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Readers' tips: Which bank is the best option for foreigners in Denmark?

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Readers' tips: Which bank is the best option for foreigners in Denmark?
File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
15:23 CEST+02:00
The Local asked its readers to share their tips about which bank offers the best account for foreigners living in Denmark. Here's what they had to say.

Which bank is the best choice for foreigners living in Denmark?

The most popular choice amongst the responses we received was Nordea, which is part of a large Nordic financial group.

Why Nordea?

“English service was good. Accounts had low fees, and their mortgage offer has turned out to be the best, overall,” Gareth Bristow, who lives in Copenhagen, wrote.

A reader in Horsens, who did not give their name, also mentioned good English skills amongst Nordea staff.

“It was the only bank that agreed to open me an account when I arrived in Denmark almost eight years ago. Also, everyone there speaks English and are willing to help,” the commenter wrote.

Other people responding to our questionnaire named good customer service, help with mortgages and few unexpected fees as reasons to choose Nordea.

Were any other bank accounts recommended?

Danske Bank and Vestjysk Bank were also recommended as good banks for foreigners to open Danish accounts.

In the case of the former, a good English-language website and app was considered a winning feature by more than one reader.

At Vestjysk Bank, customer service was praised.

“They are always ready and eager to help, which as an expat I could see rarely with the other banks that I tried,” wrote Saleh, who lives in Esbjerg.

Any banks readers recommended avoiding?

Although some recommended it, Danske Bank was also the bank most-often mentioned as the one to avoid. Our readers mentioned fees charged by the bank as the most common reason for this.

In general, readers advised to be sure you ask about any fees you might be liable to pay before opening a bank in Denmark, including annual fees and charges for ATM withdrawals.

What other advice was given?

The most important step you must take before trying to open a bank is to register as resident in Denmark and be issued with a personal registration (CPR) number, according to our readers.

“You need a (registration) number first, which can take many months to receive. Without that, you'll struggle to do many things, including opening a bank account,” Bristow wrote.

“Without a bank account you can't receive a salary either. Additionally, banks are much more loathe to offer credit cards with a credit line. I have excellent credit history with a good job but was not offered a credit card (with credit line) when I signed up,” he added.

Gareth Bristow also offered some very helpful comments about saving and borrowing with Danish banks.

“The central lending rate is very low, as it is all over Europe, which means savings accounts give very low returns. On the other side, home loans are very cheap and very accessible. Given this and the tax structure, I strongly recommend buying a home sooner if you plan to make Denmark your home,” he wrote.

READ ALSO: What's it like to work in Denmark as a foreigner? Here's what you told us

 
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