found myself having troubles opening a bank account with Handelsbanken and Swedbank under the disguise of not having a Swedish ID card.
Fortunately, at that time Nordea did not require this of me and I managed to open a paying and savings account, a creditcard and gain access to internet banking.
Now my husband is moving here too and now Nordea is giving him the same trouble about the Swedish ID card as Handelsbanken and Swedbank gave me two years ago (he does have a Swedish personnummer!). The excuse now is that 'the law has recently changed'.
I believe this to be absolute bullocks, since the same grief went around in 2014 and for as far as I can derive from this forum dates back to 2010 and possibly sooner.

Is there someone on this forum who knows where to find actual proof of this law change and when it was made (and whether or not there is any)?

It sounds to me as pure discrimination, especially towards EU citizens (which we both are), as this attitude does not allow free movement between the EU countries.
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yet another brit
post 10.Jun.2016, 10:07 AM
Post #2
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

Tell them to read Konsumentverkets advice on the subject...

Particularly the first sentence : "Du har rätt att få ett konto i en bank om inte banken kan presentera särskilda skäl för att neka dig ett konto"

But note the part : "Men en förutsättning är att banken kan kontrollera din identitet"

So go there with a personbevis (shows personal number and registered address, you can get this free from Skatteverket) and a passport, and you should be able to argue it. Point out that this is the exact paperwork needed to get an ID card!

I think that there are now additional requirements for reporting if you are US citizen (once you have an account) but that is a different matter.
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post 11.Jun.2016, 12:30 AM
Post #3
Joined: 10.Jun.2016

I had exactly the same problem with all possible banks in Stockholm and had to wait for an ID card to open an account.
They didn't react to any mentions of any laws. They actually just didn't care.
At the same time, I know people who have managed to do this - so it probably depends on meeting the "right person".
I do agree it is a total iniquity.
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yet another brit
post 11.Jun.2016, 07:54 AM
Post #4
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

The most charitable summary - from the banks perspective - is that the bank is required to check your identity, and may choose to do so by requiring a Swedish ID card, though this is not strictly necessary since there are other ways to show residency and personal number.

I guess the logic (such as it is) is that the possession of an ID card means that someone else (Skatteverket) has in effect guaranteed that the information is correct, thus saving them the risk of it being wrong. So you can (just about) understand why they might take this attitude.
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post 25.Aug.2016, 06:05 PM
Post #5

My friend and I have been having the same problem, every time we approached a bank to open an account, they would state we needed a personnummer and an ID card... even though under EU Law every EU citizen is entitled to a bank account, and that any EU Passport & EU Driving License is a VALID form of ID accepted across the EU, they just shrug and basicly have the attitude that they are not subject to EU Law!!! well, after a year and three applications each to Skatteverket (they lost the 1st ones, rejected the 2nd ones and finally accepted the 3rd ones) we have received our personnummer and have paid the fee for our ID cards, so we will finally be able to open bank accounts for us and our business!!!!!
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post 25.Aug.2016, 09:04 PM
Post #6
Location: Stockholm
Joined: 1.Jan.2014

QUOTE (Rivercelt @ 25.Aug.2016, 05:05 PM) *
under EU Law every EU citizen is entitled to a bank account,
Please state the EU Directive that you base this claim upon? As far as I am aware it is a proposal that has been voiced many times, but never passed as yet. I have no doubt it will come to pass eventually, not as a right but as an obligation as countries want to remove cash from the system and identify all taxable money. Right now however, I suspect you are wrong?

QUOTE (Rivercelt @ 25.Aug.2016, 05:05 PM) *
and that any EU Passport & EU Driving License is a VALID form of ID accepted across the EU
Passports are indeed a valid for of identification, however you are incorrect with regards drivers license. An EU Drivers license does not state your nationality nor your immigration status and therefore is not valid identification. This does not mean it isn't accepted by some places, just means they can refuse it as id.

In Sweden banks have an obligation in law to open accounts for people who want to make deposits. There are several reasons they can refuse to do so (according to law), and obligations upon banks under anti-money laundering and terrorism funding regulations means they have a higher standard with regards customer-due-diligence/know-your-customer. They cannot just allow accounts to be opened by people they cannot clearly identify etc... it is tougher now than it was in the past. It is reasonable for them to refuse to open an account for someone who is not in the Swedish population register, because you could have come to Sweden with potentially good fake passport (one cannot expect each bank clerk to be able to identify forged identity documents, it is unrealistic). This is why the lowest common denominator solution for banks is that you present Swedish issued Id (they are more familiar with) and you are registered in the population register (confirmable address, identity etc... confirmed by tax office).

Seems quite reasonable to Me.
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post 13.Nov.2016, 03:04 PM
Post #7
Joined: 15.Sep.2014

Actually, according to the Directive 2014/92/EC (which should have bene implemented by member states by Sep 2016) EU nationals must be provided with a account with basic features. You can print out the directive, and show it to them and if they still deny you to open account, you should demand in writing the reasons you are denied a basic bank account. And of course remind them that EU laws are superior to national laws. If you have time on your hands you can also make a complaint to FIN-NET.
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post 19.Nov.2017, 10:34 AM
Post #8
Joined: 14.Sep.2017

Does anyone know if this EU Directive has been implemented in Swedish law and, if so, where I can find that? It would be much more persuasive to a bank, I think.

Edit: I think I found it:

4 a kap. Betalkonto
Skyldighet att tillhandahålla betalkonto med grundläggande funktioner

1 § Ett kreditinstitut enligt lagen (2004:297) om bank- och finansieringsrörelse får inte vägra en konsument som är lagligen bosatt inom EES att öppna ett betalkonto med sådana grundläggande funktioner enligt 2 § som institutet tillhandahåller andra konsumenter.
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