Wednesday, 25 February 2009

PERSONAL BANKING FOR EXPATS IN BRUSSELS

IF YOU PLAN TO SHOPLIFT, PLEASE LET US KNOW


That is the feeling I have when I enter into a bank in Brussels, that I am being robbed and they dont even welcome you properly.

I will tell you my experience opening a normal savings account in the European area after visiting several different banks. Surprisingly many people I know share the same feeling with me. Maybe I am missing something, but this is what happened to me:(Q1 means question 1 and A1 means reply to question 1 , etc etc)

Q1)  Hello, good morning Madam/Sir, I would like to open an account
Bank1-A1) sorry you need to set an appointment for that, come next week.
Bank2-A1) Yes of course, but let me see if there is someone available to do that with you
Bank3-A1) Where do you work? Where are you form?
Bank3-A1) do you have a belgium working contract? how much is your salary
Bank3-A1) We need ocpies of your work contract, letter from your company, and copy of your flat renting contract.

Bank X...after opening my account
Q2) Can I get a credit card?
A2) yes of course, how much is your salary?....XXXX (nomatterwhatyousay) € ......Do you want a visa gold or normal one?

Q3) When will I have my bankcontact and visa card? 
A3)  in 10 days

after 10 days....
Q4) Hello I come to pick up my visa card
A4) sorry but it was lost and it was resent here, come in a few days

(in some countries you have your credit card ready the next day)

after some days...
Q5) I come to pick up my visa card
A5) Here you are.
Q6) Sorry but my name is not correctly written...
....and on and on....like this, you can spend weeks and months.


For every single thing/service  I have asked, they have made another mistake and taken weeks to solve it. 
That, summarizes my experience with banks. 

After a few months I realized my bank offered a free account (no fees) if you open it online. So I decided to open another account online and close my old one, since I was paying some annual fees for nothing. When I did this, the person in the bank asked me....Why do you want to close the account??? Surreal. 

And that is why I try to avoid visits to the banks. I try to do everything online.





5 comments:

  1. are you an expat, or local?
    love your blog.....this was long overdue. we are going to link to you at belgiumstuds.

    kick some ass!

    ReplyDelete
  2. this is why I have removed myself from belgium banking and started using: www.dkb.de

    ReplyDelete
  3. STUDS: Of course I will keek kicking some ass and letting off some steam. It relaxes me.

    ReplyDelete