Opening Bank Accounts

This guide originally appeared on our forum page on 14th February 2012. The original can be accessed here.

We were very lucky to approach a bank in Acharavi where the staff were not only very helpful but also spoke very good English.  I would guess that each bank will have their own way of doing things so this is our experience of opening a joint account with a request for individual Visa credit cards.

You will need:

UK Passport for each applicant
Greek tax numbers
Proof of address ( as we are yet to move in we provided a UK address with utilities bill and will update once we are in our villa)
Pension payment statement (proof of income source)
National Insurance numbers
Parents forenames (their initial will appear on your credit card)
A minimum of 300 Euros to open account
Mobile phone number
A land line phone number (this is required for the credit card, we do not intend on having one so they accepted our lawyers number!)

After some form filling we received a passbook and moved to another desk to complete the application for the credit card.  This was very fast, they issued our pin numbers there and then and asked us to return in 8 working days to collect the cards.  This we did and they are activated using the pins in the cash-point.

Remember to pay in at least 700 Euros if you are going to apply for a residency permit.

At that was that, very easy.  I spent longer in our local Santander in the UK waiting for them to authorise and previously arranged £3K withdrawal…

Note From Site Owners!

A number of the ex-pat community have in the past been upset when certain identification documentation has been demanded by banks.

A document was produced back in 2009 by the Hellenic Bank Association explaining the legal requirements. This is still in effect according to Alpha Bank.

You can download a copy of this leaflet in English from here.