How to open a bank account in Slovenia

TransferWise content team
15.10.18
7 minute read

A temperate climate, beautiful landscapes, and a thriving economy make Slovenia a very attractive new home for an expat. Slovenia also does not disappoint in luring foreigners to its lands by offering a very convenient banking system that caters to non-residents. Many Slovenian banks make financial matters easy for non-residents by offering bank accounts specifically for them with a simple, streamlined process that's easy to navigate.

If you are going to stay in Slovenia long-term, you're going to have to figure out a suitable way to manage your finances while there. One of the ways to go is a borderless multi-currency account with TransferWise. Read on for what you need to know about opening a bank account in Slovenia or using the convenient alternative.

Can I open a bank account as a non-resident of Slovenia?

Yes. Slovenia allows non-residents and even tourists to open accounts, though the documents you'll need to do so vary from bank to bank. You’ll need a valid passport and a Slovenian Tax Number.¹ Some banks have deposit and withdrawal limits for non-resident accounts so be sure to go over all limitations with your banker.

What's the process? How long does it usually take?

You can either make an appointment or just walk into the bank to set up your account. Be sure to bring all required documentation with you when you go to open your account, and check if the branch you visit has a translator in case you don't speak Slovenian. Since most Slovenian banking websites aren't in English or other languages, you may need to work with a local translator to assist you. However, many of the larger banks in the main cities of Slovenia do have English-speaking staff.

Once you arrive at your appointment, you’ll need to complete an application and have your documents verified. Many banks in Slovenia will send you a debit card in a few weeks at your local address, though some are quicker and send it within the week.

What documents are necessary for a foreigner to open a bank account?

The documentation required for a non-resident account can differ from bank to bank, so it's suggested you call in advance. This is so you can be sure you have all the documentation, that they require, when you go to your appointment. Documents banks will most often ask you to provide are:

  • Passport
  • Confirmation of Slovenian Tax Number²
  • Foreign tax number¹

To get a Slovenian tax number, you'll need to complete a DR-02 form which must include your home country’s tax number. A copy of your ID document is needed as well. If you visit a tax administration office, you may get the tax number immediately.² Be sure to bring your passport with you to the office.

Can I open a bank account abroad? What about at least online?

There are a few banks that let you open accounts online, but since most of them don't have an English website, you'll likely need to depend on the translator option on your computer, or go to the branch to open an account.

What banking fees are involved?

Thankfully, many banks in Slovenia offer no-fee account opening. Some do charge monthly maintenance fees. Most banks also charge additional fees for services outside of daily banking. Be sure to speak with your banker about these fees before opening an account.

Regular fees include:

ATM fees

Most ATMs in Slovenia don't charge fees when you take out money at your Slovenian bank or partner ATM. Withdrawing cash from an ATM at a different bank, however, can include flat withdrawal fees.

If you’re using a debit card from a non-Slovenian bank at a Slovenian ATM, it’s very likely you'll be subject to a foreign ATM fee as well as a percentage of the amount withdrawn. Similar to some ATM fees, this is the flat fee, plus a percentage of the transaction which is sent from your bank at home. Exchange rates can also be quite high at ATMs versus a local bank.

Standard bank fees

Most banks still have fees for specialty services or if you exceed your ATM withdrawals for the month. A few of these maintenance and convenience charges can be:

  • Cash transactions at a branch
  • Exceeded ATM withdrawal and deposits
  • Monthly account maintenance fee
  • Card changes
  • Bank transfer and deposit fees

Fees for international transfers

Banks typically charge additional fees for international transfers - a flat fee that can sometimes be as high as 50 EUR, plus a percentage of your total transfer amount. Be sure to keep an eye on the mid-market rate to ensure you don’t pay a higher exchange rate than you need.

It’s good to keep in mind that you can also use TransferWise to transfer money between your account in Slovenia and your account at home. TransferWise reduces international transfer fees by taking your international transaction and breaking it into a series of local ones while continuing to lower your costs by guaranteeing the mid-market rate.

Which bank should I choose?

Slovenia is home to many national and international banks offering a broad range of services. Some possible options are:

  • Nova Ljubljanska Banka³
  • Abanka⁴
  • Nova KBM⁵
  • SKB Banka⁶

Nova Ljubljanska Banka

The largest bank in the country is Nova Ljubljanska Banka.⁷ It’s a good choice for expats, since you can open your account online.⁸ Their accounts have benefits like debit cards, high daily withdrawal limits, and SMS messaging;⁹ however, this information isn't in English. They offer the following services, but you want to confirm which are available to you:

  • Non-resident bank accounts
  • Business accounts¹⁰
  • Different types of cards¹¹

Abanka

Abanka is Slovenia's third largest bank overall.¹² They have a competitive fee structure and an extensive ATM network. They too don't have an English language website though. Abanka offers these comprehensive financial services:

  • Personal bank and savings accounts¹³ ¹⁴
  • Investment services
  • Insurance
  • Loans ¹⁵
  • Business accounts ¹⁶

Nova KBM

One of Slovenia's most traditional banking institutions, NOVA KBM offers traditional service with modern comforts. Online banking, debit cards and a vast network of partner ATMs are very convenient for non-residents.¹⁷ ¹⁸ Here are some of the services they have:

  • Current and savings accounts¹⁹ ²⁰
  • Reward program²¹
  • Loans²²
  • Different cards²³
  • Investments and insurance
  • Business accounts

SKB Banka

SKB Banka has won Bank of the Year award in Slovenia for 6 years, making it an attractive bank.²⁴ As other banks, they also have a vast ATM and branch network. Their client-facing information is also not in English, but they offer a wide array of services like a special account for non-residents²⁵ as well as:

  • Personal and Savings accounts
  • Different cards²⁶
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Loans
  • Investments and insurance
  • Business accounts ²⁷

TransferWise

To be paid or pay someone else internationally, consider using TransferWise. They help you to both reduce fees and make sure you get the best exchange rate. TransferWise does this by breaking international payments into a series of local payments to lower your costs and they always use the mid-market rate. Why is this important? Because banks usually add a mark-up on the rate, inflating the price in their own favor and you’ll end up paying more.

TransferWise also offers a free borderless multi-currency account, which allow users to manage and send dozens of different currencies, all from the same account without crazy fees or even-crazier exchange rates. Just a small, fair charge when your money moves between currencies. You can even get your very own local bank details for several regions around the world – so you can pay and get paid locally. You can also get a handy debit card, that comes with the account, to make spending abroad cheaper and easier.

Slovenia is a very expat friendly country when it comes to opening bank accounts, with several banks that offer specific non-resident accounts. With such a welcoming financial landscape, you can rest easy knowing you have reduced fees and can access your money easily while you enjoy all Slovenia has to offer.


Sources:

  1. https://www.skb.si/en/personal-banking/personal-accounts/personal-account-for-non-residents ( October 12, 2018 )
  2. http://eugo.gov.si/en/considering/first-steps-after-entering-slovenia/a-slovenian-tax-number-for-natural-persons/ ( October 12, 2018 )
  3. https://www.nlb.si/ ( October 12, 2018 )
  4. https://www.abanka.si/ ( October 12, 2018 )
  5. https://www.nkbm.si/ ( October 12, 2018 )
  6. https://www.skb.si/en/corporate-banking/accounts-and-operations/transaction-account ( October 12, 2018 )
  7. https://www.nlb.si/the-bank-today ( October 12, 2018 )
  8. https://www.nlb.si/osebni-racuni ( October 12, 2018 )
  9. https://www.nlb.si/ko-vam-denar-poslje-sms ( October 12, 2018 )
  10. https://www.nlb.si/poslovni-racun ( October 12, 2018 )
  11. https://www.nlb.si/kartice ( October 12, 2018 )
  12. https://www.reuters.com/article/slovenia-privatisation/slovenia-plans-to-sell-bank-abanka-this-year-sdh-idUSL5N1F95L0 ( October 12, 2018 )
  13. https://www.abanka.si/bancni-racuni ( October 12, 2018 )
  14. https://www.abanka.si/varcevanja-in-nalozbe/varcevanja/varcevalni-racun ( October 12, 2018 )
  15. https://www.abanka.si/krediti ( October 12, 2018 )
  16. https://www.abanka.si/poslovne-finance/ ( October 12, 2018 )
  17. https://www.nkbm.si/kbs-banka-and-nova-kbm-officially-merge-today ( October 12, 2018 )
  18. https://bankanet.nkbm.si/prijava/bnk ( October 12, 2018 )
  19. https://www.nkbm.si/osebni-racun ( October 12, 2018 )
  20. https://www.nkbm.si/depoziti-varcevanja ( October 12, 2018 )
  21. https://www.nkbm.si/ugodnosti-uporabe-placilnih-kartic ( October 12, 2018 )
  22. https://www.nkbm.si/krediti ( October 12, 2018 )
  23. https://www.nkbm.si/kartice ( October 12, 2018 )
  24. http://www.skb.si/en/press/awards ( October 12, 2018 )
  25. https://www.skb.si/en/personal-banking/personal-accounts/personal-account-for-non-residents ( October 12, 2018 )
  26. http://www.skb.si/en/personal-banking/payment-cards ( October 14, 2018 )
  27. http://www.skb.si/en/corporate-banking ( October 14, 2018 )

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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