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Opening a Dutch bank account when coming from the UK can make your life a lot easier – especially if you’re moving to or studying in the Netherlands. After all, in a nearly cashless society, you’d want to get your finances in order if you plan to stay there for the long haul.
After the UK left the EU, you have to go through the process for non-EU citizens to open a bank account in the Netherlands. This means some extra paperwork, such as a residents’ permit, and some additional back-and-forth with the bank.
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To open a bank account in the Netherlands, whether you go in person or set it up online, you’ll mostly need the following:
- ID – a passport (or a national identity card)
- BSN (Burgerservicenummer) – personal citizen service number
- Residence permit for non-EU citizens
- Proof of address
Note that the UK driving licence isn’t always considered a valid form of identification, so it’s best to take a passport with you.
The BSN number is automatically assigned to you after you register yourself in the Personal Records database (BRP) in your local municipality. After arriving in the Netherlands, you need to register within 5 days.¹
After Brexit, UK citizens aren’t EU citizens and need to apply for a residence permit to work, live or study in the Netherlands.²
Last, but not least, the proof of address. Individual banks have different rules what they accept as proof of address. However, they generally accept documents that include your name and address, so you can present a valid rental agreement or a recent utility bill for proof.
In short, yes.
If you have an active bank account in the UK that has a correspondent bank in the Netherlands, they may be able to help you open a Dutch bank account. Some banks, such as ABN AMRO³ and bunq⁴ offer banking products designed for international use – suitable for non-residents of the country.
However, most banks still require a Dutch address or additional documents before you can open an account with them.
The BSN number is automatically given to you when you register yourself in the mandatory BRP database. And since most banks require you to present a residence permit and proof of address when opening a bank account, you already need to have a BSN before acquiring those documents.
However, there are a few online banking services in the Netherlands that allow you to open an account with just verifying your identity and not requiring a BSN. For example, you can sign up for a bunq account using just your UK passport.⁵
The time it takes to get a Dutch bank account really depends on the bank you choose.
Suppose you want to open a bank account with ABN AMRO. You can open your account online within 10 minutes and receive your account number within 4 hours. Once you’ve set up your account, your debit card will arrive within 5 working days.⁶ However, these steps could take longer for non-residents or when missing some required paperwork.
On the flip side, bunq bank allows you to open an account with them within 5 minutes, receive an NL IBAN, and start banking right away.⁷
Among the numerous banks in the Netherlands, the three largest and most prominent are ING, ABN AMRO, and Rabobank.⁸ To a foreigner, each bank has its own strengths and weaknesses.
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ING is a major global financial institution founded in the Netherlands over two centuries ago.⁹ With branches all over the country, it’s among the easiest banks to open an account with if you’re a new arrival or planning a move soon. Internationally, ING has branches in Europe, North America, Australia and even in some Asian cities.
Opening an account with ING online takes you around 10 minutes. To open an account, you need to provide a Dutch address or an RNI registration, and a UK passport.¹⁰
After you’ve opened an account, you can access your finances from the browser or download the Mobile Banking App. The latter has all the modern features of a banking app, including paying with your mobile phone through Apple Pay.¹¹
ABN AMRO’s history dates back over three decades. But, the modern version of the bank started in 2010.¹² ABN AMRO also welcomes expats as their customers, offering typical personal banking services.
To open a bank account through ABN AMRO, you need your UK passport and a BSN. Normally, opening an account should take less than 10 minutes, and you receive your account number within 4 hours.⁶ However, creating your account as a foreigner may take longer to get all the paperwork processed.
After opening your account with ABN AMRO, you can gain access to everyday banking solutions, such as a contactless debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and you can manage your money on their mobile app.¹³
Rabobank is a Netherlands-based financial institution that operates in 37 countries and has branches in Europe, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.¹⁴
Rabobank doesn’t offer international accounts, so you’ll need to go to a Dutch branch in person to apply for an account.¹⁵ You’ll need your UK passport, Dutch residence permit, and a BSN. If you’re looking to open an international student account, then you’ll also need your personal Tax Identification Number (TIN) from the UK, and a proof of registration at a Dutch educational establishment.¹⁶
After you’ve opened an account with Rabobank, you can manage your finances in their online bank or mobile app, order a debit card, and connect your account with Apple Pay or Google Pay for contactless payment method.¹⁷
It’s usually free to open an account with one of the major banks, but you’ll have to pay a monthly fee depending on the package you go for. Let’s look at the cheapest account options for the banks described above.
|Bank||Account fee||ATM fees|
|ING||Starting from €1.90/£1.61* per month¹⁸||Starting from €0.80/£0.68* per withdrawal¹⁸|
|ABN AMRO||Starting from €2.95/£2.49* per month¹⁹||Starting from €0³|
|Rabobank||Starting from€2.25/£1.90* per month²⁰||Starting from €0²⁰|
*1 EUR = 0.8450 GBP (17-08-2022)
Additional fees may apply when transacting in foreign currency. This means you’ll pay extra when paying or withdrawing money in British pounds back in the UK.
|Read more: International transfer with ING bank, International transfer with ABN AMRO|
When you’re planning to live, work, or study in the Netherlands, opening a local bank account could make your life easier. However, you’ll need a significant amount of paperwork to open an account with one of the local banks. As an alternative, check out Wise Multi-Currency account and manage your money between the UK and the Netherlands effortlessly – and with a fair exchange rate.
Eligibility is subject to verification of customer’s identity.
- Gov.uk – Living in the Netherlands
- Ind.nl – Living in the Netherlands after Brexit
- ABN AMRO – Basic Payment Package
- bunq – Easy Money plan
- bunq – What ID documents are accepted for my identity verification
- ABN AMRO – Open a bank account
- bunq – Easy Bank plan
- Statista – Leading banks in the Netherlands in 2021
- ING – About ING
- ING – Open your new current account online
- ING – Soepel betalen met Apple Pay
- ABN AMRO – About ABN AMRO
- ABN AMRO – Personal account
- Rabobank – Over ons
- Rabobank – Becoming a customer
- University of Groningen – Rabobank
- Rabobank – Alles voor je dagelijkse betaalgemak
- ING – Online een nieuwe betaalrekening openen
- ABN AMRO – Everyday banking fees
- Rabobank – Rabo DirectPakket
Sources last checked on date: 18-Aug-2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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