Are you looking to open a personal bank account in Georgia? If so, you’ll be interested to know about the latest changes that have been made to the process. Below, I will outline the new requirements and procedures for opening a bank account in Georgia. So if you’re ready to take the next step, keep reading!
The banking sector of Georgia is stable and developed. Citizens of almost all countries can use banking services in Georgia. They can open accounts, withdraw money; transfer it to local or international places. Each bank in Georgia has its own internal regulations, which are constantly changing.
For the security of the country and the bank itself, it is completely impossible to open a bank account in the case of some specific nationals, and in some cases it is only possible after checking all documents and data about individuals. For more clarification, banks have their own lists of countries based on their risk level.
When you decide to move here, expand your business in Georgia, or do business in our beautiful country, you will definitely need to open personal and corporate bank accounts. It is without a doubt that the banking sector is blossomed and growing in Georgia.
All commercial banks are accredited and controlled by the National Bank of Georgia. The service is with advanced level, the design is modern and operation of Internet Banking quality is one of the best in the world; Private Banking (bankers) is attractive service here as well if you met the criteria. If you manage to activate the account with all services, you will not have a problem to make transfers remotely with internet banking here in Georgian locally or outside the country – internationally.
Receiving financial services and using banking products in commercial banks mainly starts with opening a Current account. This step is identical for persons and legal entities, meaning that both parties are requested to open these kind of accounts. Current bank Account is a financial product that banks offer to deposit and dispose of your money. Current accounts are opened in all cases when any transaction is attached. Current accounts services include: foreign currency accounts; loan accounts; funds report as intended; accounts due to payment features, etc.
Banks and foreigners
The procedure for applying to open a bank account and the chances of success in opening it vary, depending on the applicant’s residency, citizenship, the type of bank account (personal or corporate) and the way the process is carried out in person. The possibility of opening a bank account by foreigners in Georgia has existed for a long time. However, due to recent events in the world, process have changed slightly and hardened.
It is significant that according to the internal regulations of banks, there are countries whose citizens have 20% chance of opening a bank account in Georgian banks. These lists are mostly similar, but may still vary from bank to bank.
We give you approximate list of counties which citizens are not able to open TBC and Banks of Georgia private accounts:
Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Somalia.
Note that this list is changing every day and some countries may be added or removed. There are another category of countries which citizens usually are checked, but the list of it is not available.
Additionally, Georgia is one of the few countries that allows you to open a bank account on the basis of a power of attorney, however, technically such a process often does not work and Banks may still require your visit a branch personally.
Opening an individual bank account in Georgia
Opening a bank account for a non-resident person is a more difficult procedure in Georgia rather the Georgian citizens. There are several Georgian banks that we work with and that still try to open bank accounts in such cases. However, process is totally different and hardened. To open bank account you should address to any branch of any bank, take passport with you and answer question so they could proceed.
If this part is accepted, your request will continue on second phase. Part of the other banks reject the application almost automatically, 10% of the banks start checking the company, but inform the applicant about the rejection within 2 or 3 working days.
As we have mentioned, one of the main preconditions for opening a bank account in Georgia. The more connections you have with Georgia, the more chances you will have to gain the trust of banks and as a result open and maintain an account.
Risk countries and complications
Abovementioned list of countries is a list for risk countries. If you are a citizen from this countries you will probably not accepted to open any kind of accounts here in Georgia. As a rule, in the form of the application of request, you will grant the bank the right to verify your data in various databases, as well as to request you to submit various information established in accordance with the requirements of local or international legislation.
As a rule, the information requested by the bank serves to ensure the legality of your activities, profile and/or income as its future customer. Please note that based on the information provided by you and/or the information about you in various databases, as well as in the event that you refuse to provide this or that information, the bank has the right to refuse the service and account opening, and at the same time, it has no obligation , explain the reason for his refusal.
Requirements and needed documents
Let us consider what requirements or documents may be requested to open an account in a Georgian bank. For opening personal business account on first stage, only passport is required. After showing your passport to an operator, they will scan it, add to their system and get back to you with questions you need to answer. They may request you to show how you usually get your income, what is amount of it, from where it is transferred etc.
However, according to the latest regulations, the procedure for opening a bank account has become quite complicated. Banks have introduced a 2-stage verification system, according to which, you first have to submit specific information and documentation for the review of your application, and after passing this stage, prepare additional (if required) documents. The information provided in the first stage includes relevant answers to the probabilistic questions (to which other questions may be added).
Note that this data is constantly changing and additional actions may be required. However, maximum 3 weeks are provided as standard for document review. During this period, the bank will provide you with an accurate assessment of the documentation, whether the documents submitted by you are sufficient in content and whether their certification structure is maintained. If it is accepted, happy for you.
However, note that the risk of closing a bank account may still arise if you do things that attract bank’s attention. The risk of closing account can be reduced by meeting the requirements, but there is no guarantee that the account will be opened and if it is opened – it will not be closed due to AML restrictions.
Each case is individual and in any case, the bank’s back-office (which is absolutely unidentified) makes decisions taking into account the risks associated with the client. Based on the Georgian law Banks are not obligated to explain reasons of negative decision or anything like that.
Fees for foreign companies
As we have already clarified, the procedures have changed, as well as the fees. Some banks have already estimated amount of fees while some still do not. For example, TBC Bank will review your application for a fee of 500 GEL. The Bank of Georgia has not yet imposed such fee. As Liberty Bank clarified, the fee for reviewing their documents is 120 GEL, as for Terra Bank, they name 100 GEL as the fee for the first stage. Note that these fees are not refundable. If your request will be denied, you will not be able to return your money. Read more: Must Knows Before Opening A Business Bank Account In Georgia
What to do? Suggestions!
Before arriving in Georgia, if your goal is to open a bank account, be sure to follow the procedures specified above and be prepared to submit additional documents. Also, pay attention to specify the amount of value associated with the bank opening procedures/their change during your visit to Georgia. Make sure you arrive with full documentation and be sure to consult a lawyer before applying to any bank in Georgia.
We hope you liked this article and will help you while requesting to open private bank account in Georgia. If you have any questions or if there is a specific topic that interests, then leave a comment below and we’ll make articles about most requested topics for you.