The Czech Republic may not be a traditional go-to location for many travelers, but there is a growing expat community in this country thanks to its low cost of living, a strong economy, rich history, simple European Union immigration laws, excellent healthcare, and a great public transportation system.
One major question that new expats moving to the Czech Republic has is how banking in the country works for a foreign immigrant. The following article will discuss banking for expats in the Czech Republic.
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Czech Republic?
Yes, a foreign expat can open a bank account in the Czech Republic and the process is fairly simple. You will need to stop by a local branch so they can verify your documents.
What Do You Need to Open a Bank Account in Czech Republic?
An expat will need the following documents to open a bank account in the Czech Republic:
- Another photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License)
- Proof of Czech address (e.g. Utility bill)
- A minimum deposit (varies by bank)
Top 7 Banks for Expats in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has a wide variety of banks to choose from. However, given the challenge of learning the Czech language, we will assume you need a bank that supports English communications. The following is a list of the top English-speaking banks in the Czech Republic:
Citibank is the only bank that has branches in both America and the Czech Republic. However, there are only three branches in the country, and only the one Prague branch is a full-service, cash location.
(2) Ceska Sporitelna
Ceska is the largest bank in the Czech and one of the country’s oldest. It boasts over 4 million customers and operates an impressive 419 branches across the country. This bank has products and services specifically targeted at the expat community. It is a domestic bank, with no international locations.
(3) Equa Bank
Equa has 42 branches across the country. The bank offers a wide range of products, built on modern technology, with native English communications. It is a domestic bank, with no international locations.
Raiffeisenbank is the fifth-largest bank in the Czech Republic, having 119 branches and 680K customers. This is an Austrian bank that focuses its business on the highly affluent population.
(5) UniCredit Bank
UniCredit is the fourth largest bank in the Czech Republic, having 85 branches and 185K customers. This Italian bank offers a full suite of products, however, the quality of its English communications is a bit lacking.
Sberbank has a relatively small footprint in the country, operating 25 branches to serve 120K customers. This is part of a huge Russian bank with 102 million customers in 20 countries.
ExpoBank offers excellent 1-on-1 customer service, however, there is only one branch, located in Prague. This is a Russian bank.
Can an American Open a Bank Account in Czech Republic?
Yes, an American expat can open a bank account in the Czech Republic and the process is fairly simple. You will need to stop by a local branch so they can verify your documents.
Can I Open a Czech Bank Account Online?
Many banks allow you to start account creation over the Internet. However, all banks will require you to visit a local branch so they can validate your identification paperwork and complete your application.
Related: Cost of Living in the Czech Republic
Are Czech Banks Safe?
Yes, the banks of the Czech Republic are considered safe, with most of the banks covered by robust Czech and/or EU insurance. Domestic banks such as Ceska Sporitelna and Equa are fully insured by the Czech Republic Deposit Insurance Fund, up to a maximum of 100K EUR.
Banks that are based out of other EU countries such as Raiffeisenbank and UniCredit are also fully insured up to 100K EUR.
Other non-EU international banks are covered by protections from their home country. Russian banks such as Sberbank and ExpoBank are insured by the Russian Deposit Insurance Agency up to 1.4M rubles. And American banks such as Citi are insured by the FDIC up to $250K USD.