Opening a bank in PT that has a branch in the US

I am living in the US and need to have my Portuguese retirement checks direct deposited into a Portuguese bank that has a branch in the US? Does anyone have any idea what bank to use?

If you only need to receive a monthly incoming payment, you can open a Wise account from the US with your US identity documents and address, then set up a Euro virtual account. That will provide you an account number in Belgium from which you can receive transfers using the SEPA network. Any Portuguese government office by law can’t refuse to pay if your valid SEPA account number known as an IBAN number happens to be in another European country. Upon receiving the payment to the Euro account you can then transfer to your US bank account at a better exchange rate than a bank would offer.

There don’t appear to be any remaining Portuguese banks in the US that are grandfathered in to FDIC insurance and could therefore open consumer accounts. The banks with a presence in the US mainly handle corporate customers. Santander Bank from Spain has branches serving consumers in both Portugal and the US. First you would probably need Portuguese ID and address to open the account in Portugal, and once you did you would be stuck paying their high fees to send to a US account.

We have had a Wise account for years and regularly work across UK pounds, Euros and dollars for various payments without an issue.


Thank you Ted for the great information. This is my first time doing this so I may sound dumb but how or where do I open a Euro virtual account? Do I do it from the Wise account?

Yes, step one is opening a Wise account.

Once you’re logged into the account you can create several sub accounts in various currencies. Some of these (depending on the currency) come with actual unique bank account details which you can use for regular bank transfers.

More details here:

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Hello Thomas,
thank you so much for your assistance. I think I’ve got my account set up and the IBAN and BIC #'s entered in my Portuguese retirement account. I hope that they will now automatically send my pension to my Wise account. Up till now they have been mailing my checks and it has been a nightmare. My check for March has never been received. Who knows where it is.
Thanks again for your assistance.

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