If you do plan on living in Croatia for work or retirement, you will need a bank account.
The Croatian National Bank is the independent regulator for five housing savings banks and 28 commercial banks. It is the central authority charged with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the banking sector.
Founded in 1990, the CNB ensures that the country’s financial and banking systems are up and running and maintains price stability in these systems.
In 2013, the Croatian National Bank joined the European System of Central Banks following Croatia’s entry into the EU. It started performing its duties under the Statute of the ESCB and the ECB.
In this article, we’ll be showing you everything you should know about banking in Croatia. We will be revealing everything from best banks to transaction fees and application requirements.
Best Banks in Croatia
The Croatian banking sector is one of the strongest and most active sectors in its economy. The top five banks control over 70% of total assets in the banking sector in Croatia.
More than 80% of all banking assets are owned by foreign institutions.
Zagrebacka Banka is owned and controlled by the UniCredit Group of Italy. The Privredna Banka is owned by the Intesa Sanpaolo Group of Italy, and the Erste & Steiermärkische Bank is owned and managed by Erste Group of Austria.
Since there are a lot of local and international banks in the country, choosing the right one can be a very hard feat to achieve.
If you live in the capital city, Zabreg, you’d know that there are more banks there than anywhere in the country, which makes your decision even harder.
Choosing an international bank is the perfect choice if you are an EU citizen and want to keep using the account of your home country.
But if you are a third-country national and you are still having problems deciding which financial institution is perfect for you, these are the best banks in Croatia.
1. Zagrebačka Banka
Zagrebačka Banka is the largest and leading bank in Croatia. It is popular and widely preferred by millions of residents and expats due to its wide range of quality products and services.
Like I said earlier, ZABA is owned by the Italian UniCredit group. Since it is an international bank, it allows you to open an account in USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, JPY, NOK, RSD BAM, CHF, DKK, HRK, and SEK.
However, your account will be charged in EUR, regardless of the currencies you selected in your account. ZABA has a total of 129 branches and close to 900 cash machines.
Prominent projects endorsed by the Zagrebačka Banka include the Zagreb airport, Petrova trudionica project, Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, Istrian Y highway, Zagreb electric tram, and Pometeno brdo wind power plant.
2. Privredna Banka Zagreb (PBZ)
Privredna Banka Zagreb is the second-largest financial institution in Croatia and boasts of more than 261 branches and over 1,000 cash machines.
Established in 1966, PBZ serves retail and corporate clients with a wide range of specialized banking products and services. This renowned institution allows you to open a banking account in CHF, HRK, EUR, and USD.
Privredna Banka Zagreb has been a proud subsidiary of Intesa Sanpaolo group since 2007.
Aside from offering some of the best financial products and services, PBZ has supported programs in industrialization, tourism, agriculture, shipbuilding, and road construction.
3. Erste & Steiermärkische Bank
Erste banka also stands as one of the best financial institutions for expats and foreigners living in Croatia. ESB is a part of a leading financial firm rooted in Central and Eastern Europe.
Erste Group started as a small organization created to help people to manage their finances and fight against poverty. It was the first Croatian bank to use debit cards with microchip-technology and online applications for applying for loans and opening saving accounts.
Established in 2003, Erste & Steiermärkische Bank provides a wide range of financial products and services to individual and corporate entities in Croatia.
Today, ESB has more than 139 branches and more than 730 ATMs across the country. It also manages eight entrepreneurial offices, 13 commercial institutions, and nine profit centers for corporate clients.
How To Open An Croatian Bank Account
Setting up an account is pretty straightforward and easy as long as you follow the guidelines and requirements placed by the financial institution.
Most banks allow you to offer a choice between current accounts, Giro accounts, and savings accounts.
You can even have an account in either Kuna or any foreign currency because although there are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency you can bring in or take out of the country. But there are some restrictions on the movement of Kuna.
The best thing about Croatian banks is the fact that you can open an account even if you don’t have a residence permit. Your account will simply be classified as a “non-resident account”.
If you want to open a bank account here, you need to visit the bank with a copy of your ID, a utility bill for proof of residency, and a small deposit.
Charges and other fees for accounts vary between banks and accounts but student accounts are free throughout the state.