Portuguese banks in 2023

I have gone through the article and posts on bank account opening, but there doesn’t seem to be any recent info - has anyone opened a regular account (not high value investment account) in Portugal quickly in 2023, like in a week?

My wife needs an EU bank account in her name and it would be useful to get it quickly. She has a NIF and a valid Portuguese residence permit, but she is a tax resident outside the EU. We do have a property in Portugal but the utility bills are issued in my name. Should be a normal checking account with an IBAN to which we can wire transfer funds.

Novo Banco, where I have my account, had opened it pretty quickly a few years ago, but now they are citing increased compliance and saying it will take 60 days to open a new account.

Any inputs welcome. Physical presence possible in Faro/Almancil and Lisbon (in that order)

Have you considered either (i) opening a separate account for your wife at your current bank (Novo Banco) or (ii) modifying the name of your current account to a joint account? Your history with your current bank is likely to count (ie they know your history with them).
You may wish to talk/write to your bank manager in relation to your question, because advice from your bank would likely be important or at least useful. They would then be informed that you are considering them (for a new account or joint account) or another bank in Portugal if they are not fast enough - given that you have a deadline. It seems to me that this approach might yield dividends.

1 Like

Thanks. I have considered (i) and talked to the relationship manager at Novo Banco and that’s when they said new accounts would take 60 days, even with physical presence. I thought of (ii) but didn’t act on it given the volatile condition of the GV regulations right now. If we have to move our investments to a different class in line with upcoming laws, better that this account remains solely in the name of the primary applicant, as per GV requirements.

Thanks. On (ii) you’re right, the GV account does need to be kept separate, but this was for “proof” of transfer from outside Portugal, I believe. Did the manager suggest the 60 days was for all banks?

My experience could be somewhat outdated, but I managed to open my bank account in 1 business day with Millennium BCP back in 2021. It was done in-person in their ‘outlet’ branch in my home country, i.e. outside Portugal.
I would think the same procedure would have been followed had I applied in their Portugal branch.

1 Like

No sure if this would be useful to your wife, but if you have a Wise EU account, it will be registered in Belgium. My recollection is you set up a standard wise.com account in whatever your home currency is and then elect to have a euro account added.

1 Like

Thanks all.

@onward: the manager is speaking about Novo Banco in particular, not all banks.

@tommigun Thanks, will try Millennium BCP in person.

@deepyarn Yes, I’m familiar with Wise but we can’t get an account in our home jurisdiction.

The thing with Wise, N26 etc revolves around whether can be considered residents of EU from the point of view of a fintech/bank, given that we have Portuguese residence permits but are actually resident for most of the year elsewhere. Not clear if giving Portuguese address in such a case is kosher.


I use Atlantico. That was pretty fast to open. You do it all online and just need a video call for the final step.


BCP opened an account in few hours for us

1 Like

if you are comfortable with novo banco, perhaps give banco best (bancobest.pt) a go? they seem to be a subsidiary of novo banco, and while i am beyond a week in my applying (they just emailed me yesterday requesting more information on my llc in the states), there has been no mention of waiting sixty days. in fact, typically, with all paperwork approved, it takes less than forty-eight hours (according to them, ahem). that said, banco best is online, but allows you to access your account in person at novo banco.

boa sorte!

1 Like

To conclude: We walked into the Millennium BCP branch in Almancil, and they gave us a working account in less than an hour, complete with provisional debit card, PIN, working mobile and internet access. Only asked for valid residence permit and (foreign) employment letter. That’s it. No passport, no other address proof. If you want a credit card they ask for payslips. The address on the account will be the address on the residence permit, and that’s where the final debit and credit cards will be mailed.


It’s totally easy - if you’re already a resident. :slight_smile: