After successfully settling in Malta, one of the non-negotiable things you will need is a bank account. A local bank account will make it convenient for you to receive your salary if you are working, pay bills, pay medical care among other activities.
Some of the largest banks found in Malta include HSBC Malta, Bank of Valletta and FIMBank. The process of setting up a bank account in any of the above banks and all the other banks in Malta is simple and caters for both resident and non-resident accounts. Aside from current, savings and deposit accounts, International offshore accounts are also offered although they require a hefty minimum balance.
Banking services such as online and telephone banking are available for all clients. Malta offers traditional debit and credit cards along with other basic banking services. As a general rule, a little research will be beneficial in choosing the right bank for you in respect to your need. Bigger banks tend to be more suitable if you will be frequently transacting internationally. They also offer visa whereas smaller banks may not be integrated. Furthermore, bank charges also vary depending on the bank so knowing the terms and conditions will help you make the most economical choice.
Requirements for EU citizens
The proper documentation needed to open a bank account include:
- A passport or photo ID card as a form of identification;
- A reference letter from your current/previous bank addressing your credit rating and debt history;
- A utility bill with your address as proof of residence.
Once you have submitted the required documentation to the bank a follow up with your previous/current banker will be made. Your banking history will be reviewed and once your Maltese bank of choice is satisfied the application will be approved and your account opened. The waiting period will with each bank you choose to work with.
After your account is open you will have to wait until you are presented with your card and pin number to make full use of the banking services. If your debt history is found to be a cause for concern or you declared bankruptcy, the bank may require you to first become a resident of Malta in order to consider your application. Maltese banks reserve the right to deny applications on such grounds.
Requirements for non-EU nationals
The documents required for non-EU residents and the application process itself are quite similar to that of EU residents. The differences arise from the stricter controls that apply. Some EU residents may not have to present a bank reference but it is mandatory for all non-EU nationals to present the reference.
Requirements for Foreign Companies
Company documents needed in opening a bank account include:
- Copies of passports for all shareholders, directors and all other beneficiaries alike;
- Reference letters from each beneficiary’s current bank;
- Copy of the company’s incorporation documents;
- Certificate of good standing for the company;
- Recent utility bill as proof of residence for each shareholder, director, and beneficiary alike.
When your bank account is opened you will receive your account linked card and pin number by mail at your preferred address. The terms and conditions applicable to your bank account are also delivered accompanied by insurance options.
Your application for a bank account may be subject to the investigation of the banking history of the company’s beneficiaries. Maltese banks reserve the right to deny the application based on association. It is important to note that, for foreign companies, a Maltese bank account will offer you favorable interest rates than in most parts of the world. You are able to open a bank account in any currency you desire and are not subject to any exchange controls.
Malta embraces investments from all over the world and offers one of the best business environments. The incorporation process might be daunting but it’s worth it. For further help and assistance with registration and opening a bank account in Malta you can contact SIGTAX experts. Our team of accountants, consultants and lawyers is ready to help you in any way possible and help you avoid the common pitfalls in the company formation process.