Bank accounts opening

Reliable banks, accurate watches and political neutrality are the features that Switzerland has long deserved. This is one of the most developed and prosperous countries in Europe. The country is not part of the European Union, yet it is one of the world’s largest financial centres and a prestigious jurisdiction for opening bank accounts. The Swiss banking secrecy is legislated and ensured by a stable banking system that protects the financial assets and capital of the account holders. 

At the same time, it cannot be said that opening a bank account in this country is easy to do. Banks have stringent requirements for the customers, in particular minimum account balance, which in some cases may reach $1 million. 

The best-known and most loyal banks are C.I.M. Bank, Credit Suisse, Clariden Leu Bank, UBS AG, Julius Bank, Falcon Private Bank Ltd and BSI AG. You can open the following types of accounts in Swiss banks:

  • current accounts, which are not subject to interest income and serves solely for the safekeeping of funds;
  • custodial accounts, which are regarded as the safest way of storing funds for both private persons and legal entities;
  • savings accounts, which serve as the means of earning profit from the invested funds, and the value of the interest surcharge depends on the amount invested and the term of its storage.

The Czech Republic is a European Union jurisdiction and has been known for the stability of the banking system for many years. This feature is undoubtedly important when choosing a financial institution. Czech banks have low interest rates on loans and even lower rates on deposits. All Czech banks allow their customers to manage their accounts via the internet or telephone as well as SEPA and SWIFT transactions.

The favourable geographical location, diversified and fast-growing economy, and policy of attracting foreign investment have already made Turkey an attractive location for business. It has a stable legal system and well-developed financial sector, in particular the banking sector, which accounts for more than 80% of the financial sector. These features, combined with a sophisticated taxation policy, make Turkey an attractive destination for bank accounts.

At present, about 50 banking institutions operate in Turkey. Turkish banks are loyal to foreign business. There’s also no excessive control or bureaucracy on the part of the authorities. That is why Turkey is an excellent alternative to popular jurisdictions and also one of the main options for opening an account for a foreign company or individual. The most widely known banks in this country are Garanti Bankasi, Yapi Kredi Bankasi, Deutsche Bank, Is Bankasi, Citibank, Ziraat Bankasi, Turkiye Finans, Kuveyt Turk, Vakif, DenizBank and Isbank.

Despite its modest size and a population of just 7 million, and the serious upheavals suffered by the country in the early 21st century, Serbia is now a fairly promising area of South-Eastern Europe. Serbia boasts a dynamic economy and a stable and universal banking system, which is very popular with the citizens of the CIS countries, along with the jurisdictions in countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia or Estonia. All the latest banking regulations in the country are aimed at meeting European requirements, as Serbia is on the verge of joining the EU. However, the strict European rules do not apply to Serbian banks yet.

At present 27 banks are operating in Serbia. Among them there are state and private banks as well as banking institutions with foreign ownership. All Serbian banks are well capitalized and offer a full range of modern banking services. The best banks according to experts are Banca Intesa, Komercijalna Banka, UniCredit, Societe Generale, Raiffeisen, AIK and Eurobank.

Puerto Rico is a small island state in the Caribbean near the USA, also known as the ‘51st state’, and is a haven for those who want to secure their assets and avoid high taxation rates. The banking system in this country is by chance one of the most undervalued in the world. 

Currently, the banks in this country are well capitalized as well as have good liquidity and funding. The top 10 banks in Puerto Rico include FirstBank, Banco Popular Scotiabank, Banco Santander, Caribe Federal Credit Union, Citibank NA, FEMBi Mortgage Asia, Pentagon Federal Credit Union and JetStream Federal Credit Union.

Today, many financial market experts believe that Puerto Rico is a truly fantastic place to keep your financial assets in complete safety and in a legal jurisdiction in the West.

A stable and diversified economy, a very prudent monetary policy and constantly rising welfare levels have created one of the most attractive banking systems in Eastern Europe. Poland has several dozens of public and commercial banks, which handle significant domestic and foreign financial flows. Well-known financial groups are represented in Polish banking sector, therefore opening an account in a Polish bank could be a calling card for any business.

Unlike, for example, the Baltic States or Cyprus, Polish banks are rather fastidious about opening accounts, especially for non-residents, which prevents abuses related to money laundering. However, once an account is opened, funds deposited in Polish banks are fully protected. It is ensured by the Bank Guarantee Fund (Bankowy Fundusz Gwarancyjny, BFG). The guarantee limit for the depositor is 100 000 €.

The stability of the Chinese financial system is ensured by a fairly low external public debt, a significant volume of foreign exchange reserves and strict currency regulation. All these factors combined with a highly developed economy make this country an attractive business environment. Therefore opening a bank account in China is a very topical issue. However, the strict state regulation of the banking sphere in the Celestial Empire creates its own difficulties both with opening a bank account and further business activity.

A whole range of legislative acts adopted in recent years have compelled Chinese banks to be stricter in terms of opening bank accounts, regardless of whether the company is local or foreign. Chinese banks are now monitoring bank accounts, implementing inactive account testing, monitoring capital movements, analyzing transaction timing and tracking suspicious activity in accordance with adopted regulations. All these measures are aimed at preventing illegal activities and ensuring the complete safety of deposits.

The small African island country of Mauritius, which lies in the south-eastern part of the Indian Ocean and to the west of the island of Madagascar, has a stable economy. It is attractive not only because of its unique Black River Gorges National Park and endless sandy beaches with lagoons and reefs, but also as a convenient platform for financial transactions in the Asian and African regions. Mauritius has one of the strongest economies in Africa and is considered to be one of the leading economic reformers in the region. The banking sector in Mauritius dates back to the early 19th century and is regarded as the most developed in the region. The banking sector in Mauritius has witnessed a rapid development in recent years. All these factors combine to make it easy to open a bank account on the island.

There are nineteen banks on the island. The most popular ones are the Mauritius Commercial Bank, State Bank of Mauritius, ABC Banking Corporation and BanyanTree Bank. The banks in Mauritius have long had a well-deserved reputation for being among the most client-friendly. They have an open and customer-oriented policy as well as are always ready for a dialogue with their clients.

The banking system in Armenia cannot compete with the history and traditions of the financial sector in Switzerland or, for example, with the popularity of banking institutions in Cyprus. At the same time, the country’s financial sector has been remarkably stable and has shown a high rate of development, especially in the last decade. Among the reasons for the growing popularity of Armenian banks, experts name the tightening of the policy of the European supervisory authorities, especially after the imposition of sanctions against the Russian Federation. That is why, in the era of total sanctions, Armenia can confidently be called a kind of “safe haven” where one can open a personal or corporate bank account.

The country is determined to attract funds from abroad, develop its banking sector and bring it up to international standards. There are currently 20 banks operating in Armenia, namely: Ameriabank, VTB Armenia, Mellat Bank, ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, Converse Bank, Armbusinessbank and others.

Despite being quite modest in size, the island state of Antigua and Barbuda enjoys a high level of political stability, vibrant economy and sophisticated infrastructure. Its banking system is recognized as the second largest of all financial institutions in the Caribbean Commonwealth. It is part of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), which regulates the financial sector, sets the direction for the banking sector and guarantees deposit repayment. In terms of deposit safety Antigua and Barbuda is one of the top 30 most financially secure countries in the world.

Both domestic and international banking institutions operate in Antigua and Barbuda and are pursuing an active policy aimed at attracting customers. Due to the conclusion of a series of international agreements, the banks of this state have the impressive network of partners and numerous correspondent banks that allow to provide services to the residents of other countries as well as perform operations with any world currencies.

The oldest and most popular bank in Antigua and Barbuda is Global Bank of Commerce that specializes in rendering international financial services. It provides its clients with a wide range of services for keeping corporate and personal accounts, deposit services, international bank transfers and asset management. Other popular banks include Antigua Overseas Bank, BOI Bank Corporation, Davos International Bank, Meinl bank (Antigua), North International Bank as well as Trium Bank and Trust.

In recent years, the Georgian authorities have implemented a number of successful reforms in the financial sector, which have contributed to a radical change in the tax system. As a result, the country’s position in various international rankings has improved dramatically and continues to grow. All these processes make the opening of an account in the country by non-residents a very topical issue, especially for the citizens of Russia and the CIS countries.

The banking sector in Georgia is relatively small. There are currently fifteen licensed banks operating in the country. The largest of them is TBC Bank. It has numerous branches, provides a full range of premium services and is considered to be a leader in the banking sector. Other large banks are Bank of Georgia, Silk Road Bank, VTB Bank, TeraBank and BasisBank.

Opening a bank account in the Republic of Belarus is a great solution for business today. The country has a balanced policy, which ensures the inflow of capital and economic growth, thanks to the National Bank, which acts as the main financial regulator.

The banking and financial sector in the Republic is actively developing. A characteristic feature
of Belarusian banks is their loyal customer policy – they willingly open accounts for non-residents, British partnerships, companies registered in Hong Kong, Singapore, UAE, etc.

Foreign persons can open an account in the bank in Belarus in the following currencies: USD, RUB, EUR, BYN.

Opening a personal or corporate account in the Belarusian bank is accompanied by a number of indisputable advantages compared to banks in other countries:

  • Available to non-residents.
  • Modern online banking services.
  • Availability of English-speaking staff.
  • Opening accounts for companies with a variety of activities.
  • Relatively fast application process.

More than two centuries of financial stability as well as developed economy and financial sectors make Austria an attractive location for bank accounts. 

The Austrian banking system has successfully survived the global financial crisis. It operates with a limited government regulation and provides excellent opportunities to conduct business. The main regulator is Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian National Bank). The control of the banking sector is the responsibility of Oesterreichische Kontrollbank, which is the supervisory bank.

Altogether there are more than 800 financial institutions in Austria. The best-known banks include Erste Bank der Oesterreichischen Sparkassen, Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich, Oesterreichische Volksbanken, Raiffeisen International, Bawag PSK and Oberbank. Euram Bank, LGT Bank, MeinlBank and Valartis Bank are also popular. The clients of Austrian banks are not afraid of rather high service fees and requirements to the minimum account balance. All the above-mentioned issues are certainly compensated by the advantages of Austrian banks.

The Principality of Andorra is a dwarf state located in Western Europe between Spain and France. It is not part of the European Union, but the Euro is used there. In terms of financial system and tax policy, Andorra is a tax haven. It attracts by its favourable taxation as well as the absence of taxes on income and investment. Financial activities in the country are controlled by the National Finance Institute (INAF). Andorra has minimized governmental interference in the business sector. Just ten years ago it was difficult to open an account in this country, but after the introduction of several legislative acts by the authorities, this procedure has been greatly simplified.

There are seven banks operating in the country, namely: Banc Sabadell d’Andorra, Andorra Banc Agricol Reig, Banca Mora, Banc Internacional, Banca Privada d’Andorra, Credit Andorra and CaixaBank Andorra. The banking institutions of the country are considered to be among the most stable and reliable in the world. The main distinguishing feature is their high solvency. They are not offshore, quite loyal to Russian business and have no problem opening accounts for clients from the Russian Federation.

Luxembourg leads the ranks of the richest European countries. This is a small and highly developed country that is considered a major tourism and financial centre. 

Despite the very modest size of the country, the banking system in Luxembourg is highly developed. A large number of local and international banks operate in Luxembourg. About a quarter of them are subsidiaries of foreign banks from such countries as Germany, France and Switzerland. There are also many investment banks operating in the country.

The financial regulator of Luxembourg is the Central Bank, namely BCL (Banque centrale du Luxembourg), while the CSSF (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier) has a supervisory function. The interference of state agencies in the banking sector is minimized, but Luxembourg banks themselves are subject to certain obligations in the framework of the fight against illicit financial flows and terrorism. These measures include the identification of beneficial owners and sources of funds, strict control over transactions, especially cross-border ones, as well as other measures. If a client successfully passes all the checks and opens an account at a bank, he / she is provided with the comprehensive range of banking services and full confidentiality. The security of deposits is guaranteed. The loyalty to non-residents is also ensured.