Opening a Swedish bank account

The process for opening a Swedish bank account depends on how long you will stay in Sweden. All banks require that you are properly registered via The Swedish Tax Agency in order to open an account.

I will stay in Sweden 12 months or longer
If your planned stay in Sweden is 12 months or longer you will recieve a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) from The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) that you use when applying for an account. Most of the major banks in Karlskrona require a Swedish personal identity number (personnummer) in order to get full banking service from them. The only way to get a personal identity number is by having a permit for staying in Sweden 12 months or longer. Some banks also accept coordination numbers (samordningsnummer) – see below.

If you stay less than 12 months
When your stay is less than 12 months you must apply for a coordination number. The banking service that you get with a coordination number is somewhat limited but fully functional. If you don’t qualify for a Swedish personal number see the Applying for a coordination number section at the end of this page for instructions on how to get your coordination number through BTH.

Before you continue, please read this information from the Swedish Bankers’ Association explaining what you can expect from the banks as an international student. You should also know that you have the right to open a Swedish bank account unless the bank can present “particular reasons” to deny you. Such reasons may be that the customer previously has been dishonest with the bank or that the bank has reason to suspect that the account risk being used for unlawful activities. However the bank must be able to verify your identity in order to open an account. You should also get banking services for making payments connected to your account; such as a card, giro booklet or Internet banking. If you encounter any serious problems when dealing with the bank, such as denying you an account despite following the instructions on this page, you should contact the student union using bank(at)bthstudent.se. We will help you out.

There are four major banks to choose from in Karlskrona: Swedbank, SEB, Handelsbanken and Nordea. To the appointment with any of those banks you must bring:

  • Your passport
  • Proof of registration letter from Skatteverket (contains your personal identity number or coordination number)
  • Proof of being a student at BTH: BTH Card, BTH registration certificate (called Ladok certificate in the student portal) AND/OR BTH admission letter

Each bank have a slightly different process for opening an account. These processs are outlined in the headings below.

Swedbank

To open an account with Swedbank you must contact the bank using angelica.hess(at)swedbank.se to book an appointment. In the email you write your full name, personal number/coordination number, phone number and email. Also inform about when you intend to visit their office. Swedbank recommends Tuesdays or Thursdays between 14:00 and 15:00 from next week or later. You may also ask Josefin any questions that you might have about opening the account. Swedbank’s office is located in the Wachtmeister Galleria at Borgmästaregatan 13, 371 35 Karlskrona. Grab a queue number in the reception once you get there and let the staff take care of you once it’s your turn. Please note that you must contact the bank via email and wait for confirmation before visiting the Swedbank office – they need time to prepare for your arrival and is unable to help you if you arrive unannounced.

If you open an account using your Swedish personal identity number you will receive the following:

  • A bank account
  • A Maestro bank card connected to your account (it is not possible to get a Master Card or Visa)
  • Access to Internet and mobile banking services

If you opening an account using your coordination number you will receive the following:

  • A bank account
  • A Maestro bank card connected to your account (it is not possible to get a Master Card or Visa)
  • A giro booklet used for paying your bills

When going to the bank for the appointment you must bring:

  • Your passport
  • Proof of registration letter from Skatteverket (contains your personal identity number or coordination number)
  • Proof of being a student at BTH: BTH Card, BTH registration certificate (called Ladok certificate in the student portal) AND/OR BTH admission letter

SEB

To open an account with SEB you must contact the bank to book an appointment. You book a time by calling their office, 0455-384210. You may also book a time by visiting their office located at Ronnebygatan 43, 371 25 Karlskrona any Thursday between 13:00 and 18:00.

SEB has stated that they can open accounts for all international students, even if you lack personal identity number and coordination number. They don’t use coordination numbers.

You can read more about what SEB offers in their information folder, accessible here.

When going to the SEB for the appointment you must bring:

  • Your passport
  • Proof of registration letter from Skatteverket (contains your personal identity number or coordination number)
  • Proof of being a student at BTH: BTH Card, BTH registration certificate (called Ladok certificate in the student portal) AND/OR BTH admission letter

Handelsbanken

You book an appointment with Handelsbanken by contacting Katarzyna Markowska at the Handelsbanken office. You may do this by visiting the Handelsbanken office, calling the office phone at 0455-367400 or by emailing her using kama29(at)handelsbanken.se. In the email you write your full name, personal number/coordination number, phone number and email. Also state that you are a student at BTH wishing to open an account with Handelsbanken.

Handelsbanken’s office is located at Skeppsbrokajen 10, 371 33 Karlskrona.

Handelsbanken have some extra requirements for the appointment. In addition to the general list above you must also bring:

Nordea

To open an account with Nordea you must visit their office to fill in an application form where you ask to open an account. You must bring a valid ID (such as your passport) and proof of being a student at BTH (Ladok certificate print out from the student portal). Within a few days you will receive a letter from the bank informing you whether your request to open an account was accepted or rejected. If your request was accepted you will also receive more information about your new account.

The Nordea office is located at Ronnebygatan 34, Karlskrona.


Help, I don’t have a Swedish Personal Identity Number

Applying for a coordination number
If you don’t have a Swedish personal number you may order a coordination number through BTH. You do this by filling out a requsition of coordination number form. After filling it out you must bring it to the BTH Student Centre helpdesk where you identify yourself using your passport. If you don’t have a printer avalible the BTH student centre will print it for you. The BTH helpdesk staff will send your form together with a copy of your passport to Skatteverket. In a few days BTH will receive your coordination number in return and you visit the Student Centre helpdesk once again to get your coordination number. When you have your coordination number you may open an account at Swedbank or Handelsbanken.

Paying bills in cash
Before getting your Swedish bank account you must pay your bills using cash. There are two companies in Karlskrona that specialize in handling cash: Forex and Svea Exchange. When paying bills Forex charge 50 SEK fee per bill while Svea Exchange take 40 SEK. As a BTH student you can also exchange foreign currency to SEK for free at Svea Exchange. A valid BTH card is required in order to use the discount.

You find Forex’s office at Borgmästaregatan 17, Karlskrona.
The Svea Exchange office is located at Ronnebygatan 42, Karlskrona.

It is possible to transfer money to and from your home country at both Forex and Exchange.

Questions

Please contact us at bank(at)bthstudent.se if you encounter any problems with following the above processs or if you notice that any of the information is out of date or unclear.