Acquiring a bank account

Banks in Sweden have an obligation to offer you a bank account. You have the right to have a bank account even if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, if you do not have a Swedish address or if you have a protected identity. But the bank must be able to verify your identity in order to be able to open an account.

 It is only if you have been previously dishonest to the bank, if there is suspicion of money laundering or if the bank, by giving you the account, risks promoting criminal activity, that the bank can deny you an account.

Banks have, however, no obligation to offer you (as a customer) access to online banking. Nor is there any obligation to provide you with a debit card or a bank loan. However, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority recommends banks to offer basic supplementary services such as debit cards (of any kind) and online banking to its customers.

How do you prove your identity?

Valid identity documents in Sweden are:

  • Swedish driver’s license,
  • Swedish National ID card,
  • SIS-marked ID cards, EU cards,
  • Swedish passport
  • Foreign passport

Keep in mind that, upon identification with a foreign passport, the bank can sometimes require an identification letter from the bank you have in your country of origin.