Monito.com
Peter Hall on Unsplash

How To Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands (Even Without Proof of Residence)

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com

Byron Mühlberg

Guide

Jarrod Suda

Reviewer

Nov 4, 2022
Advertiser disclosure

The Netherlands is considered one of the best countries in the world to live and work in, and it's well-known for its high standard of living and quality of life. What's more, with the Euro as a national currency and a strong banking sector, the Netherlands is an attractive place for both private and business banking.

Unfortunately, not all Dutch banks are open to accepting new customers with a residence abroad, even if they live in a neighbouring EU country. However, it's still possible to open an account in the Netherlands — and it's not as complicated as you might think.

In this article, we go through the steps to open an account in the Netherlands. In addition, we explore whether you're protected in any way against tax or legal obligations in your home country.

recommendation icon

If you're looking for a low-cost checking account, we recommend digital app Revolut, which gives you EU account details, a checking account, and you can sign up online. Revolut also gives you Lithuanian account details (eligible in the Netherlands) and a debit card to spend in multiple currencies.

Why Should I Open a Dutch Account?

From moving to the country for work to setting up a tax-favourable account for your business, there are many different reasons to open a bank account in the Netherlands. Fortunately, the Netherlands is home to some of the largest and most profitable banks globally, known for their excellent checking accounts. It's therefore no wonder that the Dutch make about four times as many card payments per year as the neighbouring Germans do.

The Netherlands has a large and stable banking sector, supported by one of the most stable economies in Europe, and Dutch banks maintain subsidiaries and branches all across the world. As an account holder, this means that your capital is safe in the Netherlands. Moreover, the Netherlands also has a relatively stable inflation rate and an attractive real estate sector.

In short, if you're moving to the Netherlands from abroad, then a local bank account is very helpful, as you'll be able to make instant payments through the iDEAL payments network. However, if you already have a bank account in another Eurozone country, this will be perfectly sufficient for day to day use in the Netherlands (including salary deposits), and it's probably the best option if you plan to live in the Netherlands for a shorter period.

Interestingly, Dutch banks usually don't carry out credit checks for those moving in from abroad. This means that you should be able to open a bank account in the Netherlands without any problems (even if you happen to have a bad credit score in your home country).

Are Dutch Bank Accounts Seizure-Proof?

Many Germans and Belgians are attracted by the idea of opening a bank account in the Netherlands to escape the tax authorities in their respective countries. This has given rise to the myth that Dutch banks are seizure-proof altogether. However, thanks to the CRS (Common Reporting Standard), Dutch bank accounts are not seizure-proof, and information on account balances and transactions of foreign accounts is shared with the foreign tax authorities.

This means that if you have a bank account in the Netherlands, you must still always comply with the financial obligations set by your home country. (This includes that you pay tax on foreign earnings in your home country if you are subject to unlimited tax liability.) If you overlook these obligations, the penalties can be severe.

How To Open a Bank Account in the Netherlands

If you'd like to open an account in the Netherlands, you essentially have two options. The right option for you depends on your individual needs and preferences. We go through them both below:

1 — Open an Account With an Online Bank

The easier of the two options, applying for an account with an online bank (e.g. the Dutch neobank bunq), will allow you to open a low-cost local bank account with Dutch IBAN in only a few minutes. You won't even have to leave your home as the entire account opening process takes place online without the need to visit a branch.

2 — Open an Account With a Big Dutch Bank

You can also open an account with a major Dutch bank. This option is slightly more complicated because not every Dutch bank cooperates with non-residents, and banks usually require applicants to visit a branch when opening an account. In addition, you may be asked to provide more detailed documents when opening an account.

Are you only concerned that your bank is physically located in the Netherlands? Then the chances are that you'll be delighted with an account at bunq. After all, bunq offers a fully-fledged Dutch bank account (meaning it falls under the Dutch deposit insurance scheme). In addition, you will receive a Dutch bank account that you can use throughout the EU without running into any issues.

info icon

Update on bunq (04.06.2021): bunq no longer offers a free bank account plan. The cheapest account is called Easy Bank and costs €2.99 per month. However, we believe that this should not stop you from opening an account, as bunq continues to be a solid online bank.

Open a Traditional Bank Account in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is an international country with a cosmopolitan culture. However, its local banks are relatively strict when it comes to opening a bank account without a local residence. For example, ING points out the following on its website:

When opening a current account without a valid Dutch identity document you will need to prove that you either live, work, study or own a house in the Netherlands. In almost all cases you’ll need an additional document as proof of evidence.

However, some Dutch banks allow non-residents to open a bank account without much fuss. If you're a non-resident in the Netherlands, Dutch banks will be interested in your motivation for opening an account. For example, if you choose to bank with Rabobank to access its extensive network of partner banks, your application will likely be accepted without much hassle.

Here's an overview of Dutch banks relevant to non-residents and expats:

ING

Rabobank

ABN Amro

Opening an Account With ING

Amin (CC BY-SA 4.0, modified) ING open bank account online Netherlands

ING is the largest bank in the Netherlands and is active globally. While it's possible to open a bank account as a non-resident, this is subject to some conditions. For example, you'll only be able to open a bank account at ING as a non-resident if you live, work, study, or own a property in the Netherlands.

However, ING also points out on its website that it can make exceptions to these requirements. The prerequisite for this is that applicants can prove a legitimate interest or a close connection to the Netherlands. Local family members, business plans in the Netherlands, or local investments are usually enough to convince the bank's KYC team to open an account.

The account opening must be done in a local branch and requires various documents (which may vary depending on your personal situation). You can find information about opening an account for non-residents at ING here.

What Monito Likes About ING

  • Requirements for opening an account are clearly indicated on the website.
  • Relatively good customer support in English.
  • Globally active bank with an excellent reputation.

What Monito Dislikes About ING

  • Relatively strict requirements for an account opening.
  • Complicated account opening in-branch.

Opening an Account With Rabobank

Lofor (CC BY-SA 3.0, modified) Open a bank account in the Netherlands with Rabobank

Rabobank is a slightly more old-fashioned Dutch bank. However, this doesn't change the fact that it's active in many countries worldwide and offers excellent international banking services. For non-residents, it's generally possible to open an account with Rabobank; however, there's relatively little information about this on the bank's website, where it merely mentions that non-residents and persons with a tax residence outside of the Netherlands must certify this information in order to open an account. Unfortunately, Rabobank doesn't provide an exact list of these requirements.

As such, if you're a non-resident, you should expect to be allowed to open an account with Rabobank only if you have a legitimate interest. If you're an EU citizen, this process should be relatively hassle-free — just be sure to bring along a valid identification document and proof of address. In addition, as a non-resident, you must provide information about your tax residence and, if necessary, provide proof of it.

What Monito Likes About Rabobank

  • An international bank with subsidiaries all over the world.
  • Relatively cheap account models.
  • Maintains the second most bank branches in the Netherlands.

What Monito Dislikes About Rabobank

  • Little information is available on account opening for non-residents.
  • Rather old-fashioned cooperative bank.
  • Rather complicated account opening in a local branch.

Opening an Account With ABN AMRO

Donald Trung (CC BY-SA 4.0, modified) Open a bank account in the Netherlands with ABN Amro

ABN AMRO is the third-largest bank in the Netherlands and is widely considered one of the most customer-friendly options for non-residents and newcomers to the Netherlands in general. However, the banking offer for non-residents is limited to selected products that aren't available through ABN AMRO's normal website. To open an account, non-residents must contact the bank's International Service Desk directly at +31 (0)20 343 40 02 and motivate their wish to open an account.

More complex inquiries require a personal appointment to be made in one of the bank's branches. ABN AMRO currently operates offices for international clients in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Eindhoven. Some offices only allow visits with an appointment, which you can easily book here.

Like Rabobank, ABN AMRO unfortunately also provides relatively little public information on the account opening of non-residents on its website. However, we also assume that this shouldn't be a problem with a legitimate interest (at least for EU citizens). In case of doubt, you should inform yourself in advance by telephone at the International Service Desk and ask exactly which documents are required for the account opening.

What Monito Likes About ABN AMRO

  • Relatively customer-friendly bank.
  • English-language support.
  • Expert support at the International Service Desk.

What Monito Dislikes About ABN AMRO

  • No precise information on the conditions for opening an account by non-residents.

Opening a Basic Account in the Netherlands

Mauro Sbicego on Unsplash

If you have a passport or residence permit from another EU country, you have the right to open a "Basic Account" in the Netherlands.

Basic accounts are useful for cross-border workers and other interested parties, as banks may not deny you this account simply because you do not live in the respective EU country. (However, this only applies as long as you do not have another bank account in the Netherlands.) An overview of all requirements can be found here, but in essence, a Basic Account gives you access to the following day-to-day financial services:

  • Deposit processing: Top-up money into your bank account.
  • Withdrawals: Withdraw cash at ATMs.
  • Direct debits: Set up recurring payments where funds are automatically dedicated from your bank account.
  • Payment card: Use a bank card to make cashless payments and withdraw money.

Following EU law, basic payment accounts are also insured of up to €100,000 in deposits for individual accounts and €200,000 in deposits for joint accounts, making them a very secure option. Banks in the EU cannot refuse EU residents from opening an account in another country solely based on not living there.

Open an Online Bank Account in the Netherlands

Scott Graham on Unsplash

Online banks (sometimes called 'digital banks') are fully-fledged banks offering all or most of the usual banking services. The main difference is that they have no branches, with all banking services being handled online instead. These banks generally offer a more limited range of services than the traditional banks discussed above, but at a fraction of the price and over a user-friendly web or mobile app interface.

See Monito's rankings for the best online banks in Europe here.

Let's take a look at some of the major digital bank offerings available for opening a bank account in the Netherlands for residents and non-residents alike:

Bunq

If you don't feel like the time-consuming process of opening an account at a traditional Dutch bank, then bunq might be what you're looking for. Bunq is a Dutch bank that offers current accounts and a host of interesting banking features to EU residents. The nice thing about bunq is that the account opening and account management is done completely online — straight from your smartphone. What's more, since bunq doesn't operate any branches, all current accounts can be easily managed remotely.

Account name: Easy Bank

Account type: Current (Dutch bank details).

Total cost: €2.99 per month.

Noteworthy features: Bill splitting, Wise money transfer integration,

Proof of address: Netherlands (or any other EU country).

More info: See our full bunq review.

N26

Arguably the best-known mobile bank, N26 is a widely-used and much-loved German online bank with around seven million customers across the EU, including in the Netherlands. N26 is also partnered with Wise's money transfer service, allowing in-app international money transfers at some of the best exchange rates on the market. Because of its complete current account offering, we recommend N26 to just about anybody interested in low-cost banking, and we recommend it over bunq for those looking for an entirely free current account.

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.

Revolut

The world's best-known online fintech company is available in the Netherlands. Opening a current account doesn't require Dutch proof of residence.

Account name: Standard

Account type: Current (Lithuanian account details).

Total cost: €0 per month.

Noteworthy features: UK account details, multi-currency balances.

Proof of address: Netherlands (or EU, UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland)

More info: See our full Revolut review.

What's the Best Bank Account in the Netherlands?

Would you like to open an account in the Netherlands, and do you happen to be a resident of the EU? In this case, because of the higher costs and more complex application process, we recommend avoiding doing so at a traditional Dutch bank. Instead, we recommend using bunq to open a low-cost Dutch current account entirely remotely. As an EU citizen, you'll only need to verify your passport or identity card, with a valid residence permit also being sufficient to open a current account with bunq.

On the other hand, if you're particularly interested in full branch services and have a legitimate interest in opening an account in the Netherlands as a non-resident, then a basic account at one of the major Dutch banks is also an option. This option should also be relatively easy, even if you don't live in the Netherlands. If you live in the border area, it's also a good idea to visit several branches of Dutch banks and inquire there in person. Banks are often more open-minded in personal conversations than over the phone, and with a bit of luck, you'll have opened a basic account on your first visit.

How To Send Money to a Dutch Bank Account

If you're moving in from abroad, one thing you'll need to consider is how to transfer your funds into your new Dutch bank account. (This process can be especially costly if you're depositing money from a currency other than Euros.) To deposit money into your new Euro account from your home currency before you move, you'll need to go to your online banking and choose between one of two options:

  • Sending a wire transfer through your bank directly;
  • Sending a bank transfer via a money transfer specialist.

In general, we don't recommend using your bank to transfer money internationally, as the fees can be exorbitant and the waiting times can be lengthy. This is mainly because banks wire funds over the SWIFT network, which adds many timely and expensive steps to the money transfer process.

Instead, if the amount you'd like to send to the Netherlands is in the order of several hundred or thousand US dollars or equivalent, then we recommend you use a money transfer specialist service (Wise is generally the cheapest to the Netherlands from countries such as Germany, the US, and the UK.) To compare which services are cheapest for your transfer amount and home country to the Netherlands, run a search on Monito's real-time comparison engine below.

On the other hand, if you're moving large amounts of money from your home currency to your new bank account in the Netherlands, (i.e. anything upwards of $30,000 or equivalent), then services such as Wise may not be your cheapest bet. Instead, we recommend exploring your options among the foreign exchange brokers that support transfers from your country to the Netherlands. These services specialise in negotiating favourable exchange rates on your behalf and are the most cost-effective option for transferring large sums of money (such as life savings or liquid investments) across borders.

To find out which service will offer you the best deal in real-time, run a search on our comparison engine below:

Send Money Cheaply to the Netherlands

Frequently Asked Questions About Opening a Bank Account in the Netherlands

Why Trust Monito?

You’re probably all too familiar with the often outrageous cost of sending money abroad. After facing this frustration themselves back in 2013, co-founders François, Laurent, and Pascal launched a real-time comparison engine to compare the best money transfer services across the globe. Today, Monito’s award-winning comparisons, reviews, and guides are trusted by around 8 million people each year and our recommendations are backed by millions of pricing data points and dozens of expert tests — all allowing you to make the savviest decisions with confidence.

Learn More About Monito
  • Monito is trusted by 15+ million users across the globe.

  • Monito's experts spend hours researching and testing services so that you don't have to.

  • Our recommendations are always unbiased and independent.

Monito.com

Global Impact Finance Ltd
Rue du Pont 22
1003 Lausanne
Switzerland

Affiliate Disclosure
Instead of banner ads and paywalls, Monito makes money through affiliate links to the various payment service providers featured on our website. While we work hard to scout the market for the best deals, we're unable to consider every possible product available to you. Our extensive range of trusted affiliate partners enables us to make detailed, unbiased, and solution-driven recommendations for all types of consumer questions and problems. This allows us to match our users with the right providers to suit their needs and, in doing so, match our providers with new customers, creating a win-win for everybody involved. However, while some links on Monito may indeed earn us a commission, this fact never impacts the independence and integrity of our opinions, recommendations, and evaluations.