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Opening a bank account is one of the most important when investing in Portugal. You will need a bank account for various aspects of your daily life, such as buying property, receiving a salary, setting up a company or getting a golden visa.

Bank accounts in Portugal must be opened in person. Bank opening hours are generally from 8:30am to 3pm on working days. Accounts for non-residents in Portugal always require a signature in person, or if made outside Portugal, these must be notarized.

 

Please note that when applying for a Golden Visa, the applicant must be the main holder of a bank account in Portugal.

 

Banking system in Portugal

Portugal is part of the European Union, the Schengen Area, and the Euro Zone, therefore the official currency is the Euro (€).  The banking system in Portugal is one of the most sophisticated and efficient in the world. There are several options of private, public, cooperative and investment banks. Banks are supported by the Multibanco interbank network, one of the most advanced in the world.

Portuguese banks are regulated by the Banco de Portugal, which is the Portuguese central bank, and by the European Central Bank.

 

The Multibanco network

The Multibanco network is the largest interbank network in Portugal, connecting the ATM's (known in Portugal as multibanco machines) of most Portuguese banks. From the ATMs it is possible to

  • Withdraw cash
  • Check balances
  • National and international transfers
  • Pay for purchases, services, and utilities such as water, electricity, or telecommunication
  • Pay taxes and tolls

The Multibanco network also offers the MB Way service, from which payments, transfers, and withdrawals can be made from your cell phone, through an app, without having to use a bank card.

 

Types of bank accounts

Portuguese banks offer several types of bank accounts. These are the most common ones:

 

Minimum services account

This is a current account for essential services, such as deposits, payments for goods and services, withdrawals, intra-bank transfers and home banking. This is the most economical option because this account usually has no or very low maintenance costs.

 

Current account

This is the most common type of account, usually associated with a debit and credit card. It can be a single, joint, or mixed account. A salary may also be associated with it, and it may have a line of credit defined by the total or partial amount of the salary.

 

Savings and term accounts

A savings account is a type of account in which the customer makes a deposit in the bank account, on a one-time or regular basis, on which the bank pays interest. In a term account, an initial deposit is made into the bank account for a certain term. At the end of the agreed period, the customer receives his initial deposit with interest. In both cases the customer will be penalized in the interest receivable if he decides to withdraw the money before the agreed time limit expires.

 

Documentation required to open a bank account in Portugal

Portuguese banks, under EU regulations and the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (BCFT) legislation, are required to perform due diligence on their clients before opening any bank account. This due diligence is done by applying KYC and KYB guidelines, among others; and is the bank's first line of defense against illicit and/or fraudulent activities.

Generally, to open a bank account in Portugal you will be asked for:

  • Personal identification document (Certified copy of Citizen Card or Passport)
  • Portuguese NIF
  • Fiscal number of the country of origin
  • Proof of address (issued by public service)
  • Identification of the origin of wealth and proof of profession, if relevant.
  • Telephone and email contact.

 

Most of these elements are required by NEWCO for the acceptance procedure of new customers, so we speed up the process without having to send duplicate documentation

 

How we can help

NEWCO has 30 years of experience and a complete range of services for expatriates and foreign investors in Portugal.  Learn more about our services here.

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