This European city is a tourist haven for foreigners looking for a pleasant vacation spot in Europe and has ex-pat communities all over top cities like Sofia, Plovdiv, and Varna.
Bulgarian banks also boast of some of the most stable and effective banking systems in Europe. These institutions are secure, reliable, and ensure that transactions are carried out with ease. Most Bulgarian banks offer you safe deposit/withdrawal of funds, part of SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area) without being part of the Eurozone, and guarantee transfers of funds both in and out of the EU.
If you stumbled on this page, you may be one of the many foreigners in Bulgaria that want to open a savings account. In the guide, we’ll be reviewing the best banks in Bulgaria for ex-pats that want an account, how to open a bank account in Bulgaria even as a non-resident and the banking systems operated in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria offers one on the best banking experience in Europe, there are different account types available to both individuals and companies. Before you can open a bank account in Bulgaria, you must present the bank with original and notarized copies of your ID document that proves your identity.
This procedure was created to prevent account duplication and fraud but there are also agencies that can open a bank account on your behalf. The different types of banks available throughout the nation, there are commercial and foreign banks that offer reliable financial products & services.
Commercial banks provide a wide range of banking services, these institutions are found across the country and over 90% of these institutions are foreign-owned. The largest Bulgarian bank in the country is the Bulbank. It was taken over in 2000 by Italy’s Unicredito.
The second-largest bank is the DSK Bank, it is owned by the Hungarian OTP Bank. Then there’s the United Bulgarian Bank, owned by the National Bank of Greece. These are a handful of banks in the country that offers the best financial services.
The sad news is that it is hard for foreigners to open a bank account even if they possess a local address. Since the 1st of August 2019, only individuals that possess a Bulgarian residency card can open a bank account there.
What documents are needed to open a bank account
Opening a bank account in the country is a very easy process. The biggest challenge you may face is the language barrier, the documents are not available in the English language, so you’ll have to hire a translator to help you with the process.
Before you can open a bank account, you must possess the following documents:
- A valid national ID card or passport
- A Bulgarian address
- Phone number and email address
- Certificate of good standing (for company bank accounts)
You will also need to come with extra cash to activate your account. Once your account is activated, you will be given a bank slip that contains your online login details and other additional information you’ll need. You can collect your bank card in person once it is ready in any of its branches nationwide. If you live abroad, it will be delivered to your address abroad.
Top Bulgarian Banks
Most Bulgarian offers reliable banking frameworks with 24/7 uptime, bank branches/ATMs found all over the country, and multiple language options. When choosing a bank, you should look for one that meets your need, possess standard facilities, and assessable anywhere in the world.
These are some of the best banks in Bulgaria:
UniCredit Bulbank is one of the largest banks in the country. There are an extensive number of branches and ATMs across the nation. This financial institution offers a full range of financial services including an encrypted online banking app that is available in the English language.
Founded in 1951, DSK offers a range of accounts, cards, saving products, and other financial services. They offer accounts available to customers that have corporate, retail, private, or individual needs. They also have a very dynamic mobile and internet banking app that gives users the best experience.
Based in Sofia, DSK manages 93 branches, 119 bank offices, 100 affiliated offices, 9 regional centers, 20 business centers, and 40 financial centers. DSKbank operates as a subsidiary of OTP Bank Group, one of the biggest independent financial services in Europe. They offer one of the best and secure banking experience to their customers.
Established in 1994, Raiffeisen Bank provides some of the best financial products and services to small individual customers and large corporate institutions in the country. This bank operates as a subsidiary of Austria’s Raiffeisen Banking Group and boasts of 147 branches found across Bulgaria.
Postbank branches and ATMs are found across towns and cities across the nation. They also offer reliable financial products and services to active customers. Postbank is also known as Eurobank Bulgaria and a subsidiary of Eurobank EFG, a Greece-based financial institution.
They offer retail, investment, and corporate banking services to all active customers. The best thing about Postbank’s is that potential customers can open an account by filling an accounts request form and presenting a valid ID.
If you are new in the country, you don’t need to make an appointment to open an account. Most banks use a ticket queuing system that allows customers to wait their turn when it’s due. If you are an English-speaking ex-pat, it’s best you choose an international bank that has English speaking staff to assist you with your account registration.