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wamo.io
Communication Team

May 03, 2021

wamo.io Lifestyle

How to Open a Bank Account in Malta

Whether as an individual or a business, you will need a bank account in order to be in Malta long-term. For individuals who have a satisfactory credit rating and have not ever been declared bankrupt, opening an account is straightforward if time-consuming.

Individual accounts

To open the most basic payment account you will need:

  • A legal ID Document – one copy
  • An E-Residence Card (this is your Maltese Residence Permit)
  • Proof of address – this can be a utility bill or a valid 6 month rental agreement
  • An employment contract or pay slips from your employment
  • A reference letter from a licensed bank or from your employer

A basic payment account gives you access to checking and deposits, EU direct debits, SEPA transfers and online banking.

Note that many banks in Malta require an initial deposit amount to open any account.

Opening a business bank account

The first thing to know is that, while you can start the process online, in order to open a business bank account in Malta you will need to physically be in the bank in question at some point to complete the process.

Here is a list of the documents and information you will need to have ready for the bank you choose – this is a standard list of requirements across all brick and mortar banks in Malta:

  1. Certified and authenticated ID documents (passports) for each of the company’s shareholders, directors and for the company secretary.
  2. Proof of address – this must be for your company’s physical location and would be a utility bill or similar.
  3. Certified copies of your company’s Registration Certificate and Memorandum & Articles of Association. (If you’re unsure what this is or want to know more about starting a business in Malta, we’ve laid it out in an article here)
  4. A completed KYC (Know Your Client)
  5. A tax declaration plan
  6. A business plan showing future projections and past profit margins.
  7. Your decision on choice of trading currency and the type of business account (more on this later) required.
  8. Reference letters from a bank for the company’s senior management, shareholders, or board of directors.
  9. A letter of intent explaining your reason for choosing the bank.

Type of business account

All licensed banks in Malta offer the same choices of business account. You will choose yours based on your type of business and which financial requirements are relevant to you or can be met by you.

Business checking (deposit) account

More or less the same offering as a personal account – you can make withdrawals and deposits, access unlimited funds, make transfers and issue payments. No interest earned with this option.

Business Savings account

Does what it says on the tin. A larger deposit is required to open this account and it does earn interest. With this option there is limited access to funds only.

Business Loan Account

There are two available types of loan accounts: a Working Capital Finance Loan and an Asset Finance Loan. The former requires that the loan be used to cover the overhead daily costs of running a business and the latter finances the purchasing of equipment and products needed by the business.

How long does it take?

While Malta is a fantastic place to live and work… and own a business, it lags behind in terms of banking ease and accessibility. Contactless, for example, only really took off in mid 2020 as a consequence of COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. It is still required to go into a bank to complete the online process and the turnaround time – once all documents and other evidence has been completed on your side can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months (or more). A lot of individuals looking to start their own business stumble at the hurdle of opening a bank account in order to make the initial deposit required to get the business registration process started. As with any traditional institutional process, it can be frustrating and feel infuriatingly out-dated. But, once it’s done, there are few better places to be doing business in Europe at the moment.

To talk about how wamo can provide an alternative option for opening a business account – one that is fast, simple and doesn’t require a deposit - get in touch, we’d be very happy to help.

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