How to Open A Russian Bank Account [Complete Process]

So want to open a Russian bank account? Well it is possible to do so even if you are a resident or non resident of the country.
Ketcha Brandon
Open A Russian Bank Account

Russia is the largest country in the world when it comes to surface area and the lively culture and the history of many people and the history of the country attracts numerous individuals who have chosen to live in its cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg.

There are several other reasons why people find themselves being attracted to Russia and some of these reasons are; its strong economy, the ability of people to amass wealth, friendliness of the locals and also the presence of many English speaking schools.

So want to open a Russian bank account? Well it is possible to do so even if you are a resident or non resident of the country. Just like in several other countries, you are able to begin the process online from abroad but in order to finalize opening the account, you need to visit a local bank branch of in the country.

For those that wish to move to Russia, it is necessary that you consider opening a bank account even if you are a non resident and in this article, I will provide you with all it takes to open a bank account in Russia as a resident, non resident or expat in the country.

Table of Contents

Banking System in Russia

As compared to the recent years, we can say that the Russian banking system has undergone a lot of development and the country has also became more open to foreigners and foreign investments.

One of the key factors that has led to Russia providing more advantageous conditions for companies to obtain loans and the possibility of opening a bank account remotely is the large number of foreign enterprisers present in the country.

You will find about 350 banks in Russia, made up of a mixture of commercial banks, local banks and the state-owned Sberbank. The Russian banking system is overseen by the Bank of Russia.

Banks in Russia have made a great step ahead in the last decade, with contactless payments and app based banking becoming more common especially in Russian cities.

But despite these, more rural areas in Russia still find themselves relying on cash as their primary form of payment and numerous residents do not have bank accounts.

Documents Required to Open a Bank Account in Russia?

Banks in Russia provides its residents and non residents with various types of accounts. We can nit say exactly the complete documents that each Russian bank will require from you, but at least below are the basic documents that all banks in Russia require from you while opening your bank account:

  • A Reference from your employer or school in case you are in the country to further your studies
  • A valid residence permit
  • A proof of address in Russia
  • A passport
  • An application form issued by the bank 

Do you Need a Bank Account in Russia?

If you are living and studying in Russia or working in Russia, then you will need to get a Russian bank account as it will help you receive your monthly salary and also help you carry out your day-to-day transactions such as paying your utility bills.

In case you decide to stay in Russia for a long term and buy a property, you may find it even easier to get a mortgage if you have an existing relationship with a Russian bank.

Russian Bank Account IBAN

As compared to Europe where many banks have IBAN, it is a different situation for Russian banks as IBAN does not exist in Russia. Most Russian banks make use of BIC/SWIFT and not IBAN.

How to Open Bank Account in Russia

The amazing news is that you can open bank account in Russia even if you are a foreigner and as a foreigner, you are able to open a Russian online bank account using international banks or banks like Sberbank.

As said earlier in this article, you can start the process of opening a bank account in Russia while abroad and then finalize the process once you arrive Russia. One of the reasons why you are visiting the bank account in person is to provide a signature specimen.

If you are the type that will be making international money transfers, then it is best that you look for banks that also support this service and some of the banks that support international money transfers are: Moneycorp, Wise, CurrencyFair, etc.

Open Bank Account in Russia As a Non Resident

Even if you are a non resident, do not worry as it is possible for you  to open a bank account in Russia. Non Residents can open current account and savings accounts in any of the major banks in Russia.

Once you open a bank account with any of these banks, you can also get a debit card, but there usage restrictions and high fees so before making any online purchase, it is necessary that you get to know the debit card charges and also make sure that your bank supports online purchases.

In Russia, the best bank for non residents is the Russian Standard Bank as they issue American Express Card that you can make use of for your online purchases.

Consider international transfers when opening a bank account as a non-resident of Russia. If you plan to make international transfers, you should look into alternative banks outside of Russia. It's because Russian banks are prohibitively expensive.

Open Russian Bank Account Online

You can open a Russian bank account online if you are a foreigner. However, not all banks in Russia provide this service. Alfa Bank is one of the banks that you can use to open an online bank account in Russia. You can also inquire with banks in your country that do business in Russia as it allows you to open a bank account in Russia before moving there.

You must, however, visit the bank in person to provide the signature specimen. Before moving to Russia, if you are a foreigner, you can begin the process of opening a bank account in Russia.

Opening a Corporate Bank Account in Russia

This type of bank account is mostly concerned with companies that carryout business operations in Russia. These accounts are basically used for depositing the company's share capital for incorporation, and the requirements for corporate bank accounts are more stringent than those for current or savings accounts. When opening a corporate bank account in Russia in 2022, the following documents are required:

  • A statement from the CEO of the company confirming the opening of the account
  • A statement issued by the tax authorities for carrying out business activities in Russia
  • A prescribed application form
  • the passport of the applicant
  • A residence permit

Foreign business owners can also appoint Russian lawyers or representatives to open accounts on their behalf using a power of attorney. We can assist international entrepreneurs in establishing a business in Russia as well as opening a bank account by 2022.

Can Foreigners Open Bank Account in Russia?

If you are a foreigner, you can open a bank account in Russia and you have the options of using international banks or national banks in Russia while also taking into consideration the fact that there are accounts designed to serve foreigners. However, you will need to provide your signature when opening the account and you can open a bank account in Russia if you are a:

  • A foreigner who frequently travels to Russia
  • A foreigner living in Russia
  • A Foreigner moving to Russia
  • A Foreigner doing business in Russia

Can I Open A Russian Bank Account while Abroad?

There is a possibility that you start opening a bank account in Russia while you are abroad though you will still need to show up at the bank in order to complete the process of opening an account where you will be prompted to provide a signature sample and activate the account. You can first of all fill the online application before visiting the bank.

The area where you will apply for the account is where your details will be held permanently and incase you will need to make changes to account in future, you will need to visit that specific branch so consider choosing a convenient branch location which is easily accessible to you at any time.

How to Transfer Money to Russian Bank Account

Well as a resident, non resident or expat, once you have already opened a bank account in Russia, you may surely want to top up the account so as to easily carryout your transactions with the account. You can use the following services to transfer money to a Russian account:

  • Bank transfers
  • Debit Card transfer
  • Credit card transfer
  • Swift Card transfer 

Bank Charges

Before opening an account with any of the banks above, it is necessary that you visit their branches and then ask about their charges. Some of these charges include cash withdrawal fee, account maintenance fee, debit card charges in case the banks charges individuals that use their debit cards while abroad.

Other fees may apply to expats and international accounts. Expats may face additional difficulties when sending money to accounts in different currencies. It is, however, unusual because not all Russian banking payment cards can be used to make web payments.

International Money Transfers

Incase you are the type that will be making international money transfers, it is best that you look for banks that also support this service as it will help you to avoid some unnecessary charges. Getting a bank that supports international transfers also allows you to get better exchange rates and if you are transferring money to Russia, you can consider the below money transfer services in Russia. 

  1. Wise 
  2. CurrencyFair
  3. Moneycorp
  4. Remitly 

Top Banks in Russia

Consider opening an account with an international bank if you run a global business. Before opening an account, check to see if your bank has a branch in Russia. The following is a list of Russian banks with a large network of ATMs and branches throughout the country. Banks can be either national or international.

Sberbank

Sberbank is among the largest banks in Russia and therefore you will not have a hard time finding its branches and ATMs. You can find the offices and ATMs of this bank in more than 90,000 locations. Some of the financial products that they offer include debit cards, loans, insurance and investments along side having internet and mobile services.

Rosbank

Rosbank is the most seasoned financial institution when it comes to serving expats. You can go to the bank to learn about the best options available. The bank offers mobile banking in English, French, and Russian. It has a large number of branches and ATMs that are conveniently located.

Raiffeisen

Raiffeisen is an international bank whose staffs are trained to serve expats and they provide their customers with several products and account options. Among the products that the bank provides you can find cards, insurance and loans ( they provide these loans to students and businesses). Raiffeisen bank is also suitable to individuals that are into business cause they have international branches and have a large network of ATMs and branches.

Gazprom

More than three million people are customers of Gazprom. The bank combines private banking with regular banking. It offers debit and credit cards, as well as loans, insurance, and wealth management. The bank provides various insurance packages.

Final Thoughts on How to Open a Russian Bank Account 

Russia is the largest country in the world when it comes to surface area and the lively culture and the history of many people and the history of the country attracts numerous individuals who have chosen to live in its cities such as Moscow and St Petersburg.

There are several other reasons why people find themselves being attracted to Russia and some of these reasons are; its strong economy, the ability of people to amass wealth, friendliness of the locals and also the presence of many English speaking schools.

Frequently Asked Questions on How to Open a Russian Bank Account

How do I transfer money to a Russian bank account?

Through TransferWise, sending money to Russia is the simplest process. With TransferWise, sending money to Russia is a pretty easy process. Simply enter the destination and the amount of money you wish to send. All that's left is for you to pay TransferWise, and your money will then be sent.

Can you have a bank account in Russia?

Most businesses in Russia will accept foreign debit and credit cards. However, your bank may charge a fee for currency conversion. With this in mind, it's best to apply for a Russian bank account soon after you arrive. The majority of Russian bank accounts are opened in-branch.

Can foreigner open a bank account in Russia?

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Russia as a non-resident. The process is rather easy and straightforward and there are accounts in foreign currency and other services specially created for foreigners.

Getting Info...

Post a Comment

Cookie Consent
We serve cookies on this site to analyze traffic, remember your preferences, and optimize your experience.
AdBlock Detected!
We have detected that you are using adblocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website, we request you to whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.
Site is Blocked
Sorry! This site is not available in your country.