Banking and Finances in Germany

Even in the global digitized world, each country has its own specifics when it comes to banking and finance. It is therefore important for newcomers to familiarize with the German system.

Having a bank account is essential to your existence in Germany. You cannot pay the rent without one, nor get paid by your employer. So one of the first things you need to do when you begin your new life here is to go down to the local bank and open an account.

Individuals can choose between three types of banks: large commercial banks; full-service savings banks (Sparkassen) and credit cooperatives (Kreditgenossenschaft). The latter are the smallest of the three, with their offices located in the neighborhoods of towns and cities in the area. The large commercial banks have in recent years introduced more programs for retail customers to entice them away from the savings banks, which had traditionally been regarded as more consumer-oriented. To open an account in Germany, you, of course, need money. But that is just the beginning of the requirements. You will also need to produce a passport or other official ID. You may also be asked to show that registration form you received at the local registry office (Meldestelle), along with your residence permit.