Discrimination of EU-citizens when opening a bank account?

Rejection of Opening a Bank Account

rejection bank account

A rejection of a bank account does not have to be the final word …

There are a whole lot of reasons, why people outside Germany would like to have a bank account in Germany. Keywords are: work in Germany, investment account in a safe country, better conditions.

Unfortunately, too many banks are still rejecting the opening of a current account for EU-citizens, who is no German citizen and only lives since recently in Germany or has its residence outside Germany.

Rejection because of nationality vs. business decision

Fortunately, we live in an economic system in which two parties – in our case a human being and a bank – can decide freely, whether they want to start a contractual relationship or not.

The bank can choose freely, whether it approves or rejects the application on opening a bank account.

However, it is not okay, if a bank refuses to open a current account, because the applicant is from another EU-country or has his/her residence there. This is not compatible with the EU-law that people are discriminated because of their nationality.

= it is forbidden to reject bank account because of the nationality!

Challenges for the German bank industry

The biggest challenges for the German banks are:

  • Credit Assessment of applicants for a bank account
  • Identification of applicants

Especially the two top-banks of our special-portal DKB and Comdirect are popular among customers in Germany and abroad, as these banks provide the best conditions since years. As a standard, they offer a free Visa credit card with the bank account, with which one can withdraw cash free of charge, all around the world.

Credit Assessment based on the Schufa (Credit Investigation Company)

A bank would only want to give such an account to customers that have a certain credit-worthiness. For people living in Germany, the credit-worthiness can be requested easily via the Schufa. Although one is already working on European cooperations, this is not yet well-engineered by a lot of countries.

Legitimacy via PostIdent

Additionally, there is also the unequivocally proven identification of the bank customer, which is required by German law. In Germany, the PostIdent-procedure has established itself for online banks. This, however, can only be implemented in post offices within Germany.

The DKB and Comdirect also accept other methods, such as notaries in EU-countries as well as in other foreign countries.

Rejection because of Nationality

If you have applied for a current account at one of our top banks DKB or Comdirect and it was rejected, then you have the right to complain as a EU-citizen. In order to have success – so achieving the opening of your current account –, you should ask for a written statement of the reasons of rejection.

If the bank writes that it does not accept citizens from other EU-countries than Germany or only German citizens, then this is discrimination. You are free to complain. At the DKB, this would be the ombudsman (public defender of rights) of the public banks and at the Comdirect the one of the private banks.

If you want to have an account at a German bank, then you should be able to understand, speak and write the German language basically. Not only, because the contractual relationship is in German language, but also, because you have to communicate meaningfully with the bank.

FIN-NET

The dispute resolution network will be at your service. We would like to document one case from a EU-country outside Germany step by step for the benefit of all our readers.

There is also the possibility to file a complaint via FIN-NET, the dispute resolution network for financial services within the European Union. This has the advantage that you can write your complaint in your native language.

FIN-NET will translate your complaint and forward it to the national banking association, which is responsible for the respective bank.

We help you too!

If the account opening at one of the banks we recommend was rejected due to the fact that your nationality is non-German, but from one of the other EU-countries, then please contact us via the comment box at the bottom of the page of the German version of this article: www.deutscheskonto.org/de/ablehnung-eroeffnung-bankkonto.

We would love to support you with your complaint at FIN-NET and in the best case, celebrate together with you the opening of your bank account in Germany.

DKB Visa Card

The world´s best Visa credit card with Internet account from Germany: DKB Visa

With our special-portal, we work for and want to achieve that people independently from their nationality, ideology, religion, colour or sexual preferences can open an excellent bank account in Germany.

However, the credit-worthiness must be okay. It is understandable that a bank, whether in Germany or elsewhere, is cautious when opening an account, if the debts exceed the assets. Nevertheless, German banks may also reconsider the policy of the automatic credit line. Maybe it is possible to set up a bank account with Visa credit card initially on credit basis?

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Images: Antonioguillem (fotolia.com)

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Who writes here?

Someone who has helped more than 100,000 people to obtain a new bank account in the past 7 years. My name is Tanja and if you continue reading, you will find out why I and this page exist ⇒ read more.

8 Responses to “Rejection of Opening a Bank Account”

  1. Hi – I went into the Sparkasse Bank in Chemnitz and asked to open an account. I gave my passport and my driving license to the cashier and was given an appointment for the next day. During the next morning I received a phone call to cancel the appointment. I was informed that I could not open an account because my address was not in Germany. I visit around 8 times per year to spend time with my girlfriend who is a German National. My German is basic but I am working hard to improve my language skills. It would be a great help if I can have a German Girokonto account and hope you can help me. When my spoken German has improved, I plan to open a branch of my business in Germany.

    Thank you for your assistance with this request.

    Dillwyn Rosser

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    • Redaktion says:

      It is a pity that the local Sparkasse has made this decision.

      What do you need this account for and which type should it be? A private current account or business account? … Are you a student? … Are you willing to pay fees for the bank account in Germany? Would it be possible to use the mail address of your girlfriend?

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  2. Redaktion says:

    Here is a new site with reasons for rejection at DKB: https://www.deutscheskonto.org/en/dkb/opening-rejected/ … and opportunities for action.

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  3. Juan Pablo Barani says:

    Hi! Thanks a lot for this information.

    Some days ago I researched about Depots, since I want to invest my hard earned money. I decided to go with the onVista bank (a daughter enterprise of comdirect), I read carefully everything, and prepared the application, which involved a couple more documents since I am Italian (Reisepass und Meldebescheinigung not older than 6 months).

    Today I received a written letter which literally says:

    “Aufgrund von aufwendigen regulatorischen Berichtspflichten im Rahmen der europäischen Finanzmarkrichtlinie (MiFID II), ist eine Konto- und Depoteröffnung für bestimmte Staatsangehörigkeiten aus wirtschaftlichen Gründen nicht mehr möglich.”

    I called, and they confirmed me that they are only opening accounts only to Germans, since they have “technical problems” updating their platforms. It really sounded to me like a cheap excuse. Also, they explained they do have technical problems to update their website, and that is the reason why they do not openly advertise the ban.

    I live and work in Germany for more than 4 years, I have other accounts by Deutsche Bank und DKB and my Schufa scoring is perfect.

    Do you think they are going against the EU directives? What course of action do you recommend?

    Needless to say I will invest my money somewhere else…

    Thanks a bunch in advance.

    After living and working in Germany for more than 4 years,

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    • Editorial Team says:

      Simply go to another bank and be glad to not have become a customer of a bank that is not a good fit for you. After all quarreling is not worth it, and there are really better providers than OnVista!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  4. Ifti001 says:

    Hi, I have had founded a UG company with one of my German friend in which he is a share holder and I am the CEO, I have had been told now to open a company account and put the required capital and get our company registered officially. I made an appointment at Commerzbank Bonn. I went there gave them all the documents including mine and my German friends identity and told them. After they process I and my friend will come for signing and other procedures, but before I could go again I have had received a call from the bank telling me that they cannot open the account without specifying any reason. I have a non-Eu nationality but I am living in Germany for almost one year and I have a German address and had all the documents from notary, is there something I can do about it?

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    • Editorial Team says:

      You have founded a company and will probably have customers in the near future (or already have them). But you cannot force anyone to become your customer. It’s the same with banks. Simply open a business account with another bank. How do you like ► this provider? It is easy to get a modern business account opened here, including during the time of the founding process (for the deposit of the UG’s share capital). We wish you best of luck for your new company in Germany!

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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