Banks ease overburdened offices and offer refugees free account openings in mobile tents


Refugees can open a bank account in front of the Regional Assistance Centre for Ukraine at the Prague Congress Centre. They need it to be able to repeatedly draw humanitarian benefits, which can only be received in cash on a one-off basis. The Czech Banking Association also hopes that mobile tents, where banks offer account opening, will make it easier for overwhelmed offices.

“The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs asked us for help because the labor offices are currently overloaded with people going there to get financial support from the state. If we allow the creation of accounts directly in the assistance centers, it could relieve the offices,” says Radek Šalša, spokesperson for the CBA.

Refugees apply to the labor offices for a one-off emergency aid benefit, which amounts to CZK 2 490, the subsistence minimum for adults. For children, it ranges from CZK 1,970 to CZK 2,770, depending on age.

In addition, refugees can apply for a humanitarian benefit of CZK 5,000, which can be drawn repeatedly. However, they will only receive it once in cash and only by transfer.

In addition to Prague, mobile counters have been set up in Ostrava. Bank tents are to be gradually added throughout the Czech Republic, depending on the interest of individual assistance centers.

“The language barrier is not a problem either. Nowadays, banks usually count on having an interpreter on-site, at least in larger cities,” says Šalša.