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Open a Bank Account in Malta - 2021 Guide

Open a Bank Account in Malta

Updated on Friday 03rd September 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 allow 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 Malta offshore bank account.
 

Opening a bank account in Malta in 2021

 
Maltese residents usually open bank accounts in order to receive their salaries and to make payments. The same thing is available for foreigners who need to know the rules on how to open bank accounts Malta as a non-resident. 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 a business bank account Malta and about Malta bank account for a non-resident 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 business bank account Malta. 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 business 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 business bank account 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 Malta bank account for non-resident, 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 busines bank account in Malta, 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.
 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
Our lawyers in Malta often encounter questions about how to open a bank account in Malta. Below you will find some useful questions and answers on this subject, mentioning that our agents are ready to offer you the necessary support in this endeavor, if you want to collaborate with us.
 
1. Who can open a bank account in Malta?
Entrepreneurs wishing to register a company in Malta must consider opening a Malta business bank account. It will serve both for the minimum share capital, but also for future financial transactions in the company.
 
2. Can foreigners open a bank account in Malta?
Of course, there are no restrictions on opening a Malta bank account for a non-resident. We remind you that all formalities in this direction can be managed by our lawyers in Malta.
 
3. Is it possible to open a bank account in Malta with currency from the country of origin?
Yes, foreigners who relocate to Malta or those who want to open a business in this country can opt for the desired currency. Thus, they have better control over personal or company finances.
 
4. Do I have to travel to Malta to open a bank account?
You do not need to travel to Malta to open a bank account. It is enough to contact us, and then deal with all the formalities related to Malta offshore bank account or Malta bank account for non-resident.
 
5. What documents are required for a Malta bank account for a non-resident?
In addition to a valid passport, the bank will ask you to fill in some specific forms, plus a recent utility bill. In the case of companies, their documents are needed, and banks may impose other formalities. We remind you that our lawyers in Malta can handle the entire process of opening a bank account in Malta for non-residents.
 
6. What banking services can be used in Malta?
Apart from depositing and withdrawing money, either from the bank or online with the help of a dedicated platform, foreigners can make interbank transfers in any kind of currency. But it is important to consider the taxes imposed.
 
7. How quickly can a Malta business bank account be opened?
Normally, if all documents are accepted by the bank you intend to work with, a Malta business bank account can be ready in a few hours. Instead, if you still need to present some documents, then the process can be extended.
 
8. Can I open Malta offshore bank account?
Of course, the Malta offshore bank account involves the same process as a regular account, but the financial institution is entitled to request other information or documents. In order to simplify this process, we suggest you use the services of our lawyers in Malta.
 
9. Can banks cooperate with the authorities and carry out checks before opening a business bank account in Malta?
If the banks consider that they need to do specific checks before opening a business bank account in Malta, then they will collaborate with certain institutions. Malta Financial Services Authority is one of them.
 
10. How can a Maltese lawyer help me open a bank account in Malta?
Our specialists can provide complete support and assistance for foreigners who want to open Malta bank account for non-residents. They can handle all the formalities, including those related to Malta offshore bank account, so do not hesitate to contact us.
 

Making investments in Malta

 
Malta is a small island country that offers many advantages to foreigners who want to make investments and who want to enjoy consistent profits in various fields. Due to its geographical position in the Mediterranean area, Malta offers access to major international financial markets. Besides this aspect, it is good to point out that the taxation system is beneficial for foreign investors who can easily open offshore companies. Even if the corporate tax is 35%, there are lower rates, depending on profits and other conditions imposed.
 
Skilled, multilingual, and experienced workforce, but also the opportunity to open successful businesses in sectors such as tourism, finance, insurance, gambling, and pharmaceuticals are other benefits for foreign players to take full advantage of. Here are some statistics that outline the economic direction of Malta:
 
  • Malta has the highest GDP in the world, of 1425%.
  • The total FDI for Malta in 2019 was approximately USD 206 billion.
  • Around USD 309 million was the total value for greenfield investments in Malta in 2019.

 
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.