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Open bank account in Latvia
Latvia is geographically and strategically located between important markets of CIS and EU. As a result, banking sector in Latvia is well-developed, reputable and stable. There are 28 banks in Latvia and international banks are primarily represented by Scandinavian banks. Banking services are available in many languages, including Russian and English.
There are no state-owned commercial banks or other credit institutions. For the past decades, Latvia has become a financial hub for CIS investors and is now more attractive with its EU membership.
Latvian banks are rather popular among non-residents, because anyone can find a variety of banking services, including private and corporate banking, wealth management, online trading and brokerage services.
Rates for opening and maintaining bank accounts in Latvia are low compared to other countries. Usually, there is no minimum deposit and maintenance of accounts can be even free.
Is it possible to open a bank account online for non-residents in Latvia?
Compared to other jurisdictions, anti-money laundering verification procedure is rather simple in Latvia. All documents can be verified online and most of the banks in Latvia do not require personal presence for account opening. This rule applies to foreign clients as well. A few Latvian banks have branches or representative offices in other countries that makes it easy for account opening in a country of residence.
Usually in order to facilitate the account opening in Latvia, it is recommended to use services of professional advisors who have business connections with Latvian banks and know requirements well to help with account opening. They can even submit documents with a power of attorney.
What are the benefits of opening a bank account in Latvia?
There are several benefits of opening a bank account in Latvia:
- Banking system in Latvia is stable and reputable;
- Latvia is a good location for setting up business and getting VAT registration;
- It is rather easy and quickly to open a bank account in Latvia;
- The cost of opening and maintaining a bank account in Latvia is significantly low;
- With some countries there is no automatic exchange information requirement;
- Latvia is conveniently located in the EU;
- Latvia is one of the premier location for investment opportunities;
- Most banks provide services in English and Russian.
Besides, Latvia is a rather popular destination for obtaining residence permits. An applicant may make a deposit in one of the Latvian banks for 5 years which is a ground for being eligible for obtaining residence permit in Latvia. Resident permit allows to freely travel in EU, purchase a car in the EU, work in Latvia. Further, it is possible to receive a Latvian citizenship within 5 years.
What type of accounts is it possible to open in Latvia?
Banks in Latvia are rather attractive for foreign investors as it is possible to obtain a residence permit in Latvia and travel in EU. Clients may open various accounts, including multicurrency accounts with access to different banking services, such as credits, loans, internet banking, cash operations, international transactions, card, saving accounts, investment services, etc.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account in Latvia?
As a general rule, personal meeting with a bank officer is not required. Usually banks request the following documents:
- Passport or ID;
- Proof of residence, including utility bill, bank statement, driver’s license.
Corporate clients present the following documents:
- Corporate documents, including articles of association, incorporation certificate;
- Certificate of good standing;
- Power of attorney or extract from a commercial register;
- Documents confirming beneficial ownership;
- Passport or ID of directors and shareholders.
All documents should be in English or accompanied by notarized translation into English. Sometimes, apostille is also required.
Corporate clients shall also fill in questionnaire about its business, customers, annual turnover.
What are the major banks in Latvia?
There are local and international banks in Latvia. A few Latvian banks are:
- ABLV Bank
ABLV Bank serves corporate and individual customers. Some of the bank’s products include loans, safe deposit boxes, savings, brokerage services, etc. The website of ABLV Bank has English and Russian versions.
- Baltic International Bank
Baltic International Bank is one the leading banks in Latvia providing services to individuals and companies. Private clients choose the bank for investment opportunities, brokerage services, loans and other daily banking services. Corporate clients can open accounts in several currencies and receive other traditional banking services. Baltic International Bank serves clients in Latvian, English and Russian.
Expobank is one of the oldest banks in Latvia. It is a full service bank, having a headquarter in Latvia and a branch in Cyprus.
Other local banks are Baltikums, Citadele, Reģionālā investīciju banka, Rietumu, Rigensis, Latvijas pasta banka.
There are several Scandinavian banks in Latvia: Danske, DNB Bank, SEB, Swedbank.
How can I close an account in Latvia?
If you want to close your account, it can be easily done online upon termination notice. You need to make sure that you paid all outstanding amounts to your bank and thereafter withdraw your funds or transfer them to other bank. Finally, your account is closed.