Banks and bank accounts

Last updated: 11 4 2019

Banks

A bank is a company that works mainly with three things: payments, savings and lending. If you are under 18 years old you are not allowed to take loans, but you can save money and make payments if your guardian allows you to. A child's parents are usually the child's guardian. In order for you to be able to have savings and make payments, banks offer various services such as bank accounts, internet banking, bank cards and banking by phone.

Bank account

You have to have a bank account in order to be able to manage your personal finances. The account you need can be a lönekonto (salary account), transaktionskonto (transaction account), personkonto (personal account), privatkonto (current account) or a betalkonto (payment account), for example. It doesn't matter what the account is called. The important thing is that it gives you access to the following services:

  • Deposits, such as salaries or benefits
  • Payments in the form of account transfers, brevgiro (payment order by letter) or autogiro (direct debit)
  • Cash withdrawals

How to get a bank account if you are an asylum seeker

If you are an asylum seeker with an AT-UND exemption, you can get a bank account and a bank card. AT-UND is document proving that you don't need a work permit in order to work in Sweden.

Before you can become a customer at a bank and get access to banking services such as bank accounts and bank cards, the bank needs to check your identity. The bank also needs to find out where your money is coming from and how you are going to use its banking services. You will therefore be asked a number of questions by the bank. The bank may limit what banking services you have access to as an asylum seeker.

In order to facilitate the identification of asylum seekers who are entitled to work, the Swedish Bankers' Association and the Migration Agency have devised a special procedure.

This procedure involves you showing your LMA (asylum seeker) card to the bank if you want to open a bank account. You also need to show a certified copy of the ID document you have submitted to the Migration Agency. A certified copy means a copy with a stamp certifying that it is the same as the original. The bank will then contact the Migration Agency, and they will confirm whether the ID document matches the submitted one.