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One of the first steps after arriving in Luxembourg will be to get yourself set up financially.
Luxembourg, as a global financial centre, is home to a huge number of retail and private banks. While retail banks are more focussed on everyday needs, private banks will offer a service more oriented towards asset management.
Finding a bank in Luxembourg
The most common Luxembourg banks are the BIL (Banque International de Luxembourg), Spuerkeess and Raiffeisen, and all have an expansive network of cash machines.
International banks may include ING, BGL BNP Paribas, also offering daily bank services as well as private asset management.
How to choose the right bank? There really is no right or wrong answer. If you have an idea of what service you’re looking for, compare bank offers on their website and set up an introduction meeting with an advisor at your local branch.
Opening an account
To open a bank account, visit a branch during opening times (usually between 8am-4pm, but some may close for lunch) and bring along a copy of your ID, a proof of residence (electrical bill, rental contract etc.), and, if obtained, a contract of employment.
Don’t worry if you’re not yet a Luxembourg resident or (still) living abroad. If you, for example, work in Luxembourg but live in Germany, all you have to do is provide a copy of your employment contract or letter of engagement.
It is also possible to open an account online before physically arriving in Luxembourg, and you will be asked to post your documents and then collect your cards upon arrival. If you are renting an apartment, landlords will often require 2 to 3 months’ deposit upfront, meaning you’ll need a Luxembourg bank account to arrange the bank guarantee.
Opening a bank account is usually free of charge, but there can be monthly costs based on the package you choose. Whether you are a family settling down, a business traveller, a young entrepreneur or student, your account type will vary. The most regular type is a simple savings account.
You will start out with a debit card (V-PAY), but can also obtain a credit card (VISA or MasterCard). Both will allow you to withdraw cash from European ATMs, sometimes for a small fee as not all banks are partnered.
Most banks make use of a token/password system for secure online banking. We’ve all experienced going away on a trip and forgetting the token, so make sure to pack it along with you. The online banking app will usually only require a password to log-in, but new transactions (to accounts not yet registered) will require a token password as well. So, make sure to always bring it along everywhere you go.
Most banks will offer a mobile banking app, giving you insight into your account but also providing information on loans and investments. Interesting, too, is the Digicash app - this lets you send and request money from a user with a Luxembourg bank account simply by typing in their phone number.
Overview of banks
Spuerkeess (Banque et Caisse d'Épargne de l'État)
BIL (Banque Internationale à Luxembourg)