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Opening a personal account in a foreign bank

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When deciding to open an account with a foreign bank, you need to enlist a help of professional lawyers. If you are worried about the safety of your money and are looking for a reliable solution, we suggest you familiarizing yourself with our guide.

What does it take to open a foreign bank account?

There are certain documentation requirements for opening an account for an individual with a foreign bank. You need to have an identity card, such as a passport or driver’s license. In some cases, a residence permit may be required. Often a bank needs a proof of address (for example, a certificate of registration, a lease or utility bill).

The requirements for opening a personal account with a foreign bank may vary in different jurisdictions.

The bank reserves the right to request additional documents:
  • The information about existing accounts;
  • A bank statement;
  • An employment contract with the employer, the information on income and the duration of the contract;
  • A visa;
  • A confirmation of address;
  • The information about the credit history.
Benefits of opening an account with a foreign bank
  • Using of local currency. Banking operations within a country are usually carried out in a local currency. Therefore, it is very convenient to have a local bank card with you. This will save on commissions, and get similar benefits, when using a multi currency account.
  • International transfers. Opening an international bank account allows you to take advantage of more favorable tariffs, and get some benefits for international money transfers.
  • The access to overseas markets. Foreign investment requires an international account.
  • Investments. For example, investing in real estate.
  • Tax benefits. Some banks offer opportunities for entrepreneurial account holders in under the local tax laws.
Choosing a jurisdiction

In general, banking institutions are divided into 3 categories:

  • European/American;
  • Asian;
  • Offshore.

European (EU) and American (USA) for a long time consider the application for opening an account, request an additional information.

Asian banks target customers from Asia. To open an account in Hong Kong, you will need to communicate with the managers of some banks in Chinese or English, it is worth considering, that you will have to speak without an interpreter. Banking institutions in Singapore or Hong Kong are very interested in opening a personal account in Asia. As a disadvantage of the Asian zone, we can highlight the time difference (for Europeans), which leads to inconvenience of communication with the bank.

Offshore banks are characterized by lower prices for services. The disadvantages include the fact, that European countries are biased towards banks from offshore jurisdictions, which can complicate payments.

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Choosing a bank

When choosing a bank, it is necessary based on personal requests and opportunities. For help in opening a foreign account for an individual, you need to contact experts. Such people are well aware of the current, volatile, situation in the banking sector, and are prepared to soberly assess the applicant’s chances, given the current circumstances, that characterize the applicant and the bank. We recommend ask for personal advice on opening a foreign bank account from IQ Decision lawyers.

In general, the procedure for opening a bank account is standard. The difference mainly lies in the list of required documents, and the timing of the application. A proper maintenance and high-quality preparation of the necessary documents can significantly reduce the waiting time.

Opening a personal bank account online

As noted above, some banks may open accounts via the Internet. Such institutions request scanned copies of documents, offer to send them by Email. IQ Decision lawyers are ready to provide you with relevant information.

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If you need to open a personal account in a foreign bank, contact experienced professionals for support. This will save you a significant amount of time, money, and you can start using your new bank account as soon as possible.


Since this article is informational, the above material cannot be interpreted as legal advice. If you need to get more specific data, ask for personal advice on opening bank accounts from IQ Decision specialists. Contact us in any way convenient for you.

  • The information outlined in the article is actual at the time of its publication.

  • Please refer to our specialists for checking possible solutions for your business.

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