Who may open an account with a Belarusian bank?
A bank account in Belarus may be opened by foreign citizens (individuals) and foreign companies (legal entities) or their representative offices in Belarus. A non-resident from any foreign state will be entitled to apply to a bank for opening an account in Belarusian rubles and in any foreign currency for which an official Belarusian ruble exchange rate is established by the National Bank. However, one should remember that a Belarusian bank will be entitled to refuse to open an account for a non-resident.
Types of bank accounts that a non-resident may open in Belarus
A non-resident may open 2 main types of account:
– current (settlement) account
– deposit account.
In Belarus, there are no limitations on types of transactions on accounts open by legal entities, which considerably extends the possibilities for their use. Namely, non-resident companies may perform currency exchange transactions, transactions with securities.
For foreign citizens, there exists an exhaustive list of possibilities to use the account with a Belarusian bank:
– foreign currency depositing and withdrawal;
– transfers in foreign currency among own accounts;
– cash transfers to individuals outside and from outside of the Republic of Belarus not related to settlements on currency transactions;
– settlements on currency transactions with residents or non-residents of Belarus.
NEED HELP OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT IN BELARUS?
|Contact our lawyers for an initial consultation
Mob.: +37533 600 50 30
Account opening procedure for non-residents of Belarus
Any non-resident company or a foreign citizen may apply to a bank to open an account. Upon review of the document package and the questionnaire, the bank will take a decision either to open an account or to refuse to open an account for the foreign company. For preliminary analysis of the possibility to open an account, a non-resident company shall submit the following documents to the bank:
– questionnaire with indication of the type of business, list of founders, amount of the authorized fund, principal place of business etc.
– source of the non-resident company’s money (what type of business it is received from)
– document on legal status of the entity
– purpose of opening an account in Belarus
As for foreign citizens, as a rule, accounts will be opened without any prior approval, and the total procedure will take minimal time.
A director shall act on behalf of a foreign company at opening an account in Belarus. An alternative option for representation of founders’ interests with the bank may be a person acting under a power of attorney. The power of attorney on behalf of an individual or a legal entity shall be notarized and legalized under the established procedure.
Is it required in Belarus to explain the source of money to be credited to an account with a Belarussian bank?
The legislation does not envisage any binding requirement to report the source of money available on an account of a non-resident. However, one should take into account that if a foreign citizen is a tax resident of Belarus (staying actually in the country for 184 and more days), then he/she will be subject to payment of the income tax on individuals at the rate of 13%. If a foreigner has any grounds for non-payment of the tax, then he/she will have to confirm the source of money on the bank account.
May a Belarusian bank willfully close a non-resident’s account?
Yes. The bank will be entitled to close an account unilaterally with one-month prior notice to the account holder (non-resident individual or legal entity) (unless the agreement establishes any other timeline) in case of:
– absence of money on account for 3 months from the day of the last transfer;
– one year absence of transactions on account and money thereon or when at one year absence of transactions on account the money balance is less than the minimum amount established by the current (settlement) bank account agreement;
– the account holder’s failure to fulfil the terms of the agreement;
– the account holder’s failure to submit documents (data) necessary for identification of participants to a financial transaction for prevention of money laundering, financing terrorism, and financing mass destruction weapons;
– in other cases envisaged by the agreement and the legislation.
Stability of Belarusian banks
In Belarus, there exists a rigid system of licensing and control of banks; in connection therewith bankruptcy of a bank or appearance of one-day banks is difficult if not impossible. The statistics of the modern Belarus shows practically 100% trust on the part of account holders to the state-owned and private banks. In addition to the foregoing, let’s bring into focus the availability in the country of warranted return of deposits in case of any force majeure with a bank and its inability to repay its debts.