Practical Life in Helsinki

Bank services in Helsinki

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Of the 343 banks operating in Finland , the three largest banking groups - Nordea Bank Finland , the OKO Bank Group and Sampo - represent more than 80 per cent of the deposit and credit markets. Other commercial banks include: Bank of Åland Plc, eQ Bank, Evli Bank Plc, Gyllenberg Private Bank Ltd, Suomen AsuntoHypoPankki Oy and Tapiola Bank Ltd. There are also finance companies, mutual fund companies, and life assurance companies which handle deposits and similar financial transactions.  Opening a personal account is generally fast and simple, although the documentation required varies not only between banks, but between branches. Someone in the bank will usually speak acceptable English.  Go to the nearest branch of the bank of your choice, and take as much official identification as you can. An EU / EEA citizen may well succeed with the minimum documentation of passport, additional photo ID and proof of address.  Most other people will also need a Finnish personal ID number (henkilötunnus), KELA card, and residence permit. 

When you open the account be sure to ask for statements to be sent to you in English (other options: Finnish or Swedish), online banking facilities, if you have access to a computer, and the ability to use your ATM card in shops, restaurants etc. (i.e. not just cash machines).  Finns use the least physical cash per capita in the world; your ATM card can be used in place of cash almost anywhere, withdrawing funds directly from your account. Plus, the need for a personal visit to the bank is further reduced by the ease of online banking and the omnipresence of Solo, Otto and similar machines at which you can pay bills etc.

Charges (or bank fees / service charges / service fees) very slightly between banks but are generally quite reasonable.  One of the biggest banks, Nordea, is typical of the services offered free of charge to all customers:

  • Payment of bills by direct debiting
  • One account statement per month in Netbank or by mail
  • Balance queries from ATMs and at Nordea branches
  • Cash withdrawals from own account in Finland at Otto. ATMs and branches
  • ATM card, one card per account/customer
  • Transfers between own accounts in Nordea Bank Finland
  • Cash deposits into own account in Nordea Bank Finland

Banks in the Helsinki Area:

Aktia Savings Bank PLC
Mannerheimintie 14, POB 207, FI-00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 10 247 5000, telefax +358 10 247 6356

Bank of Åland PLC
Nygatan 2, POB 3, FI-22101 Maarianhamina
Tel. +358 204 29011, telefax +358 204 291 228

Citibank International PLC
Aleksanterinkatu 48 A, POB 980, FI-00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 3488 7202, telefax +358 9 3488 7388

Danske Bank A/S
Aleksanterinkatu 44, POB 993, FI-00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 7514 5000, telefax +358 9 7514 5050

DNB Nor Bank ASA, Finland Branch
Mannerheimintie 8, 9 krs, FI-00100 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 6818 8420, telefax +358 9 6818 8450

Nordea Bank Finland PLC
Aleksanterinkatu 30, FI-00020 NORDEA
Tel. +358 9 1651, telefax +358 9 1654 2838

OP Bank Group Central Cooperative
Teollisuuskatu 1, POB 308, FI-00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 4041, telefax +358 9 404 3703

Sampo Bank PLC
Unioninkatu 22, FI-00075 SAMPO
Tel. +358 10 515 15, telefax +358 10 514 0051

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ)
Unioninkatu 30, POB 630, FI-00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 6162 8000, telefax +358 9 171 056

Suomen Asuntohypopankki LTD
Yrjönkatu 9 A, FI-00120 Helsinki, POB 509, 00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 228 361, telefax +358 9 647 443

Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ)
Aleksanterinkatu 11, FI-00100 Helsinki
Tel. +358 10 444 11, telefax +358 10 444 2299

Tapiola Bank LTD
Revontulentie 7, Espoo, Tapiola
Tel. +358 9 4531, telefax +358 9 453 2146

The Association of Finnish Local Cooperative Banks
Yliopistonkatu 7, POB 1290, FI-00101 Helsinki
Tel. +358 9 6811 700, telefax +358 9 6811 7070

The Finnish Savings Banks' Association
Linnoitustie 9, POB 68, FI-02601 Espoo
Tel. +358 9 548 051, telefax +358 20 602 9108

Update 20/05/2008


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