Bank account opening in Europe

Bank account opening in EuropeIn this article, banking specialists of IB-IA Group UAB describe the advantages of opening a bank account in Europe for both entities and individuals.

Advantages of opening an account in Europe for individuals

  • Risk diversification and independence from a single banking system
  • Strong reputation
  • Deposit insurance up to EUR 100,000 (within the EU)
  • Extensive experience of serving clients from different countries
  • Currency accounts and low-cost wire transfers within the euro area
  • Ability to use VISA/Mastercard credit cards
  • Ability to invest in Europe (real estate, business, securities)
  • Access to profitable financial products: cards, brokerage accounts, etc.

Advantages of opening an account in Europe for business

  • Customer-friendly financial transactions with European partners
  • Reduced wire transfer costs
  • Minimization of foreign exchange control (often no foreign exchange control)
  • Risk diversification
  • Enhancing the trust of partners and customers
  • Access to loans under favourable terms and conditions and profitable financial products

How to open an account in Europe remotely?

IB-IA Group UAB offers the opportunity of opening an account in one of the European banks in a fully remote manner. To open an account remotely, several conditions must be met:

  • The selected bank supports remote account opening
  • You meet/your company meets the requirements of the bank for deposits, turnover, type of activity and country of incorporation (for entities)
  • A complete set of documents has been prepared

You can still open a bank account in Europe during a personal visit. In this case, the number of financial institutions offering such a service increases significantly.

Regardless of the method of opening an account, the following set of documents must be provided.

For individuals

  • Passport valid for no less than 6 months
  • Proof of residence address
  • Confirmation of sources of funds

For entities

  • Corporate documents: certificate/memorandum of incorporation, articles of association, a list of beneficiaries, certificate of good standing, and similar documents
  • Personal documents of owners and directors: passports, proof of residence address
  • Description of business activities
  • Description of the company structure
  • Annual report/accounting statement (in case of carrying out activities)
  • Confirmation of sources of funds
  • Documents must be translated into English or the language of the country where you would like to open an account. In some cases, documents must be notarized or legalized.

Furthermore, the selected bank may request additional documents, and banking specialists of IB-IA Group UAB recommend responding to such requests as soon as possible.

Some key factors to consider when opening an account in Europe

Despite all the advantages of opening an account in one of the European banks, you need to pay special attention to the following.

Providing a package of documents. European banks carefully review documents provided by clients, and in some European countries there is, unfortunately, still quite a lot of bureaucratic procedures.

In the practice of IB-IA Group UAB, there were refusals when opening an account in one of the European banks due to improperly prepared documents: the documents of the company contained errors in the names of its members and numbers (date of birth, identity document number and expiration date), the director and the beneficiary of the company were mixed up. Sometimes, the compliance department of the bank did not like the use of the black ink pen when signing documents, while the mandatory rule is the use of the blue ink pen.

For this reason, before sending documents to the bank, IB-IA Group UAB recommends using the pre-approval service, which means preliminary approval of the business model of your company with the selected bank, taking into account the country of residence of the beneficiaries, and approval of a full package of necessary documents to meet the requirements of the selected bank. As a result, you will save costs for preparing and sending additional documents, mitigate the risk of refusal and significantly reduce the bank response time.

Describing business activities. Due to the adoption of the most recent European Union Directives, European banks are paying particular attention to companies engaged in high-risk activities, which means companies that are highly likely to encounter various difficulties, including legal issues and customer dissatisfaction, or go bankrupt.

As a result, European banks and financial institutions may refuse not only to grant a loan to a company with such types of activity, but also to open a business account, in order to avoid the risk of being fined or even losing their license due to sanctions of the regulator. Banks and financial institutions consider business to be high-risk in the following areas: gambling and any activity in the field of gambling, trade in medicines, any cryptocurrency transactions, trade in precious metals/precious stones, trading activities, and 18+/adult industry.

Confirming sources of funds. When opening an account in one of the European banks, individuals can provide a tax return from the country of residence, an account statement, property purchase and sale agreements, employment contracts, inheritance documents, etc.

Companies need to submit the same documents as individuals (in case of new companies with a large share capital). In most cases, a company must be able to provide its financial statements, a list of partners, contracts, CV/resumes of directors and beneficiaries, confirmation of the list of employees from the tax department, and a bank statement (if the company has an account with another bank).

Providing a proof of residence of the applicant/members of the company. According to the current AML/KYC policy of European banks, clients from non-European countries are considered ‘risky’. After receiving an application to open an account, some banks refuse to provide services to such clients. Therefore, the pre-approval procedure is a unique opportunity to get preliminary consent or refusal from banks carefully selected for you by our specialists to consider a full package of documents for opening an account, taking into account your residence.

In which countries you can open a bank account in Europe

The choice of a country for opening an account and a specific bank depends on your goals and the amount of the initial deposit and the minimum balance.

If the amount of your private/company deposits is more than 1 million euros, banking specialists of IB-IA Group UAB recommend opening an account in Switzerland. Swiss banks (UBS, Credit Suisse, and private banks, such as Reichmuth, Gonet) are the most reputable and trusted in the world and will be happy to offer you a full range of banking services, while ensuring the best customer service quality.

With large deposits, you can also have additional opportunities with banks in Germany, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

In case of smaller deposits/a smaller initial deposit, IB-IA Group UAB specialists recommend considering the possibility of opening a bank account in Cyprus with its developed banking and corporate infrastructure. With our help, you can open an account with Cyprus banks, such as Hellenic Bank, Piraeus Bank, RCB, and many others.

We also recommend Portugal for opening a bank account in Europe. Novo Banco, Banco Best and other banks are long-term partners of our company.

Serbia merits special mention. This country is not an EU member, but here you can open a euro account for individuals and legal entities, get deposit insurance for up to EUR 50,000, use a developed banking system with international banks, such OTP, UniCredit, Expo Bank, Banca Intesa, and Bank of China.

If you want to open an account without a deposit, you can do it with one of the payment systems of the European Union. Within such systems, wire transfers are made instantly, while SEPA transfers involve no or minimal fees.

The functionality of European payment systems may include the following services:

  • Instant money transfers within the payment system
  • Currency conversion
  • Unique IBAN number
  • Opening an account online
  • Low fees for opening and using an account

Whatever activity your company is engaged in and whatever account you want to open (personal or business), specialists of the financial department of IB-IA Group UAB will be happy to provide a full range of services to you so that a bank account in Europe is opened for you as soon as possible. Contact us in any way convenient to you and get an offer today.