Practical Daily Life


Opening up a bank account for foreigners in Belgium is easy and straight forward. You can open an online account without setting foot in a bank or just go to any bank office and take a proof of identity - a passport or a Belgian ID is usually enough -  and you will get a bank account in no time. Some of the large banks also offer an expat service that allows you to open the account online before you move to Belgium. You will then need to inform the bank once your residence permit has been issued.

Most banks will give you an overdraft facility on your current account. They will require proof of your income, such as a contract of employment or three successive salary slips.

Using a bank account

  • As soon as your account is open you can withdraw money and make payments.
  • Payments in Belgium are generally made by electronic debit card or credit card. The use of cheques is now almost obsolete in Belgium.
  • Check the rate of charges for a current account, as these can vary between banks.
  • Bank statements are send by post by your bank at regular intervals with full details of of all deposits and payments. You can also read and print these statements via self-service banking or use a home banking service offered to customers with an online computer to consult statements, make payments and print documents. 

Banking for expats

The following main Belgian banks offer an expat desk in Brussels:

BNP Paribas Fortis


They generally offer an optional comprehensive service to expats. This service (which involves an annual charge) includes a current account, debit card, credit card and transfer forms. It also includes advantageous financial and insurance packages geared towards the expat resident in Belgium.
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