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Can a foreigner open a bank account in Georgia?

Modification date: 2022-09-12 / View count: 4821
avatar_Can-a-foreigner-open-a-bank-account-in-Georgia?

Which bank to choose

First, you need to decide in which bank to open an account. Although there are dozens of banks in Georgia, two are larger than the others in terms of capitalization and number of branches: BOG and TBC. Both banks are listed on the London Stock Exchange and have very large amounts on deposit. 

The following link will give you the list of the commercial banks in Gerogia (the country): https://nbg.gov.ge/en/page/licensed-commercial-banks-1

To open an account at TBC, you have to go to a branch in person - it is not possible to open an account from abroad. In BOG, it is still possible to do it remotely (via a POA + a copy of your passport, both document issued by a Notary and authenticated by Apostille), but you will have to provide a KYC, a SOW, a SOF, an introduction letter from your current bank and a copy of your bank statement if you want to have a chance to get your bank account openend remotely.

If you are physically in Georgia when you open your account, the only document you need to bring is your passport, the bank will need it to make a copy. TBC will request a home address, which is not necessarily a Georgian address. 

In addition, the bank will not require a minimum deposit to open your account. The operating costs of the bank account are very cheap - a few Georgian Lari are enough monthly - and depend on the bank you decide to operate with and the level of service offered by the account. In principle, each bank works with its own rules and regulations, and offers a multitude of services like the major European banks. In reality, the three major banks have established a monopoly and share a market where interest rates are deliberately kept high.

Concerning the means of payment. All banks offer debit cards that can be used to withdraw funds at ATMs in Georgia and worldwide. Banks offer a wide range of services on Visa or Mastercard cards. And of course, all offer mobile banking applications as well as Internet banking services, so you can manage your funds anywhere in the world.

  • Opening an account is very easy: about 30 minutes.
  • Your debit card will be ready in 24 to 48 hours and will be sent to the address of your choice, by express mail if you wish.
  • The bank account you will open is a multi-currency account in GEL, USD and EUR. If you transfer funds to your USD or EUR account, the funds will remain in that currency until you wish to convert them. TBC ATMs in Georgia allow you to withdraw funds in USD as well as in GEL.
  • All bank accounts in Georgia use the international IBAN format, which facilitates the transfer of funds to the account without having to manage SWIFT / BIC codes. The funds sent to the account will arrive very quickly, 24 hours are enough.
  • If you have opened a business in Georgia, the principles are exactly the same for opening a corporate bank account. You just need to show your company documents with your passport.

Speaking shortly, opening a bank account in Georgia as a foreigner is an easy process compared to most countries in the world. 

Article written by : BGG Press Office
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