Citizens of countries that are not members of the EU and the Schengen Agreement – including Russians – planning to buy/rent real estate in Malta should take care of opening an account in one of the local banks. This sequence of actions does not cause any particular difficulties if the potential client has a good credit history, has sufficient funds, and does not have any debts.
However, with all the loyalty of Maltese banks to the opening of current accounts by foreigners, even non-residents, a number of conditions that are set by the Central Bank of Malta will need to be met.
Documents for opening an account in Malta for an individual
First of all, a non-resident who wants to open an account in Malta will have to provide a fairly impressive set of documents in addition to an identity card, which, as a rule, is a foreign passport. This set includes:
Application for opening an account.
A contract for the sale or rental of a home in Malta, as well as several recently paid utility bills as proof of residence.
If these documents are not available, you must provide pay slips from your previous place of residence, which may require translation into English.
Account statements from previous financial institutions to verify credit history and absence of debt.
Maltese bankers are also interested in client experience in another bank and the history of financial transactions, among which there should be no suspicion. Quite often, the Maltese send a request to confirm the authenticity of the data, which can take several months.
A certificate of income, which is usually a certificate of employment, although the presence of deposits or investments in securities increases the likelihood of a positive decision.
After opening a bank account in Malta, the client will receive a plastic debit card, which will be associated with this account. To do this, you also need to be patient, since it takes several weeks to produce and ship it. In total, the entire process can take up to six months – especially if the bank requests additional documents such as a police clearance certificate.
Opening an account in Malta by a legal entity
Foreign entrepreneurs who have their own company, which was registered abroad, can also open a bank account in Malta for a legal entity. This is beneficial from the point of view of not only business expansion, but also the preservation of capital, as well as its increase due to the high interest rate. Maltese banks do not provide information on account activity unless there is an investigation into suspected illicit origin of funds.
In order to open an account in a Malta bank for a legal entity, you need to collect the following package of papers, which also looks very impressive. This package, in addition to documents identifying each of the founders/shareholders, includes:
Certificate of registration of the firm/company.
Certificate of income of the company/company, which is provided by the bank where the current account is opened.
Paid utility bills for each of the founders/shareholders.
If the decision is positive, a plastic card linked to the account with all accompanying documentation is sent to the specified legal address of the company/company.
Reasons why it is beneficial to open a bank account in Malta
When opening an account in one of the most famous Maltese banks (BANIF Bank, APS Bank Limited, Bank of Valletta, Volksbank Malta Limited, Sparkasse Bank Malta, Lombard Bank), a foreign client – from a local university student to a large company – receives a number of advantages, which include: low rates for account servicing – for example, no commission is charged for transferring funds within one bank;
- low fees for account servicing – for example, no commission is charged for transferring funds within one bank;
- the possibility of opening an account without the personal presence of the client, whose interests will be represented by a trusted person;
- manage accounts online using a computer or mobile application on a smartphone;
- high level of data protection and information confidentiality;
- stability of the country’s political, financial and economic system, practically not subject to crises;
- simplification of trade with EU countries.
However, with all this, it should be borne in mind that the attitude of many Maltese banks towards citizens of the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan is becoming more stringent every year, and they are subject to stricter control regarding their financial reliability. The most reliable way to open a bank account in Malta is to obtain citizenship of this country in accordance with the special investment program Malta Individual Investor Program.