Chesterfield (London) 
207 Old Marylebone Road
Tel: +44 (0) 203 771 3853
Fax: +44 (0) 203 771 3856

Banking in Germany

At Chesterfield Management we have links with many local and international banks and are on hand to provide help, assistance and introductions to our contractors who take up contracts in Germany.

International professionals contracting in Germany or using an umbrella company may need a local Bank Account for day to day living. It is possible to carry out most transactions either at an ATM or using a computer. Some banks operate entirely online, where it is possible to do everything from opening an account to using the bank's investment services. The main commercial banks offer a similar range of banking services, including current accounts (Girokonto), savings accounts, and overdraft facilities.

If you require simple online banking and access to cash machines (Geldautomaten) then you have a wide choice. Germany has over 2,500 commercial banking institutions in Germany today each offering a variety of banking options at around 45,000 branches .Cash machines in Germany are grouped into two large networks than allow free withdrawals within their own network. . Cashgroup is the big national banks and their subsidiaries along with Deutsche Post's Post bank and Cashpool comprises a mix of foreign owned banks and smaller, local banks.

Some smaller banks and foreign owned banks also offer free withdrawals from any cash machine. Your location might play an important role. Customers in smaller towns and villages will tend to be limited to their local Sparkasse. The “Sparkassen” are state owned banks and each city, town and/or local municipality has a "Sparkasse".

The Main German Retail Banks

• Deutsche Bank
• Dresdner Bank
• Commerzbank
• Hypovereinsbank
• Post Bank
• Comdirect Bank
• Norisbank
• Sparda Banken
• Citibank (for online banking in English)

The currency of Germany is the Euro and it shares a common currency with Austria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands.

Notes are denominated in 5 EUR, 10 EUR, 20 EUR, 50 EUR, 100 EUR, 200 EUR, 500 EUR and the coins are 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, 1 EUR, 2 EUR

Opening a Bank Account

Banks vary in the paperwork they require from you but the minimum is your identity card or passport and "Anmeldebescheinigung". Some banks also require you to provide proof of earnings, so it isn't a bad idea to bring along your employment contract stating your earnings. Some banks even require a rental contract to prove your address, though this is seldom. Some banks like SpardaBank or Norisbank do not require a salary statement of a salary for opening a bank account.


Banks will issue you a service card to be able to withdraw money. In general, this will be an EC/Maestro card, which allows you to pay stores and restaurants..

Even though all cards work at all local ATMs, how easy it is to withdraw cash for free varies on the bank. This is important because using ATMs at banks that don't belong to your network can cost up to EUR 5 per withdrawal with an EC/Maestro card.

Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, HypoVereinsbank and Postbank are part of the Cashgroup network and all these banks' customers can withdraw money free – that also includes customers. Nine thousand ATMs in Germany including cash service 1300 Shell service stations belong to the Cash Group.

Debit and Credit Cards

Credit cards may not be accepted as often in Germany as in the US but are widely accepted and very common for online shopping. These days, most banks offer credit cards with bank accounts -- these are Visa and Mastercards that act like debit cards and which are processed either monthly on accounts or directly on a bank account within a few days).

It is also possible to apply for a credit card directly online at credit card issuers such as Barclaycard, American Epxressor companies that offer loyalty programs such as Lufthansa Miles and More Visa Card.

Internet and phone banking

German banks are very modern and all banks offer online banking and telephone banking 

To learn more contact us on our office telephone number 0044 (0)2070971385, request a call-back, or click here to email us 

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