It is possible for non – residents to open a bank account in Malta, even before arriving to the country. Maltese banks offer a wide range of services and they often use incentives to attract new customers, especially foreigners. Opening a bank account is a quick and easy process in Malta, especially if there is no history of adverse credit or debts.
Required documents to open a bank account in Malta
Non – residents will need a passport or an ID card, a utility bill for reference and a reference from a current or former bank.
Once all the documents are received by the Maltese bank, they will contact the bank providing the reference in order to verify the credit rating and debt history of the applicant. This process might take one or two weeks, and in some cases even months, depending on the complexity of the case.
In some cases, EU citizens may not be required to provide a bank reference, however for non – EU citizens the above requirements are mandatory.
Maltese residents or persons with a Maltese e-Residence cars and a Maltese address are required to provide an ID card and a reference from a former or current bank when they wish to open a bank account.
Some Maltese banks may want to contact the bank providing the reference directly, to verify the applicant’s credit rating and debt history; therefore it is important to provide the necessary contact details.
Foreign companies may also open a bank account in Malta. This is a necessary step to deposit the minimum required share capital to open a company in Malta, however having a bank account in the country offers some advantages such as favorable interest rates and the possibility to open an account in any foreign currency. Foreign company accounts also offer no exchange control regulations. The necessary documents for a company to open a bank account in Malta are the following:
- A reference from a current bank for each beneficiary of the business;
- Copies of passports from each beneficiary, shareholder or director;
- A copy of the company’s incorporation documents;
- A certificate of good standing for the company;
- Utility bills from each beneficiary, shareholder or director.
Types of bank accounts in Malta
Maltese banks offer three main types of bank accounts:
- Current or checking accounts that provide instant access to cash, usually accompanied by a debit or cash card and a checkbook;
- Saving accounts used as means of accruing interest on money set aside. Making withdrawals from saving accounts usually incur a financial penalty;
- Deposit accounts that allow the holder to deposit and withdraw money and interest is paid on the balance. Often, for these types of accounts a fee is charged.
Many Maltese banks offer various facilities for those who open bank accounts in foreign currencies.
Telephone and internet banking are both extensively used in Malta, while bank statements are available in English and Maltese.
Checks and cards
Checks are a popular method of payment in Malta. They are widely accepted by businesses across the country and they can be deposited at most ATMs, as well as over the counter in bank branches. IT takes usually two days for a check to clear.
Due to the issuing of checkbooks and the continuing use of checks in Malta, banks may block sections of non – resident accounts in order to stop the issuing of fraudulent checks.
Debit and credit cards are also used widely across the country. Banks often charge fees on cards, account maintenance and cash withdrawals. These fees may vary according to the bank, the account type and the type of service provided.