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How to open a bank account – Part 1

photo:  (sxc.hu)

If you are thinking of spending a longer time working or studying in the Czech Republic, you will need to open a bank account. In this series, we are going to provide you with information about the general conditions related to bank accounts and types of accounts available, along with useful tips. This part covers the general information – the conditions you need to meet to open an account and what you should take great care of.


General information and personal account

You can have a bank account of your own on condition that you are 18 years old – except for a few specific products. These include e.g. student accounts that you can open from 15 years of age in the presence of a statutory representative. Foreigners must submit a permit to stay in the CR.

You will be asked for two proofs of identity when opening an account. The banks specify which kind of documents they need. It is usually an identity card and e.g. a birth certificate, insurance card, passport, driving licence or employment ID for citizens of the CR.

As for foreigners, the banks differentiate between foreigners coming from EU-member countries and the rest of the world. EU foreigners usually present an identification document issued and valid in the EU (ID card of an EU member state), possibly their passport. The second document is, similarly to CR citizens, e.g. a birth certificate, driving licence or residence permit issued by the Ministry of Interior CR. For foreigners from non-EU countries, the key document is their passport and the other documents are the same as for EU citizens. Banks always prefer documents with photographs.

If you are a student and you would like to open a student account, which is connected with special advantages, the bank will ask you to confirm your studies in the CR.

Business account

There are specific conditions for opening a business account. If you want to open an account as a legal person, the bank will require the standard documents mentioned in the previous paragraph. You also have to submit the document of foundation of the company and the certificate of incorporation issued in the CR or in another country (where the legal person lives in). If the company is not incorporated yet, the deed of foundation or the article of partnership is required. All documents issued in foreign languages must be translated into Czech, authenticated and submitted when applying for the account.

Before you choose the bank, it is important to check what services are provided within the standard account management. Every bank in the CR has an information line free of charge, where you will get all necessary information. The information is usually available in several foreign languages or at least in English.

Apart from the standard account management fees, most banks in the CR also charge other fees for additional services. Therefore, you should ask for explanation about any additional fee and about reduced services without fees, etc.

When opening an account, the bank must provide you standard information in compliance with the bank codex. It is a written overview of the key characteristics of the provided service and details on the conditions of the contract, including the list of charges. On request, the bank must provide this information later as well.
Author: Ivana Jenerálová
Added: 09.08.2011

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