Open a Bank Account in Malta - 2021 Guide

Open a Bank Account in Malta

Updated on Tuesday 11th May 2021

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Foreign citizens or companies seeking to live and work, respectively to set up operations here must have bank accounts in Malta. Banks in Malta allow for an array of bank accounts available for natural persons and corporate entities in order to offer viable solutions for every need. The following types of bank accounts can be set up in Malta: current bank accounts, which are also the most employed; savings accounts; deposit accounts; corporate accounts.
The last type of account is available for Maltese companies only. Also, Maltese banks allows EU and non-EU residents to open bank accounts with them in foreign currencies. Our lawyers in Malta can assist foreign investors in setting up corporate accounts.

Opening a bank account in Malta in 2021

Maltese residents usually open bank accounts in order to receive their salaries and to make payments. For these purposes they usually set up current accounts, while for savings they will usually set up savings or deposit accounts. The following documents are required to open a current bank account in Malta in 2021:
  • a passport or identification papers;
  • an application form issued by the bank;
  • a recent utility bill;
  • a bank reference.
Foreign citizens must also have a good credit score in order to be allowed to open bank accounts in Malta. Most current accounts have debit or credit cards attached issued once the account is activated. You can also read about the opening of a bank account in Malta in the infographic below:
How to open a bank account in Malta

Setting up a corporate bank account in Malta

In order to carry out a commercial activity, a Maltese company must have a bank account. The corporate bank account is usually set up during the company registration procedure, as the founders must deposit the share capital of the business. After that, most of the company’s transactions will be reflected in their bank statements. The following documents must be provided with the bank upon the opening of a corporate bank account in Malta:
  • copies after the passports or IDs of each shareholder and manager;
  • copy after the company’s statutory documents;
  • a company’s certificate of good standing;
  • bank references for the shareholders and the company;
  • utility bills stating the Maltese addresses of each shareholder and director.
The video below presents the main steps to follow when opening personal or corporate bank accounts in Malta:
The increasing number of companies and citizens borrowing money from banks in Malta has also led to situations in which the amounts could no longer be recovered and thus banking litigation has become quite common in our days. However, Malta has a flexible legal system which allows for the settlement of any type of disputes, including banking ones, in several manners. Among the most employed ways of settling banking disputes in Malta are court proceedings and arbitration. There is also mediation, but this method is seldom used.
Our attorneys in Malta can offer information about all the legal ways to resolve banking litigation, in respect with the 2021 procedures.

Provisions of the Maltese Banking Law

The Banking Law in Malta is divided in 10 parts which provide for the obligations of financial institutions. The first part establishes the rights and requirements the Minister of Finance must fulfill. The other parts refer to:
  • the supervisory activities of the MFSA;
  • licensing of banking institutions in Malta;
  • the opening of branch and representative offices of foreign banks;
  • the governance of financial institutions;
  • capital requirements;
  • the activities that cannot be carried out by banks in Malta.

Documents Required for Opening a Maltese Bank Account

Maltese law does not impose foreign investors to open a bank account in Malta, but it is recommended to own a Maltese account for various reasons, and our specialists in company formation can help you with consultation on this matter, by assisting you in the preparation of the documents and presenting the Maltese bank system and its requirements. Opening a bank account in Malta may vary according to the bank you will be collaborating with, but the following documents are compulsory:
  • certificate of registration;
  • memorandum and articles of the underlying shareholders;
  • identity documents (passports) of the owners of the company; 
  • bank references, containing all the shareholders and directors of the company; 
  • completion of bank opening forms.
There is no specific duration for the application process when opening a bank account, as it may vary due to the requirements imposed by the bank. After the required documents are verified, the bank account can be opened in several days. When the bank account is available, the bank activity can be performed not only at the bank office, but also through the internet, e-mail, post, fax and telephone. 

Banking Services in Malta

An entrepreneur setting up a company in Malta in 2021 will find the banking services very useful to his or her business, which can be tailored according to the needs of the company:
  • the bank account can be opened in the national currency of Malta or in a requested foreign currency;
  • the account can offer services such as transfer, payments deposits, letters of credit and other banking instruments the company needs; 
  • cheque book instruments;
  • credit card services, which are offered in special conditions; 
  • internet banking services.

Information about banks in Malta

Since 2014 when the European Central Bank took the responsibility for overseeing the banking system in Malta, the country adopted the new EU banking legislationBanks in Malta are well exploited and have vast and differentiated portfolios in complete agreement with the EU standards. The bank capital in Malta is mostly sustained by the deposits of clients alongside with varied investments in the sector. With an advantageous environment, efficiency and less bureaucracy, the banking system in Malta is appreciated on the local plan and also internationally. 
When choosing the proper bank for future financial transactions in your company, one can ask for support from our Maltese company formation agents. We remind that the company registration in Malta is an easy process which can be done within a few working days.

The bank structure in Malta

The foreign and local banks activating in Malta  are grouped into 3 main categories considering the services and the products served to customers, such as:
  •   core domestic banks which are universal banks with a wide range of services, operating through a branch network in the country’s main cities;
  •   non-core domestic banks which offer a limited area of banking services for residents and foreigners;
  •   the international banks which mostly deal with foreign customers or businesses outside borders of Malta.
A business person in Malta can choose the proper bank to meet the needs and requirements of a company.

Important banks in Malta

Malta is seen as an international banking center and it is respected just as the other countries of the Mediterranean region. The banking sector in Malta consists of both retail banks and foreign-owned banks which offer several important services and solutions for companies and natural persons in the country. There are about 25 banks with operations in Malta, and each of them can sustain the domestic funding in the market and also credits for local or foreign companies in Malta.

Our lawyers in Malta can offer detailed information about the content of the Banking Act. For assistance in opening bank accounts in 2021, do not hesitate to contact our law firm in Malta.