Open Bank Account in Russia

Opening a bank account becomes necessary if you want to do business in Russia or move to Russia for work or as an ex-pat with a residence permit. Having a bank account also comes with various benefits. Let’s learn the process of opening a bank account in Russia.

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An Overview of How to Open a Bank Account in Russia

Russia is a vast country. It is almost twice the landmass of the USA and covers nine time zones. Large cities in Russia are centers for a large number of expats. Russia is well equipped to accommodate international arrivals. It has a good network of international schools and facilities to make you feel at home. It has a vibrant culture and the possibility of a high standard of living. Many foreigners enjoy their life as an expat in Russia. If you’re planning to move to Russia, then one of the first things you will have to do is to open a bank account in Russia.

Necessary Papers required to open a bank account in Russia

There are different types of bank accounts in Russia. For opening a simple account, one has to apply with only a passport as proof of identification. However, if one wants to open a bank account with additional services, then one has to provide the following Documents also

  • Photo ID proof
  • Valid residence permit
  • Proof of address in Russia, such as a recent utility bill
  • Reference from employer

Major National Banks in Russia

Sberbank

This bank is Russia’s largest bank. Its branches can be easily found. Once you open an account in this bank, you get access to a payment card and other products like loans and investments. This bank offers telephone and Internet banking services. In addition to this, some services come with perks and a loyalty card.

Rosbank

As part of the SociétéGénérale Group, Rosbank is well-equipped to offer services to international clients. One can make an appointment with an international client manager to find a suitable product. This bank offers mobile banking in English, French, and Russian.

Raiffeisen

Raiffeisen offers all services which you expect from a large international banking group. It offers products suitable to everyone including premium services, especially for international clients. Their ATMs and branch network covers the entire region so it is a suitable option for people who plan to travel outside of Russia frequently.

Gazprom

It is a bank that offers personal banking as well as specialist corporate and investment banking services. It is one of the largest banks in Russia, with over 2.8 million private customers. It provides a full range of products and services.

What is the main law governing banking in Russia?

The first Banking Law in Russia was passed in 1990. It is the Federal Law No. 395-1 “On Banks and Banking.” This law has been amended several times and its last modification was made in 2013. Other important laws on banking activities in Russia are Federal Law No. 86-3 on the Central Bank of Russia and the Federal Law No. 40-3 of 1999 on insolvency of financial lending institutions. The amendment made to the banking law in 2013 was to adhere to international standards and provide easy access to the market to foreign banks. One major amendment in this was regarding the banking groups and bank holding companies that are now allowed to be formed by others apart from credit institutions. One condition to it is that one of the companies is required to be a credit institution.

How to Open a Corporate Bank Account in Russia?

Every business operating in Russia, even through branch offices, is required to set up bank accounts. Such accounts are primarily used for depositing the company’s share capital for incorporation. Requirements to open a corporate bank account is more stringent. The following Documents are required to set up a corporate bank account in Russia in 2023

  • The application Form
  • Passport
  • Residence permit, if applicable
  • Statement issued by Russian tax authorities to carry out business activities in Russia.
  • A statement from the company’s owners confirming the opening of a bank account

All the Necessary Papers must be translated into Russian and notarized.

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How to Open a Bank Account in Russia as a foreigner?

There are strict formalities for foreigners to open a bank account in Russia however, foreigners can take into account the formalities imposed by the financial institutions. If you want to open a bank account, here are the formalities which you must undertake as a foreigner

  • The passport must be translated into Russian
  • You have to present the migration card
  • You must submit the registration Documents certifying that you’re domiciled in Russia.

Once you have collected these Documents, you can visit the bank to get your account opened.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can open a bank account online in Russia though not many banks offer to open an account online in Russia. A foreigner can apply for a Russian bank account online from outside of Russia. One bank offering this service is Alfa Bank. Alternatively, one can also check with banks in your country that operate in Russia.

Yes, it is possible for Indians to open a bank account in Russia as a non-resident.

Yes, you can open an offshore bank account in Russia within a few hours without being in Russia

There is only one Indian bank in Russia i.e., a Joint Venture between State Bank of India and Canara Bank.

Foreigners can open a bank account in Russia by providing the following Documents

  • An application form issued by the bank
  • A valid passport
  • A valid residence permit and
  • Proof of residential address.

FNB Non-resident account is easy to open for foreigners in Russia.

For getting a Russia Bank card, you have to make an application on the bank’s website and wait for the application to be approved. After the application is approved, you can make an appointment with the bank to deliver the card at a time and place convenient for you to receive it.

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