Banking in Hungary

Opening an account and legal issues

If you are going to be living in Hungary for more than a few months you will probably find it necessary to open a bank account. If you are working and being paid in Hungary you will probably find you need to open an account to receive salary payments.

In Hungary banks are open on weekdays from 8am until 4pm. Banks are not open on Saturdays except some branches in shopping malls/centres.

Legal issues for banking as a foreigner

Depending on the purpose and length of your stay, it can be advisable or even required to open a bank account in Hungary. If you are working in Hungary, most employers will expect to pay salaries electronically to a Hungarian bank account. In order to receive a loan you need an account and many service providers (such as utilities such as electricity and telephone) prefer payments from a bank account. Normally, setting up automatic electronic payments makes life easier

As in other countries, keeping your money in the bank means it is much safer than under your pillow. The state carries a depositor guarantee for the return of your money in case your bank becomes insolvent.

What will you need to open an account?

Most banks require a valid residence permit and address card to opening a bank account. However, some banks allow foreigners to open an account with just the presentation of a passport.

You will be charged a fee to open the account and you will also have to pay to get a bank card and for account management services. You will usually be able to have segregated currency accounts, in other words keep your money as Hungarian Forints (HUF) and/or in other currencies such as Euros or US Dollars.

Choosing a bank

Before you choose your bank we recommended you consider the following factors:

  • Will you have easy access to branches near where you live and work?
  • Are there ATMs in the whole country?
  • What are the costs?
  • As the personal impression is also important, it is useful to go in the bank in person and check their website. You might want to find out if someone on the staff in your local branch speaks English or another language that you might be able to communicate if you are not very strong in the local language.
  • What services will I be provided with?

You have the possibility to open a bank account online at www.hvb.hu . This is not very widespread in Hungary and there is currently no charge to open an account.

Further reading

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