I have been living in Dublin for a little over two weeks now and I still don’t have a bank account. When I was transitioning from Los Angeles to Buffalo this summer and I needed to open a new bank account in Buffalo I just went to the bank’s website and in about ten minutes I had a new checking and savings account. Done. No muss, no fuss.
Expats moving to Ireland or the UK should be aware that the rules for opening a bank account are a lot tougher over here. And for me, an American used to instant gratification, this has been hard to swallow.
In order to open a bank account in Ireland, you must provide a proof of address, which as someone who just had moved to a new country I didn’t have. So, I had to find an apartment and sign a lease. Then I had to take that lease to the Social Welfare office to register for a PPS number (the Irish equivalent of a social security number). For some reason, the lease satisfied the proof of address requirement for the PPS number but it did not for the bank. Once registered for the PPS number, I had to wait 5-10 business days to receive my “PPSN Issuing Letter”. This letter would satisfy the bank’s proof of address requirement.
I received my letter (yes!) and went to the Bank of Ireland today armed with it, my passport and a wad of cash ready to finally open an account and make a deposit. Well, not so fast. I was technically sort of able to open a bank account today, but I still technically sort of don’t really have one. I filled out the application and now I have to wait 2-3 days for the account to get set up. At that time, the bank will call me with my account information and then I can go back into the bank and deposit the wad of cash I’ve been guarding for two weeks now.
This has been an exhausting process and thank goodness I’m not yet working so I am actually able to run around and get all of this stuff done. I am not going to be one of those expats who bemoans the way everything is done in her new country and longs for the way things are done back home – just wait for my upcoming post on how much more pleasant and peaceful a trip to the pharmacy is over here. But, come on! I have money. Money I want to give to you, Bank. I am begging you to take it!