How to open a bank account?

Opening a bank account requires filling out and signing specific forms, represent a contract and are provided by credit institutions.

The forms will have, among other elements, the account holders identification (and being the case, their representatives entitled to operate), the type of deposit and the terms of handling funds.

Some credit institutions allow opening accounts through distance communication means, namely, without the costumers to be forced to contact in person. Opening accounts through distance communication means doesn’t dismiss, however, the holders and their eventual representatives to declare and support their identification elements (Source: Bank of Portugal)

More information: http://clientebancario.bportugal.pt/pt-PT/ContasdeDeposito/Aberturaconta/Paginas/default.aspx

To open an account, the holder or holders, their possible representatives or other entities for which it may be given account handling powers, should provide the credit institutions the corresponding identification elements and supporting documents.
Singular person
  • Full name;
  • Signature; 
  • Birth date;
  • Nationality, as in the identification document;
  • Identification document type, expiration date and issuing authority;
  • Tax Number (always required by law); 
  • Job and employer (if exists);
  • Proof of permanent residence full address and, if different, tax residence full address;
  • Place of birth;
  • Other nationalities not referred on the identification document.
“Full name”, “birth date” and “nationality, as on the identification document” can be supported by presentation or electronic use of the citizen card or by presenting an identity card, a passport, a national territory residency authorization or a public document with a photograph or the holder’s signature. 
The “signature” can be supported the same way, but also by other means, like, for example, through the qualified electronic signature in the terms of the law.
The “national tax number” can be supported by any document or certified copy where that number is referred.
“Job and employer” (if exists), “proof of permanent residency full address” and “tax residence full address” can be supported by any document, material or electronic. Not having a job or being unemployed shouldn’t be a reason of rejection to open an account.
“Place of birth” and “other nationalities not referred in the identification document” don’t need documentary support, just the holder’s information.
When the bank costumer acts on behalf of another, the credit institution should also request information and document provision regarding the identity of that third person (“effective beneficiary”).  
Underage people, because of their age, who don’t have any identification documents earlier mentioned, can be identified through the birth certificate or, in case of foreigners, through a similar public document, presented by someone that exhibits legitimacy to open the account.
Credit institutions can request extra information or demand documents with a higher proof level, whenever they want to justify the consolidation of acquaintance they hold from the costumer, its representative or the effective beneficiary.
To open an account, the holder or holders, their possible representatives or other entities for which it may be given account handling powers, should provide the credit institutions the corresponding identification elements and supporting documents.
Legal person
  • Designation;
  • Object;
  • Address of the registered office and, if appropriate, full address of the branch or usual office that appears as account holders;
  • Legal person number (or, if required by law, national tax number)
  • Identity of the board holders or similar organism.
  • Place of incorporation;
  • CEA code (Classification of Economic Activities), institutional sector code or other code with similar nature, according to the ones applicable to the pursued activity.
“Designation”, “object” and “full address of the registered office” and the “full address of the branch or usual office” can be supported by the commercial registration certificate or other public document, material or electronic form, holding the same information.
“Legal person number” can be supported by a legal card, company card or other public document holding the same information, material or electronic form, in case of companies not resident in Portugal, through a similar document.
“Identity of the board holders or similar organism” can be supported by a simple writing certificate, material or electronic form, issued by the own legal person, having the same elements referring those holders:
  • Full name, birth date and nationalities;
  • Identification document type, expiration date and issuing authority;
  • Tax number.
This certificate doesn’t absolve the board or similar organism holders that represent the legal person in banking deposit accounts from the identification process predicted for singular people.
“Place of incorporation” and elements related with the activity codes don’t need documentary support, just the legal person information.
When the costumer is a legal person or a center of collective interests without a legal personality
and acts on behalf of another, the credit institution should also request information and documentation regarding the identity of that third person (“effective beneficiary”).  
The effective beneficiary is a singular person on whose behalf is made a transaction, activity or ultimately, holds or controls the bank costumer.
Identification elements regarding legal persons are requested, with the necessary adaptations, to the individual institutions of limited responsibility and centers of collective interests without a legal personality that want to open bank accounts.
But, the singular businessmen aims to open these accounts must require, apart from the elements set out to singular people, giving information about the identification number of the legal person or the tax number, designation, registered office and object.
Credit institutions can request extra information or demand documents with a higher proof level, whenever they feel to justify the consolidation of acquaintance they hold from the costumer, its representative or the effective beneficiary.
Opening an account through distance communication means, the identification elements must be shown:
  • Through giving to the credit institution a certified copy of the supporting documents; or
  • Through electronic documents access with similar importance (using the citizen card authentication supplier service, made available by the Portuguese Government).
If a singular or legal persons can’t  prove one or some elements required, these can be supported, in an on-site account opening moment and in case where distance communication means are needed, by a writing certificate issued by the financial entity (amongst other, credit institutions, financial firms, insurance companies) that confirms the veracity and actuality of the given information.
For that, the following requirements must be seen:
  • The financial entity that issues the certificate is based or resident in an European Union Member State or in a third equivalent country or is incorporated in the same financial group;  
  • The costumer must have established a business relation with that entity and according with the costumers identification patterns set in the Portuguese and European Union legislation;
  • The certificate must be directly sent by the issuing entity to the credit institution where the account will be open, being sent with the copy of the supporting documents of the identity elements.
Any resident in Portugal can proceed to the opening and handling accounts abroad, in Portuguese institutions represented abroad or foreigners institutions.
In case the bank costumer requires the account opening abroad, in an institution based abroad. He should consider the rules that prevail in that country, namely in terms of identification elements requested to the account holders.
 
More information:
 

 


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Horários
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The information presented is purely indicative, with the main purpose  to provide general guidance without exempt, at any case, the consultation with the competent authorities and the use of professional advice regarding the addressed themes

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