Can Non-Residents Open a Bank Account in Montenegro?

By , 24 Mar 2018, 16:21 PM Business
Copyrights: Profimedia Copyrights: Profimedia

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March 24th, 2018 – Opening a bank account in a foreign country might be difficult and stressful. In Serbia, if you are non-resident, you will have to provide over ten documents, while in Croatia you need to deposit a minimum amount of money according to some sources.

What is the situation in Montenegro?

If you are a non-resident, and by that, you are a person with permanent residency in a country that is not Montenegro, or your legal entity, i.e. a private enterprise registered abroad, you can open your bank account quickly. The only tricky task would be to choose the bank where you want to open your bank account, as there are over ten banks that provide an opportunity to non-residents to open their bank account in Montenegro.

According to the Central Bank of Montenegro, 15 commercial banks in Montenegro have the license to do financial business in Montenegro. Among them, few are from Montenegro such as Hipotekarna Bank, The First Bank of Montenegro, Atlas Bank, Commercial Bank, Universal Capital Bank, Lovćen Bank while the rest of the banks originate from foreign countries. In 2017, Societe Generale Bank of Montenegro was awarded as the Bank of the Year in Montenegro by the international magazine 'The Banker' that is issued by The Financial Times Group from London, while in 2016 this award was given to Erste Bank in Montenegro.

We conducted some research to find out if non-residents can open an account, and if so, what are conditions. We contacted significant banks in Montenegro, and here is an overview of our results:

Erste Bank

To open a bank account at Erste Bank, you will need your identification document (passport) and to visit one of their branch offices in Montenegro where you will need to sign papers and contracts. According to information they provided, the whole procedure takes up to 15-20 minutes. It’s entirely free to open, but the monthly fee is 0,99 EUR. Besides, you can take the free Erste Mastercard tht allows you to withdraw money from other Erste ATMs in Europe without an additional fee.

The First Bank of Montenegro

Opening a bank account at The First Bank of Montenegro is relatively the same procedure as it is at Erste Bank. You will need an identification document (passport is the most desirable), and you need to physically be at one of their branch offices to sign documents and contracts. The monthly fee is 0,50 EUR, but The First Bank of Montenegro offers you two debit cards (VISA and Maestro) for the price of one.

Hipotekarna Bank

Similar to the previous cases, you will need a passport and physical presence to open a bank account at Hipotekarna bank in Montenegro. The only difference is that the monthly fee for servicing your account is 0,9 EUR.

Lovćen Bank

Lovćen Bank allows you to open an account quick and easy, but you will need to pay a monthly service fee of 1 EUR, and a onetime fee for opening an account of 3 EUR. You will need to visit their branch offices to sign documents and contracts that are the usual procedure. If you are politically active, you will most likely need to sign additional material that provides information of your relations with current politicians and political structures in Montenegro.

Societe Generale Bank of Montenegro

The Bank of the Year in 2017 is a bit different when it comes to bank accounts for non-residents. Still, it is effortless, and the procedure is simple, but non-residents will need to pay the one-time fee that is 200 EUR and 2,5 EUR monthly servicing fee. If you decide to close your account, you will need to pay an additional 15 EUR.

NLB Bank

If you consider opening a bank account at the NLB Montenegro Bank which is a representative of the Slovenian NLB Bank, you will go through the same procedure, but you will be required to pay a 5 EUR one-time fee for opening a bank account as a non-resident. Monthly servicing fee is 0,7 EUR.

ZIRAAT Bank in Montenegro

Ziraat Bank in Montenegro is a relatively young bank. It is a state-owned bank in Turkey founded in 1863. Ziraat Bank is the second biggest Turkish bank after Garanti Bankası since 2012 according to the Bankscope database measured by total assets in US dollars. If you want to open the non-resident bank account there, you will need a passport, a request for opening the bank account, the form for identifying a politically exposed person and contract for non-residents that is available on their website in both Montenegrin and English. Opening an account is free of charge, but the monthly servicing fee is 0,3 EUR, and there is no onetime fee for non-residents.

Montenegrin Commercial Bank (commonly CKB in Montenegro)

The transactional account for the execution of international payment transactions may be established by both residents and non-residents, at any of the CKB counters. The only document required is a valid ID card or passport. In case of non-residents, a passport is required. The transactional account for the execution of international payment transactions may be opened by individual applications or joint application under the signed contract. Opening an account is free of charge, and a monthly servicing fee is 1,19 EUR for national payments and debit cards.

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Total profit accomplished by all banks in Montenegro, according to 2017 Banks’ Report, is 35,8 million euro.

In the 2017 Banks’ Report, it is stated that the total profit of all banks in Montenegro in the previous year was 35,8 million euro. CKB is at the forefront of the list, and it is followed by Erste Bank, Societe Generale Bank, NLB, Hipotekarna, Addiko and Lovćen Bank.

Three banks have finished 2017 with a loss: New Bank (crn. Nova Banka) with 1,56 million euro loss, Ziraat Bank with 865.000 loss, and Invest Bank Montenegro with 772.00 euro loss. In total 3,2 million euro was lost by these three banks.

Carefully choose your bank!

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