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There is a wide choice of banks in Bulgaria with the biggest ones including United Bulgarian Bank, DSK Bank, Allianz, Bulbank, First Investment Bank and Postbank. Before choosing one it is a good idea to ask for recommendations from other foreigners who have already used them.

Opening a personal bank account is simple and takes no more than 30 minutes. The only identification required is your passport. Normally there is no fee for opening the account, but you have to make a small deposit to activate it.

When you set up a Bulgarian company to buy a property you must open a company bank account as part of incorporation process. This is used to hold a minimum deposit of 3500 leva, which forms part of the company’s paid up capital. This is not an active account, and once the company has been set up it can be closed and a current account can be opened instead. It is wise to open both a leva and a Euro account, as most real estate transactions are conducted in Euro.
You can pay your utility bills by direct debit. However, not all banks allow payment of every type of bill, so it is worth checking before opening an account. To set-up a regular payment you need to include a reference number (found on your utility bill) and the account number.

Most Bulgarian banks provide internet banking, but choose a bank with an English version of website, such as Bulbank or First Investment Bank. Internet accounts allow you to set-up regular bill payments for electricity, water and mobile phone, as well as one-off payments and transfers. Internet banking is often free, though some banks charge a small monthly fee.

Cash Machines (ATMs) can be found in cities, towns and resorts. Some ATMs display in English and other languages, though many of them still have only Bulgarian menu. All operate with foreign credit cards, too. For withdrawing cash from your foreign credit cards banks take a charge, which can be up to 2 %.

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