Banking in Finland

A foreign person is legally under certain conditions justified to basic banking services in Finland. These services include service account through which it is possible to pay bills and receive payments. In addition to basic banking services, the basic services include a debit card by which the customer can withdraw cash from ATMs and pay for purchases directly from the personal bank account. Banking and opening a bank account should be quite simple for foreigners and there are quite few formalities. Please notice before opening a bank account that you need to set up a meeting beforehand.

Under Finnish law, banks must identify and know their customers. This means that the bank will verify the customer's identity by examining your official identification card. In addition to the customer’s personal data, the bank has a legal obligation to know the customers need for services, purpose of use, financial position and source of funds.

Sometimes the documentation needed seems to vary not only between banks but between branches, too, and that is why it is advisable to take with you as much official identification as you can. These are the documents that are mostly required when opening a bank account:

- Identification card, generally a passport
In some cases also other identification cards might be accepted. The identification card must be issued by a national authority and has to be accepted as a travel document and needs to be a valid travel document within the Schengen area. Please notice that a foreign driving license is not an official identification document. You can check the acceptable documentation here.
- Certification of employment, e.g. contract of employment (or sometimes a letter of invitation)
- An explanation for why a bank account is needed and the origin of the funds that are stored to the account.

There are many major banks in Finland which also have offices in Rovaniemi but you should notice that all banks necessarily do not provide the same services, e.g. online banking services for foreigners. In Rovaniemi, you are able to choose between the following banks: Nordea (Located in: Rovakatu 17), Pohjolan Osuuspankki OP (Koskikatu 12), LähiTapiola (Rovakatu 27), S-pankki (Teollisuustie 2), Säästöpankki (Ainonkatu 1) and Svenska Handelsbanken (Koskikatu 14-16, Kalotinlinna).

For more specific and detailed information about banking in Finland, please visit this link.

Please notice that all foreign employees at the University need to open a Finnish bank account to which the salary is paid.
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