Like many other countries, Germany has a banking system consisting of both private and public banks, And it’s organized like this almost since forever. But the number of private banks, especially international ones, is constantly growing, as foreigners living or working here sometimes prefer using a bank from their own country, instead of a local one.

This can be a significantly better option for them, since, in most cases, after moving to Germany, they continue using the services offered by the bank from back home. After all, it’s way easier like this, since everything they need to do is transfer their account to the German branch and they’re good to go.

The international banks in Germany can be classified according to their country of provenance, Most of them are based in the United Kingdom, but the number of French banks is also noticeable, while Swiss and overseas banks kept entering the country over the past years.

For example, a few of the most important UK banks are Barclays, Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and HSBC, while the biggest French financial institutions operating throughout the country are BNP Paribas and Societe Generale. Despite not being based in any of these two countries, Banco Santander also deserves being mentioned, same as ING Group and Credit Suisse.


The United States is also integrated into the German financial system, through banks like Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan, the one who recently announced its own cryptocurrency.

Asia is represented by National Bank of Pakistan, State Bank of India, Mitsubishi UFJ or the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group.

If you are a foreigner living in Germany and want to open an account here, as you didn’t transfer the one you had home, there isn’t basically the perfect bank, as it depends on what you’re actually looking for.

Sure, the larger, commercial ones have English-speaking staff, as well as an English version of their website. On the other side, it’s pretty rare to find one with an English app as well, not to mention that just a few banks can open accounts to non-residents. Therefore, if you’re moving to Germany, the best option remains to use your old account, as long as you find the equivalent bank and transfer your credentials to its German branch and see if the policy remains the same.

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