Rabobank Nay ABN-AMRO Yay

Rabobank Dutch Bank Sucks
Rabobank Dutch Bank Sucks. As an international student living in Utrecht The Netherlands, opening a new Euro denominated bank account can be quite difficult.

In fact, depending on protocol and policy as well as dealing with inconsiderate employees can create a most agonizing experience.

Fortunately, for future international students and expats you can now heed my advice and effectively bypass this most distasteful and unprofessional attitude. I am of course referring to Rabobank which unfortunately for Utrecht University students has some monopoly on student accounts. I initially applied using the online downloadable PDF form, which was conveniently linked from the international student menu on the Utrecht University website.

Incidentally, the Utrecht University website made some revealing changes in October 2013 and it would seem for some reason Rabobank is no longer featured in the Money Matters section. Perhaps Utrecht University got wise to how unprofessional and rude Rabobank was to students, especially arriving internationals and expats from abroad. This obviously lends more credence to my claim, since the university switched student financing loyalties and now offer ING bank as evidenced by a leaflet which was made available at the time of this transition.

It is safe to assume that the Utrecht University was probably concerned with it’s overall reputation and did not want to associate with a bank involved in the Libor Scandal as per this recent article. According to the magazine Financial Times, Rabobank after Swiss UBS would be penalized with a 1 billion fine for it’s role in the manipulation of the Libor rate. Sigh, it would seem the old robber barons are at it again.

Regardless of the specific reason, my own personal experience dealing with their associates has been nothing short of utter disdain. I actually received an email response to my application which was extremely curt, condescending and rude. The woman who answered my application basically had a major attitude regarding the opening of my account and indicated it would only be “considered.” WTF? Seriously, in this day and age of fiat dominated currencies and banker manufactured financial crises, someone like this twat would actually have the gaul to cop an attitude of that magnitude.

In October of 2013, I actually went to the Utrecht branch and tried to find out the status of my “student account.” The woman at the front desk seemed courteous and pleasant but could provide little information concerning the opening of my account. I provided my EU passport as identification and for some reason she had to call an associate to verify and confirm my account status. As they spoke dutch I was unaware of what was being said. However, when she was off the phone she provided a ludicrous and vapid reason for denying me the ability to open the account. I was told they could no longer honor the account because it expired and as some form of consolation, I was told to try ING bank as they provided some manner of “free” student account. Strange how one bank would deny a potential customer, instead referring them to another rival bank.

As a result, I eventually decided to follow the advice of numerous expats. Many had posted their experiences and stories in online forums. ABN-AMRO was the bank of choice. In fact, I read many expats were able to successfully open an account without a BSN number. Cursory online research indicated this was especially true from the Amsterdam branch. Surprisingly, I was able to open an account without my BSN at the Utrecht branch. I did however, receive my BSN number a few days later and I simply updated my account at ABN so it was fully in compliance with bank policy. Overall, everyone at the Nuede 4 branch was extremely friendly and eager to get my account processed and opened. This was only after I made a few inquiries online. A few quick emails and posting on their Facebook page revealed all the information I required. In no time I had an appointment and my account was opened without any issue or Rabobank nonsense or attitude.

Rabobank Dutch Bank Sucks
If are a future expat or international student, avoid Rabobank and instead go see Yvonne Bosboom at the following branch location:

Neude 4
3512 AD

You will be eternally grateful and avoid wasting your valuable time. Rabobank NAY and ABN-AMRO a definite YAY!