25 Jul 2024
Opening a bank account in Sweden: Swedbank
Banking Essentials Moving to Sweden

Opening a bank account in Sweden: Swedbank

Many fun, exciting things can happen when moving to a new country. Opening a bank account is definitely not one of them.  As an expat, opening an account in your new country, can save you from paying international withdrawal fees and enable you to deal directly with bank personnel and financial advisers who can help you secure loans and international mortgages.

Opening a bank account in Sweden can seem like a daunting task; banking information and account options are only offered in Swedish. Branch personnel provide conflicting information, and bank policies seem widely varied from company to company. Your Living City has done the research for you. This is part 1 of our 4-part series about opening a bank account in Sweden.

Opening an account at Swedbank:

Accurate Swedish banking information is hard to come by, so we have checked and double-checked our information with Swedbank experts. They told us the ins and outs of opening an account.

Starting a new Swedbank account requires only visiting a branch with 1) a Swedish ID card or a valid passport and 2) a Swedish social security number (personnummer). These documents will allow you to open a simple interest-free personal account. But you cannot get a bank card (Visa debit or Maestro card) until the bank sees that you have a regular source of income deposited into your account.

Getting a Visa debit or Maestro card:

A person, who holds a Swedbank account and who has received regular income for about three months, can apply to receive a debit card. A debit card allows you to directly withdrawal money from your account. There are two options, either a Maestro or a Visa Debit card.

You can use a Maestro card for cash machine withdrawals and debit payments in stores and restaurants. This card is accepted in fewer places than the Visa debit, but its annual fee is less, generally about SEK 150.

A Visa debit card works the same way as a Maestro card, but it allows you to make payments anywhere Visa is accepted. This can be handy when booking airlines tickets or making online purchases. The yearly fee varies depending on the type of account, but it is generally around SEK 250.


Until you get a Swedish bank card, you will have to see a bank clerk to withdraw cash. This service is free of charge, but keep in mind that banks in Sweden have limited opening hours usually between 10.00 and 16.00/18.00. If you’re coming from North America like me, you will be surprised to find out that Swedbank does not charge for cash machine withdrawals within Sweden. This applies to all Swedbank offices and any cash machine within the country.


Many Swedbank offices have automatic deposit machines that accept Swedish bills and coins. There is a daily deposit limit of SEK 10,000.

Online banking:

All accounts are set up with online banking. If you wish to pay bills online, expect to pay SEK 100 a year. I highly recommend this option because many Swedish companies send invoices that can only be paid either through your internet bank or at a branch office. Internet banking allows for free money transfer (with some restrictions).

For more information visit www.swedbank.se


  • shilan 16 May 2011


    I have account in swedenbank, and I am student here. I should buy some thing that is only possible by VISA card. What can I do?

    • Lily 16 May 2011

      Tricky.. I believe that you must be a resident here for 2 years before you can get credit card or a debit card. Unfortunately in this case, if you cannot do a direct debit transfer through your bank account then I can only suggest you go in and speak to your bank personally. Lycka till!

  • Mike 21 Jun 2011


    Do you know if its possible/how to open a second bank account (or a “child” account) from the website? (I already have a bank account and I just want to separate “holiday savings” from “bills”)

    Thanks for the great info!

    • Morgan 22 Jun 2011

      Hi Mike,

      I’m not sure about this. Does anyone else know the answer?

  • RIZOU MARIA 18 Jul 2011


    • Morgan 18 Jul 2011

      That’s a tough one. I think you need to get in touch directly with a bank in Sweden.

    • Achilleas 21 Jul 2011

      I am also Greek and have been living in Sweden for 1,5 years. I don’t think that it’s possible to open a bank account in Sweden without having a Swedish personal number and sometimes the personal number is not enough if you are from a foreign country. They are really serious here with who is allowed to create a bank account. Coming from an EU country makes things much easier, but in any case you must have a residence in Sweden.

    • George 1 Jun 2012

      You can’t. You need to have a Swedish social number and to get that, you must be a legal resident of Sweden.

  • Aniko Hellebrandt 13 Aug 2011

    Hi, I was just wondering, how much that regular income must be (is there any limit, it have to be above?) which have to arrive to your account for three month before you can apply for a VISA card.



  • […] credit cards and cash are accepted at most businesses and stores,setting up your own bank account here in Sweden is recommended. Most bills and salaries are automatically paid online, and Sweden has an extensive […]

  • DANIELA 15 Sep 2011

    hej, so what if i don’t have a person nummer? I am going to be going there but as a US citizen with an extension to my visa. Does this mean I cannot get a bank account?

    • kristan Coleman 15 Sep 2011

      Unfortunately yes. Swedish banks can be very difficult about that. You absolutely have to have a personnummer to open a Swedish bank account under your name.

  • Florent 23 Nov 2011

    Well, in fact it’s possible to open a bank account even if you don’t have a personnummer. You will just have a restricted account with a maestro card.

    You won’t have access to internet banking or be able to pay online.

    But it works fine in shops and you can withdraw money anywhere.

    Even if the people at the bank says it’s not possible, ask to speak to someone else and it will be fine. I opened my bank account at the SEB bank.

    • Martin 17 Feb 2012

      So. I have been to Swedbank and SEB:

      – Swedbank – you need to have Swedish ID to set up a bank account

      – SEB – it took 10 minutes to set up an account. BUT – just an account without anything. No card, no inet banking. If I need to withdraw I should visit local office. Documents needed: Passport, Proof of residence, Study proof of enrollment.

  • ganesh 5 Mar 2012

    I am cumming to Gothenberg university as research student.I had couple of questions like Which all bank offer the documentation and process in English and How is the money transfer system works at Swedbank and it it connected to university bank accounts of students ??

  • Dean 17 Apr 2012

    Is it possible to open an account in swedebank or any other bank. I applied and received Fskat bevise nummer for my painting business here on temporary work..I dont have persson nummer nor permanent residence in Sweden..also can I get Visa or Maestro card..I need this account so I can do business here

  • max 4 May 2012

    Is there any bank in Sweden who offers online account’s menu in English. I was in Finland and Nordea.fi had full menus in english but here its not the case. Atleast from web, Swedbank looks better. Damn you Nordea se..

  • Matt 5 Jul 2012

    Well I went to the bank to open an account with my passport, residence permit and personnummer, and was informed that I needed to get a Swedish ID card before I could open an account. However I was able to produce a letter from my boss (which I suppose I could have written myself) instead of the official ID card and then they would “make an exception” and open an account for me. From discussions with colleagues it seems it is a good idea to shop around at different banks and branches until you get what you are after. Some places seem to require the Swedish ID card to access some services and some do not, even though they are the same bank!

  • Frank 11 Oct 2012

    I just wonder , I have bank account in Swedbank -mastercard, and if I need to transfer some money in US dollars from US can I have them in dollars or they will be convert in SEK.

  • Rico 15 Oct 2012

    I was able open a bank account in Swedbank without Person Number today. I brought my passport proof of residence and work contract. I have also read in some forums that it could actually depend on the teller if they will accept this, perhaps I got lucky when I went the first time if this was true. Got my application for Person Number on going but the teller didn’t ask for any proof about it. She just said that the information I submitted to the Tax Office will automatically synchronize with their system e.g. my address because I live in a hotel now and will be moving to an apartment after a month. They would not send the bank card to a hotel so I had to pick it up in that branch after a week. My account is just an account by the way, no internet banking, nothing else more but a Maestro Debit Card. But I can get upgraded when I do get my Swedish ID and can apply for a Visa Debit Card after three months if they see that a constant salary comes in.

    • Quassem 18 Oct 2012

      In which branch did you go to open your account? I really have problem. My company has not been able to pay me my salary for four months because I don’t have a bank account. Advice would be gratefully appreciated.

  • Lorraine Bracher 27 Nov 2012

    I am an American citizen living in Florida. Can I open an account in an American branch of Swedebank? What documentation would I need to facilitate this. Could I then travel to Sweden and use this account?

  • ozzy 2 Dec 2012

    I would understand a 3 month wait for a credit card, but a 3 month wait for a debit card is, I’m sorry, pretty stupid. If a debit card simply spends the money you already have at the bank, why do banks in Sweden need all this time and formalities?

    I recently moved to Sweden and I went to Handelsbanken to open an account. They took all my info and told me they would call me “as soon as possible” about “an interview where opening a bank account would be discussed”. That was a week ago. I’m sorry, wtf are you talking about? I’ve lived in the US and Turkey in both countries it takes about 10 minutes to open an account. Within a few days you have your card and check books, you can even apply for a basic credit card.

    So I don’t get Handelsbanken. I’m not borrowing money from the bank, I have a bunch of cash I’m trying to give to the bank and they’re just making it impossible. Is it just me?

    Also I don’t have a Swedish job yet and in the meantime I make money online. I doubt they would consider that a real income and they will probably never give me a damn debit card. which I can use to spend my own money that I already have.

  • […] Open a bank account to receive all those fat pay-checks you’ll hopefully be getting. […]

  • […] of which, do make sure you have enough money to last you until a paycheck hits your new Swedish bank account; things are expensive in Stockholm! From a practical perspective, you need to know that you will […]

  • […] finally gotten all your t’s crossed and i’s dotted and have your residency permit, ID card, and set up your Swedish bank account, it is time to settle into old routines in new places. Connect with your hobbies you loved at home […]

  • Janet Johansson 1 Apr 2013

    I would like to know what interest you get on your savings in the bank.

  • BOB 10 May 2013

    HI, I have a bank account with SEB in Sweden. I would like to put some money in a “deposit” bank account that can give me a good interest rate for 6 mounths..(SEB gives 0.5 on the normal account) What are the others banks that can offer this service in Sweden,,?

  • faysal 18 Sep 2013


    I would like to open a bank account in sweden without going there as my girl friend lives in ljusdal Sweden and I want to do some business in Sweden without leaving my home country pakistan….


    faysal .

  • […] of which, do make sure you have enough money to last you until a paycheck hits your new Swedish bank account; things are expensive in Stockholm! From a practical perspective, you need to know that you will […]

  • Paul 15 Aug 2014

    Just tried to open an account at Swedbank in Ekerö (Stockholm) today as an EU citizen and the information provided in the article clearly is not correct for that branch. I even spoke to the manager and he would only allow a Swedish ID, nothing less.

    Funny thing is that the information provided by customer service was the following, i.e. passport or ID card AND Swedish personal number. Within the same bank, you get different requirements. I guess it is really branch specific, irrespective of what you read on the website or get as information from customer service.

  • Manuel Cornejo 27 Aug 2014

    I would like to know from Florent with branch (street address of SEB bank and to whom should I address my application. I request the same from Matt

  • I am truly grateful to the holder of this web site who
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  • Chetan 28 Aug 2015

    Bit off the “banking” thing.

    I m looking to invest in the Equity/commodity market in Sweden (OMX).
    Are there any brokers offering the best, cost effective and safe online transactions?


  • Hakimullah Azimee 26 Apr 2016

    Hi I’m living in Örebro Sweden,
    I have italian permanent visa ,
    I want open bank accounts in Sweden.
    How I can’t?

  • Alex 6 Feb 2017

    When booking airline tickets, Swedbank charges me 150 kr additionally. Why? Is IT normal?

    • Hi! Sometimes the airline or the travel service you use charges an amount of money for making the charge on a debit or credit card. Credit card charges tend to be higher than those of the credit cards. And they do also vary in terms of the type of card i.e. Master Card, Visa and American Express.

  • Rodger Young 8 Mar 2017

    Can I deposit EUR in Swedbank? How can I open an EUR account in Sweden? Thanks.

    • Hi! Yes you can go to any Swedbank branch and request to open a ‘valutakonto’.

  • Regan Baghdasarian 25 Mar 2017

    An fascinating discussion is worth comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this topic, it might not be a taboo topic however generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  • Ely Genteroy 19 Sep 2018

    I am purchasing a property in Sweden and eventually I need to open a bank savings account in Sweden to facilitate paying off property taxes and other utilities connected to the house. Is it possible for a non-EU tourist like me to open a new bank account, without a Personal Reference Number?

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