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I think I was a bit too over excited about the all-encompassing power of my personnummer… apparently no amount of four little digits after your birthdate is quite enough to persuade a bank to give you an account.

I’m starting to be quite aware that the end of the month is getting closer, and it would be nice to get paid when it arrives. An added complication is that I’m not actually entirely sure what my salary is, because somebody somewhere still needs to re-calculate and sign off my British salary in Swedish kronor. But, in anticipation of when that day arrives, I ventured out today – all motivated and with every single job, migration, personnummer certificate and passport that I could find, in order to get my bank account.

I read somewhere that Swedbank were OK to deal with international applicants, which is why I went there first – but when I got to a counter and cheerfully explained that I wanted to open an account (I have my personnummer, surely they will roll out the red carpet for me?), the clerk looked at me sternly and told me that I needed a Swedish ID (along with all kinds of certificates). I showed him all the certificates I had (quite a few now), and my passport. Answer: “Right, this is where it all falls down…”

Apparently, to get a bank account, you need a Swedish ID card – and to get a Swedish ID card you need to go to Skatteverket and then wait three to four weeks. I want to get paid in two weeks though, which the clerk seemed to be minimally sympathetic to, but still shoved me out of the door. Sigh.

The only positive about the whole experience was that I held the whole conversation in Swedish. Yesss, progress.

I was feeling pretty low when I walked home. I love life here, but from finding  somewhere to live to getting somewhere to pay your rent from, it’s not all straightforward and easy. And why is the ID so important if I have half a library of certificates and a passport? I’ll never know…

Back at the flat though, I started surfing some other banks and found an online registration form with SEB. I filled it in, sent off the form, and an hour later got an email that they were sending me my internet banking access details (and the little machine that you need to log in) in the post. What… the…? How come one bank won’t even take as much as my name despite my library of certificates, and the next one lets me sign up online? I’m still waiting for some additional email saying “oh, by the way, don’t forget to confirm your account with your Swedish ID card” and destroying my dreams, but hopefully I’m one step closer to getting paid…

Here are a few pictures from walking around Gbg on the weekend (I discovered Instagram – cue square pictures with weird colouring!)

Göteborg University



Outside Trädgårdsföreningen