In CoS Mr Weasley comments

"Oh, you're changing Muggle money. Molly, look!" He pointed excitedly at the ten pound notes in Mr Granger's hand.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4, page 47

Although this quote mentions nothing about opening a bank account, it made me wonder that if the future life of Muggle-born witches and wizards like Hermione lay in remaining and being a part of the Wizarding world then how would they open a Gringotts account? This would obviously be necessary for their new lives within the Wizarding community. What checks would they need to go through? Would they be similar to Muggle bank checks when they open an account?

Just to note, there are previous questions and answers as to how muggle and wizarding currencies are exchanged, this question bears no realtion to those types of questions.

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    I always thought JKR should have put more in about how Hermione's family found Diagon Alley and everything else they needed. Maybe every muggle family with a new student has a wizard liaison who introduces them (kind of the way Hagrid does for Harry). If not, there should be! Maybe Hermione and Arthur Weasley could work together to get this implemented ... hmm, I feel a fanfic coming on!
    – NiceOrc
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 4:23
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    @NiceOrc, you're definitely right, there needs to be something in place to help Muggle-born students adapt to their new lives as witches ans wizards.
    – Scanner
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 5:53
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    @NiceOrc, absolutely agree. As for Hermione, she probably could figure out everything herself.
    – Turion
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 7:30
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    @Turion, lol yeah I think Herminone is the exception to most rules and that she'd have all her affairs well in order
    – Scanner
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 8:23
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    @niceorc Snape tells us, as a child in the last book, that all Muggle borns do indeed get a liaison :)
    – Mac Cooper
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


As mentioned in the question, we know that Muggle money (pounds, and presumably euros, although the latter is not stated) can be traded at Gringotts. Hermione's parents do so in the second book:

“But you’re Muggles!” said Mr. Weasley delightedly. “We must have a drink! What’s that you’ve got there? Oh, you’re changing Muggle money. Molly, look!” He pointed excitedly at the ten-pound notes in Mr. Granger’s hand.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The goblins of Gringotts apparently put Muggle currency that they receive "back into circulation," presumably in the ordinary Muggle economy:

Those goblins are sneaky people. They manage to put the Muggle money back into circulation. They are like “fences” -- British slang, do you understand it?

As such, we can make a very good guess as to how Muggle-born witches and wizards get the funds needed to open a Gringotts account: they simply convert Muggle money.

We have no information, to my knowledge, on what checks Muggle-born students (or any other wizards) need to go through to open an account at Gringotts. However, I doubt there would be any.

  • Their names are down on the list at Hogwarts, so their chances of pretending to be anyone else for the purposes of fraud are low. Of course, one could use Polyjuice Potion to try to open an account in someone else's name, but the odds of a student not even in Hogwarts doing so are extremely low.

    As for how Gringotts keeps track of Muggle-borns after they open an account, it seems as if the Gringotts bankers recognize the key to a person's vault:

    "Morning," said Hagrid to a free goblin. "We've come ter take some money outta Mr. Harry Potter's safe."

    "You have his key, sir?"

    "Got it here somewhere," said Hagrid, and he started emptying his pockets onto the counter, scattering a handful of moldy dog biscuits over the goblin's book of numbers. The goblin wrinkled his nose. Harry watched the goblin on their right weighing a pile of rubies as big as glowing coals.

    "Got it," said Hagrid at last, holding up a tiny golden key.

    The goblin looked at it closely.

    "That seems to be in order."

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    At a guess, then, the first time a Muggle-born comes to Gringotts they will deposit Muggle money into their account, and will be given the key to a vault. Presumably thereafter the goblins of Gringotts recognize them by the key (or indeed by their face—if they can recognize a key, perhaps memorizing the faces of the few thousand witches and wizards in Britain is not so hard).

  • If someone wanted a loan or some other financial instrument where trust was important, Gringotts might want proof that they could pay it back, which might necessitate some sort of magical credit check. However, we don't even know whether Gringotts gives loans. Muggle-borns opening an account almost certainly want to do nothing more than deposit and withdraw money, at least initially, since (a) they are children and thus likely do not have large expenses and (b) Hogwarts tuition and supplies are covered:

    "That is easily remedied," said Dumbledore, drawing a leather money- pouch from his pocket. "There is a fund at Hogwarts for those who require assistance to buy books and robes. You might have to buy some of your spellbooks and so on secondhand, but —"

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

    By the time Hogwarts students would be likely to want loans, they presumably have a fairly established identity within wizarding society.

  • So Gringotts doesn't need to check their ID, doesn't need to know about (and probably doesn't care about) their Muggle credit history, and likely simply does not care about their background in the Muggle community. As long as they can deposit Muggle money (which can then presumably be exchange for food, raw materials, etc) they have the capital needed to open an account, and the Gringotts employees have ways of keeping track of them thereafter.

    Not that most people would dare try to defraud Gringotts anyway:

    "Like I said, yeh'd be mad ter try an' rob it," said Hagrid.

    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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    I can change money at my local back without opening an account. They have a Bureau de Change desk.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 8:37
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    @Valorum - Cool!
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 8:40
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    Where does your second quote come from - about Goblins putting Muggle money back into circulation? I think the link isn't working?
    – NiceOrc
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 22:22
  • @NiceOrc - Fixed
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 22:30
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    Of course, Harry and company do in fact rob Gringotts. I guess that makes them mad.
    – Ellesedil
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 22:45

In the Deathly Hallows, they ask Bellatrix (Hermione in disguise) to present her wand.

I assume wizarding checks work differently to Muggle ones - wands are unique and Goblins are known to associate wands with reverence and power so it seems logical that they would accept this method as a 'background check' so to speak for Muggle-borns wishing to open an account.

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    Welcome to the site jay =) This sounds like quite a good observation to me, but it's worth remembering a couple of things. The first is that there were much tighter restrictions at that time due to everything that was going on. The second is that they knew Bellatrix's wand had been stolen by the trio and were actively looking for them
    – Au101
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 0:57

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