Croatian Banks: Account Opening, Loan & Money Exchange

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At some point during your time here, you will have contact with Croatian banks. How to open an account, apply for a loan, change money, and more.

Croatian banks are mostly foreign-owned these days, and there is an extensive network all over the country.

ATMs are available in the smallest towns, and getting access to your cash through the wall is not a problem. Be aware, however, that there are usually daily limits in the region of 1,600 to 2,000 kuna.

Opening times can catch you out, however. Perhaps I am sensitive to this after years of island living. Opening times seem to be getting shorter and shorter. In Jelsa on Hvar, for example, the banks close promptly at 15:00 (it used to be 20:00). Saturday is a half-day (midday closing) and banks are closed on Sunday as you would expect. More often than not, even the banks will have the summer schedule and the winter schedule, and be open for longer during the summer season.

The Croatian National Bank supervises all. The main banks in Croatia are PBZ, Zagrebačka Banka, Raiffeisen, and Erste. Check out the shortcuts below to sections of this article.

Opening a bank account in Croatia

If you are moving to Croatia, you will almost certainly want to open a bank account.

Even though Croatia is an EU member state, it hasn’t adopted the euro yet. To facilitate your transactions (paying rent, paying the bills) and to receive your salary, you might want to open a Croatian account in kunas (HRK), even though opening an account in foreign currency is also possible.

However, this requires a lot of research because there are more than 30 banks in Croatia. Some of them you’ll recognize by their global names like Sberbank, Raiffeisen, Erste & Steirmärkische, Addiko Bank, or OTP. There are also Croatian banks who are part of global groups, like Privredna banka Zagreb (Intesa Sanpaolo) or Zagrebačka banka (UniCredit Group). There is only one major mostly Croatian-owned bank, Hrvatska poštanska banka.

Some companies do business with specific banks, so you might want to check with your employer if they have a preference first.

All banks have a website in English, so you can choose a bank based on your preferences. The services offered are more or less the same everywhere, such as opening and servicing accounts, deposits, money transfers, foreign exchange transactions, asset management, credit cards, insurance, etc. The average service cost is €10-12 a year.

Types of account and online banking

The most typical account types are giro, current and savings account. Some banks offer automatic overdraft once you open an account, while in others you have to apply for overdraft once the account has been set up.

Most banks offer Internet and mobile banking services, which comes in handy when paying the bills, for example, because you can simply scan the QR code that can be found on every payment slip and the payment information is filled in automatically, so you simply have to authorize the payment and that’s it.

Zagrebačka banka and Privredna banka Zagreb have the biggest number of offices and ATMs across Zagreb, so if convenience and accessibility are crucial for you, one of them might be a good choice. On the coast, other banks might be more popular than those two.

In general, the documents you need for opening a bank account are a valid passport, residence permit and the application form that you can find online or get directly at the bank. Most of the staff speak good English, so you shouldn’t have any communication difficulties.

Applying for a bank loan for foreigners

Applying for a bank loan is a modern reality in a society which lives increasingly on credit. Croatia is no exception in putting things on the plastic. Many households have loans from the bank for a variety of reasons.

I would like to say that the procedure for getting a bank loan in Croatia is simple. But unless you are armed with a ton of patience and have a passion for providing lots of documents and filling out forms, frustration will be your main companion.

Many foreign buyers of Croatian real estate enquire want to borrow from the bank to help fund the purchase. Despite lots of promises and claims, there is still no mortgage product for foreign buyers.

If you want to apply for a loan, here are some places to try:

Housing loans – Erste Bank

Housing loans – Zagrebacka Banka

Cash loans – Erste Bank in kuna

Loans in Cash – Erste Bank in euro

Cash loans – Zagrebacka Banka

Currency in Croatia

The Croatian currency is the kuna. It is loosely aligned the euro at an exchange rate of around 7.5 to the euro. While there is much talk of Croatia joining the euro, it has not happened yet.

Although the euro is not official currency in Croatia, many tourist businesses will accept it. And dollars and pounds as well, although this is less frequent. Total Croatia has a comprehensive overview of currency in Croatia.

List of main Croatian banks

Slavonska avenija 6, 10000 Zagreb,

Petra Preradovića 29, 42000 Varaždin,

Roberta Frangeša Mihanovića 9, 10110 Zagreb,

Jadranski trg 3a, 51000 Rijeka,

Jurišićeva 4, 10000 Zagreb,

Tolstojeva 6, 21000 Split,

Ernesta Miloša 1, 52470 Umag,

J&T banka
Aleja kralja Zvonimira 1, 42000 Varaždin,

Ante Starčevića 4, 22000 Šibenik,

Ivana Gorana Kovačića 1, 47000 Karlovac,

Gundulićeva 1, 10000 Zagreb,

Domovinskog rata 3, 23000 Zadar,

Vončinina 2, 10000 Zagreb,

Opatička 3, 48300 Koprivnica,

Scarpina 7, 51000 Rijeka,

Radnička cesta 50, 10000 Zagreb,

Magazinska cesta 69, 10000 Zagreb,

Trg kralja Tomislava 8, 10430 Samobor,

Varšavska 9, 10000 Zagreb,

Vladimira Nazora 2, 33520 Slatina,

Draškovićeva 58, 10000 Zagreb,

Trg bana Josipa Jelačića 10, 10000 Zagreb,


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