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Advice on Bank for Transferring Money to Poland

Advice on Bank for Transferring Money to Poland

Old Feb 27th, 2022, 07:22 PM
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Advice on Bank for Transferring Money to Poland

My nephew is an Air National Guard pilot who spent time in Ukraine doing training exercises, and while there met and eventually married a Ukrainian woman. They live here, but obviously are concerned for family members as well as all the people of Ukraine and are looking to set up a non-profit that they could raise money to supply volunteer groups in Ukraine with medical and other supplies needed and to make purchases there.

Is there a bank that has branches here (California) and in Poland in order for them to transfer money easily to Europe? I suggested he look at xe.com but Iíve never actually had to transfer money, myself.

Does anyone have any ideas/experience/advice/expertise they could offer?

Thanks in advance
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Old Feb 27th, 2022, 08:03 PM
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Any bank should be easily able to do transfers. Whether they're setup for that is a different issue. You should look if your US bank lets you do IBAN transfers. All European banks use IBAN numbers.
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Old Feb 27th, 2022, 08:22 PM
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You could look into Citibank - I think they do bank accounts for foreign currencies but I suspect might only be for euros. Nevertheless they may have some ideas.

Lavandula
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Old Feb 27th, 2022, 08:52 PM
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That is excellent information to know... now that you mention it, I do recall seeing Citibank in Europe, but hadn't noticed whether or not it's in Poland; it's definitely worth checking out.

Thank you, Traveler_Nick and Lavandula.
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Old Feb 27th, 2022, 08:56 PM
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Citibank has branches/accounts in Poland. Citi Handlowy is the name of the entity there. So any branch in the US should be able to transfer funds to an account @ Citi Handlowy (best to transfer in US$)
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Old Feb 27th, 2022, 10:57 PM
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xe.com or transferwise are probably the cheapest way of transferring money. I've used both with no problems.
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Old Feb 27th, 2022, 11:21 PM
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Any bank with a fx dept will be able to transfer funds to any bank in Poland. It doesn’t have to be the same bank i.e. Citibank to Citibank. All that is needed are the account details,name, sort code, account number IBAN number which would have to be obtained from the receiving bank. Best to make ABSOLUTELY a sure the details are correct because, once sent , it is next to impossible to get it back if it ends up in the wrong account.

The other, more difficult issue may be to set up a bank account in Poland. There will be numerous AML requirements to be satisfied before an account can be opened and foreign nationals will find it especially difficult.

Whilst what your nephew is planning is admirable, the more pragmatic solution could be to make an arrangement to transfer funds to a bona fide NGO specifically targeted at helping Ukrainian people. Again, check carefully as, IME very sadly, corruption is not unheard of in the voluntary sector and money does not always get to where it is supposed to. Another option would be to send money to a governmental disaster relief agency. In the U.K. it would be https://www.dec.org.uk . I am sure the US has something similar.
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Old Feb 28th, 2022, 12:07 AM
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Citi has been closing consumer banks around the world. No idea if that applies to Poland but make sure they haven't sold it. Plus just because the banks are owned by the same company doesn't always mean it's any easier to make a transfer

HSBC has sold most of its US branches. One of the French banks has sold its branches.
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Old Feb 28th, 2022, 03:32 AM
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I have been transferring money from Canada to the EU regularly (Belgium, Poland) using the IBAN number.

In Poland, my bank is Santander, a google search shows that there are branches in the US.
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Old Feb 28th, 2022, 04:01 AM
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"The other, more difficult issue may be to set up a bank account in Poland. There will be numerous AML requirements to be satisfied before an account can be opened and foreign nationals will find it especially difficult."

It is not difficult
My brother opened a bank account in Poland using a Canadian passport, all he had to do was to provide his Canadian
social insurance number.
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Old Feb 28th, 2022, 06:51 AM
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So many thoughtful responses! I will gather everyone's notes and forward them on.

My niece was so upset over the war starting that she wanted to get on a plane to Poland immediately to go help with any relief efforts possible. Her mother and sister made it to Romania but her grandmother, aunt, and step father stayed in Ukraine. Prayers for everyone's safety, of course, and that Putin will be taken out.

Thank you so very much to all who have responded. The knowledge and expertise found here immensely valuable and I'm grateful that you're so willing to share.
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Old Apr 4th, 2022, 06:06 AM
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All banks will have fees so best to shop around - I've used ATMs and you could with e.g. family members - had good experience with CapitalOne ... Citi Bank even with their Citi Warsaw location acted as separate entity ... Other banks charged ATM fees. May want to think about ATM route - where I was able to withdraw equivalent of a $1000 on any given day from ANY bank ATM at ANY city in the world in local currency with good exchange rate on that day.
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