How To Open a Bank Account Online in Luxembourg (Even as a Non-Resident)
Monito's Managing Editor, Byron has spent several years writing extensively about financial- and migration-related topics.
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Are you exploring how to open a bank account online in Luxembourg? Perhaps you're wondering how to do so as a non-resident? Because some banks in Luxembourg don't require a local residence while offering generally fair fees, the good news is that you'll probably be able to get the job done without much of a hassle.
In this guide, we explain what you need to know about opening an account in Luxembourg and introduce you to some interesting banks that also open accounts for non-residents.
Can I Open a Bank Account in Luxembourg?
- It is possible to open a local bank account in Luxembourg without residing there.
- Most banks allow non-residents with an economic connection to Luxembourg to open an account.
- There are exceptions for wealthy clients who work with local banks and asset management firms.
What You'll Find in This Guide
- 01. Is a bank account in Luxembourg worthwhile at all?
- 02. The myth of banking secrecy in Luxembourg
- 03. What are the options to open a bank account in Luxembourg?
- 04. Conditions for opening an account in Luxembourg
- 05. Which banks can I use to open a bank account in Luxembourg?
- 06. What are the alternatives to open a bank account in Luxembourg?
- 07. Which bank account in Luxembourg is ideal for me?
- 08. Frequently asked questions about banking in Luxembourg
Why Is an Account in Luxembourg Worthwhile at All?
With a GDP per capita of around $116,000, Luxembourg is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. For entrepreneurs, the country offers numerous opportunities, with its capital Luxembourg City increasingly becoming important as a financial centre globally. (What's more, banking also makes up the largest sector in Luxembourg's economy.)
Luxembourg banks are widely considered to be stable and secure, and many wealthy private individuals like to invest their money in banks there. Even for people without large investment portfolios, a bank account in Luxembourg can be a good idea, as account balances up to an amount of €100,000 are secured by the deposit insurance scheme of Luxembourg.
The Myth of Banking Secrecy in Luxembourg
Some people believe that bank accounts in Luxembourg come with greater secrecy than bank accounts in their home country do. However — while there was certainly some element of truth to this in the path — this is no longer the case today.
This is because Luxembourg banks participate in the automatic exchange of information, meaning they can report information such as transactions and balances to the account holder's country of residence. In other words, there's a very slim shot you'll be able to successfully hide money from the tax authorities of your home country in Luxembourg.
Is an Account in Luxembourg Seizure-Proof?
No, bank accounts in Luxembourg aren't seizure-proof, and account seizures can be carried out in any country throughout the EU. Luxembourg is no exception to this rule.
What Are the Options To Open a Bank Account in Luxembourg?
Luxembourg is home to a small and traditional banking sector. For example, although there are numerous banks based out of Luxembourg, none of them is an online-only bank. In addition, there are also several multinational banks that operate a branch in Luxembourg, which in most cases only offer wealth management services. (However if your bank in your home country has a branch in Luxembourg, then it wouldn't hurt to ask whether or not you can open a local account there too.)
Here are the main options to open a bank account in Luxembourg:
The most well-known way to open a bank account in Luxembourg is to open an account at a traditional Luxembourgian branch bank.
This shouldn't be a difficult option. If you're in Luxembourg City, for example, you'll find a bank branch on pretty much every second street corner! Many banks in Luxembourg also offer online account opening. When it comes to non-residents living outside of Luxembourg, however, local banks aren't always accomodating. Account opening requirements vary from bank to bank, however, so we recommend comparing different branch banks to another other.
Private Banking Solutions
Almost all banks in Luxembourg offer private banking for wealthy private clients, primarily involving asset management and financing. Wealthy customers who already use the private banking services of a Luxembourg bank often find it much easier to open a current account.
In many cases, current accounts are opened simultaneously alongside investment accounts to make it easier to deposit and withdraw liquid investments. However, private banking offers are often only accessible from assets valued at €1 million or more (however, this can vary from bank to bank). If you have sufficient capital and would like to open a wealth management account in Luxembourg anyway, it's well worth comparing the offers of different banks.
EU Online Banks
If you're simply looking for a current account to handle transactions in, to, or from Luxembourg, then a normal bank account in SEPA will be perfectly sufficient. Since IBAN discrimination is prohibited in the EU, it makes no difference to companies and individuals in Luxembourg whether they transact with a local Luxembourgian account or with an account from another European country.
Opening a current account with N26, Wise, Tomorrow or another online bank is an excellent alternative to conventional banking in Luxembourg. These accounts are often free of charge and offer significantly better conditions than local accounts in Luxembourg do. You can get a full overview of the best online banks in the EU in our dedicated guide.
Requirements to Open a Bank Account in Luxembourg
There are numerous people who work in Luxembourg without living there, and local banks are generally used to opening accounts for non-residents. However, the requirements for opening an account as a non-resident vary from bank to bank.
Most banks require you to have legitimate interest in Luxembourg before opening an account there. This means that you either have a job or property there, or have investments that require opening a checking account. In addition, there are several other requirements which include the following:
- Proof of residence (e.g. utility bill, bank statement, etc.).
- Tax identification number (TIN).
- Valid identification document (e.g. passport, ID, etc.).
Proof of Address When Opening an Account in Luxembourg
Almost every bank in Luxembourg requires proof of address to open an account. This forms a normal part of the KYC process. Since many Luxembourg bank account holders are non-residents, there is often confusion as to what the proof of address should look like:
In principle, this proof of residence can be outside of Luxembourg, and in most cases, a copy of the rental agreement or a utility bill will suffice as proof of residence. However, the documents required can vary from bank to bank, and we therefore recommend asking in advance so that there are no misunderstandings in the end.
Which Banks Offer Current Accounts for Non-Residents?
As we saw above, some banks in Luxembourg allow non-residents to open an everyday current account. Most banks offer service in a variety of languages, including English, and allow for quick, savvy online applications. Here are three of the best options, in our opinion:
Below, we go through each of them with respect to account opening for non-residents:
BGL BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas is a French multinational bank with a strong presence in Luxembourg and happens to be very open to non-resident applicants. In principle, people wishing to open an account must either be domiciled or have an employment contract in Luxembourg, and applicants should expect to have to provide the following documents to demonstrate this:
- Copy of ID document;
- Copy of employment contract or recent payslip;
- Proof of residence in Luxembourg (or abroad);
- Tax identification number (TIN).
You can even complete the account application completely online. Keep in mind, however, that once your application has been submitted, your documents will need to be verified, which can take up to a few days.
Non-residents can also open an account with Raiffeisen without much hassle. Just like BGL BNP Paribas, applicants must have either a local residence or an employment contract and need to provide the following documents:
- Copy of ID document;
- Proof of connection to Luxembourg;
- Proof of an account with another bank in the SEPA zone;
- If applicable, proof of residence in Luxembourg (or abroad);
- Tax identification number (TIN).
You can apply for a current account online, after which you'll have to sign a contract and send it back to the bank by post. Also, verification via another account in the SEPA zone is required. You can find out more about opening an account with the Raiffeisenbank here.
Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL for short) is very open to non-residents opening accounts. What we like most about BIL is that it's possible to open an account entirely online. To do this, applicants must have a financial or economic connection to Luxembourg and be able to provide proof of primary residence in Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Spain, or the Netherlands.
To open an account with BIL, you'll need to provide the bank with a TIN within 90 days of opening the account. We find this a particularly convenient option if you're moving to Luxembourg need and to open a bank account before getting fully set up in the country. Find out more about opening an account with BIL here.
Online Alternatives To Opening a Bank Account in Luxembourg
Would you like to receive payments from Luxembourg and are therefore interested in a local bank account? Then there are much less complicated alternatives that you should consider. With an account with a neobank or online bank in the EU, you save yourself the increased effort involved in legitimation while still being able to l receive payments from Luxembourg without any problems.
Here are the best options:
Are you looking for a low-cost everyday current account to send money to, receive money from, or spend money in Luxembourg? Then N26 is an ideal alternative. The online-only bank combines the advantages of a completely digital bank with the convenience of a normal checking account. In fact, we even rated N26 as the best online bank in the EU!
Account name: N26 Standard
Account type: Current (German bank details).
Total cost: €0 per month.
Noteworthy features: Instant social payments, overdraft facilities, cash deposit (in Germany, Austria and Italy).
Availability: Most of the EU (see the full list here), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
More info: See our full N26 review.
Wise Multi-Currency Account
Do you regularly receive funds in foreign currencies? Then the Wise Multi-Currency Account is an ideal option for you. You can receive transfers from Luxembourg using a Belgian IBAN that will be set up in your name. (You'll also have access to bank accounts in 9 other countries this way.) We find it particularly useful that Wise allows you to hold up to 55 different currencies and spend them online or using a Visa debit card.
Account name: Multi-Currency Account
Account type: Electronic Money Account (held by Barclays in the UK, Wells Fargo in the US, DBS in Singapore, etc.).
Total cost: €0 per month.
Noteworthy features: International money transfers, multiple account details, multi-currency balances.
Availability: EU, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland
More info: See our full Wise Multi-Currency Account review.
Would you like to receive transfers from Luxembourg and contribute to environmental causes at the same time? Then Tomorrow is an ideal choice for you. This is a sustainable current account with excellent fees for payments. Using the Tomorrow 'Zero' account (the most sustainable account on offer) you'll be charged an account management fee of €15 per month.
Account name: Now
Account type: Current (held by Solarisbank, German bank details).
Total cost: €3-€9 per month (depending on how much you withdraw).
Noteworthy features: Climate contributions, savings pockets
Availability: 18 EU countries (excluding Poland, Hungary, and others).
More info: See our full Tomorrow review.
Which Bank Account in Luxembourg Is Best for You?
There are different options to open an account in Luxembourg. If you have ties to the country, then you'll be able to open an account very easily, even if Luxembourg isn't your primary country of residence. What's more, with BNP Paribas and BIL, you can even open the Luxembourg account entirely online.
However, if you don't have connections to Luxembourg, opening an account will be a bit more complicated and will only possible with luck or the prospect of high deposits. If you already use other services from a bank in Luxembourg, this usually simplifies things a lot.
If you're only needing to spend, transfer, or receive money in Luxembourg, then there's a good chance you will not need a local bank account at all, and a bank account in any other SEPA country will meet your needs just fine.
Frequently Asked Questions About Banking in Luxembourg
Do banks in Luxembourg protect against account seizures?
No. Within the EU, bank accounts can be seized across borders, and the fact that your account is across border is usually often only a minimal additional effort for the authorities. If you live in neighbouring Germany and want to protect yourself from account seizure, then we recommend a opening P-account.
Do I have to have an account in Luxembourg?
We only recommend a bank account in Luxembourg if you have economic ties to the country (e.g. employment, property, investments, etc.). If you don't have these, opening a bank account in another EU country would be a better option.
As an EU resident, can I also open an account in Luxembourg?
Yes, opening an account in Luxembourg is possible regardless of nationality, and residence in Luxembourg isn't always required. However, it is important that you have an economic relationship with the country of Luxembourg.
Other Banking Guides for Non-Residents
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