Armenian banks are typically considered by non-residents looking for high-interest rates and easy account opening options. And, if you’re looking to open a SWIFT-enabled account, Armenian banks do use SWIFT. But, with many other countries to choose from, are banks in Armenia really the best choice?
- Not all banks in Armenia accept foreign non-residents
- Remote opening isn’t always an option
- Armenia does not participate in the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)
- Opening bank accounts here can be tedious and time-consuming
Overview of Armenia Banks
Armenia banks welcome non-residents, foreigners, and even some foreign and offshore companies. But, there are challenges when opening accounts here. And, if you’re looking to open accounts remotely, you may face increasing difficulties.
In this article, we’ll share information on who should consider opening accounts with Armenia banks, the benefits you can tap into, and of course, the challenges you’ll face. We’re also going to provide you with details on how to start by outlining the general requirements for account opening.
First, it’s important to note that while some Armenian banks are accessible to non-resident foreigners, others are not. So, to open bank accounts here, you’ll need to know which banks cater to your client profile.
That said, in most cases, there are probably better banking options available for you elsewhere. So, before you begin applying to open accounts with Armenia banks, make sure it’s the best option for your banking needs.
Before diving in, if this is your first time visiting GlobalBanks, don’t forget to download your free Non-Resident Banking Starter Guide. It’s designed to help non-residents open accounts in top banking hubs around the world.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to any sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Who Should Open Accounts With Armenia Banks?
- Benefits of Banking With Armenia Banks
- Challenges of Banking With Armenia Banks
- How to Open Accounts With Armenia Banks
Who Should Open Accounts With Armenia Banks?
The burning question everyone is asking… who should open accounts with Armenia banks?
Well, there are several client groups that can consider opening accounts with banks in Armenia. We’ll discuss these below.
But first, don’t be alarmed if you don’t fit into one of these groups. There’s still a chance that opening accounts in Armenia will work for you. So, keep reading!
Client Groups That Can Open Accounts With Armenia Banks
1. Armenia Residents
Obviously, residents of Armenia who live and work in the country can (and should) open a bank account here.
In fact, you often need a local bank account to meet certain residency requirements, such as paying your local bills and expenses, or making a deposit or investing through Armenian banks.
So, if you’re currently a non-resident foreigner considering a move to Armenia, then opening an account with Armenia banks makes perfect sense.
2. Non-residents of Armenia
As mentioned, non-residents also have the ability to open accounts with Armenia banks. And, due to the perceived ease of opening accounts, it’s not a surprise that more non-residents are interested in banking here.
With that said, it’s important to note, even though some Armenia banks welcome non-residents, there are others that do not.
So, it’s important to find a bank and an experienced banker that works with non-residents in opening accounts before you start the process of applying.
3. Offshore Companies & Foreign Companies
The final client group that can consider opening accounts with Armenia banks are foreign and offshore companies. Whether you’re struggling to open elsewhere or do business in Armenia, banks here may be an option for you.
Of course, not all Armenian banks accept foreign and offshore companies. And, the banks that do, tend to have a more lengthy account opening process and may request additional information.
So, it’s important to prepare yourself (and your business) before applying as the process can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating. Not unlike opening accounts elsewhere, this typically involves collecting and certifying documents for the business and for all related parties. But, you will also be dealing with banks that are less familiar with foreign entities. So, it can take more time to complete basic onboarding tasks.
If you fall into one of the client groups above and you’re interested in opening accounts with Armenia banks, you’ll want to know how to get started. We’ll share this in detail below. But first, let’s take a look at the benefits that you can tap into if you do decide to open accounts with Armenia banks.
Benefits of Banking With Armenia Banks
Now that we understand the different client groups that can open accounts with Armenia banks, let’s take a look at the available benefits and why some folks might want to bank here.
Of course, the specific benefits that one client group may unlock from opening accounts with Armenia banks may be completely different than the next client group. And, depending on what you’re looking to achieve, there may be better options available elsewhere.
But for now, let’s take a look at the benefits in Armenia to see if it’s a banking hub worth considering for you…
Benefits of Banking With Armenia Banks
- Higher deposit interest rates
- Easier account opening process than other jurisdictions
- Accepting of non-resident clients
- Remote account opening is possible
- Deposit compensation guarantee fund
- Access to multiple currencies
- Armenia banks are non-AEOI (for now)
As you can see, there are many benefits you can take advantage of. And, over the years, Armenia has become more popular in banking due to many of the reasons listed above. In particular, higher interest rates and the fact that Armenia does not participate in the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI).
But, if you’re looking to move a significant amount of your wealth into Armenia, you should rethink your decision as there are better banking options available elsewhere.
As for interest rates, Armenia banks don’t offer the same high rates that they used to. At present, the average deposit rate is 8.2%. And, while that is still a lot better than what’s on offer in the United States or Europe, it’s not as attractive as the peak of 27.88% in the year 2000.
But, one thing that has not changed is Armenia’s status with Common Reporting Standards, at least not yet. However, while Armenia hasn’t signed on to AEOI or CRS, this shouldn’t be your catalyst for banking here. As we’ve covered in past articles, all countries will eventually adopt some form of AEOI. So, it’s important to ensure that you are always complying with relevant laws and reporting requirements. To learn more, you can read our comprehensive article on the topic “Non-AEOI Countries List & Account Opening” for more information.
Of course, if you want to tap into any of the benefits mentioned above you need to know how to successfully open accounts with Armenia banks. And, that means understanding and navigating the challenges you’ll likely face when opening.
Challenges of Banking With Armenia Banks
Similar to the benefits that you can access in Armenia, the challenges will largely depend on your client profile.
For instance, while one client group may face some of the challenges listed below, others may be able to open accounts without any trouble.
Of course, the challenges below will also vary from bank to bank.
Bottom line, being aware of all the potential challenges will guide you in the right direction and help prepare you to successfully open accounts with Armenia banks.
So, with that said, let’s take a look at the challenges you’ll face when applying.
Challenges of Opening Accounts With Armenia Banks
- Account opening process can be tedious and time-consuming
- High fees compared to elsewhere (opening, maintenance, transfers)
- In-person visit may be required (varies from bank to bank)
- Transfer services don’t support Armenia banks (eg Wise)
- Larger deposits may be required (varies from bank to bank)
- Requirement for documents to be translated into Armenian
Again, you may not face all of these challenges when applying. And, not all banks will have the same requirements in Armenia.
Not surprisingly, the way to avoid challenges is to apply to open accounts with Armenian banks that best suit you and your specific banking needs. However, which bank fits your client profile may not always be clear unless you have guidance.
On the other hand, there are other challenges that are more consistent across all Armenia banks. These include such things as transfer restrictions, which are commonly complained about by foreign clients. For example, transfer services such as Wise don’t support Armenian banks. And, for many prospective clients, that’s a deal-breaker.
As always, to ensure account opening success, you need to know which specific bank and banker to contact, understand the bank-specific account opening process, quirks, and requirements in order to have a successful account opening experience.
With that said, let’s dive into how you can actually open accounts with Armenian banks.
How to Open Accounts With Armenia Banks
If you believe opening accounts with Armenian banks is the right decision for you, it’s important to understand the bank-specific account opening process and how to get started.
Of course, the account opening process can vary from bank to bank. And, the list of requirements can vary depending on your legal status, the origin of the application, and also the reasoning for the bank account. But, for the most part, you should expect to see very similar requests amongst all Armenia banks.
That said, it’s important to note that as a non-resident, the account opening process will usually take longer than if a resident were to apply.
Also, don’t be alarmed if the bank requests additional documents or requests for all forms to be translated into Armenian. It’s just part of the account opening process. Though this can come with additional costs that you should consider before applying.
Here’s a look at the documents you may be asked to submit for both personal and business bank accounts when applying to open accounts with Armenia banks.
Documents Armenia Banks May Request to Open Personal Accounts
- Two forms of identification
- Proof of local address (proof of rental accommodations also accepted)
- Proof of income & source of wealth
- Demonstration of your need to bank in Armenia
Documents Armenia Banks May Request to Open Business Accounts
- Copy of certificate of incorporation
- Two forms of identification (all beneficial owners and signatories)
- List of shareholders
- Company’s statutory documents
- Certificate of good standing (no older than 6 months)
- Company’s financial statement
- Some banks require three years of audited financial reports
- Details of the corporate ownership structure
As mentioned, remote account opening is possible at some Armenia banks. This is typically completed via email and video call.
But, if you plan to open accounts with Armenia banks remotely, some banks may request additional identification documents to meet their compliance requirements.
Of course, if you fail to submit the necessary documents and don’t provide reasonable justification for your intent of opening accounts with Armenia banks, your application will likely fail.
With this in mind, it’s important to ensure that banking in Armenia is right for you before you apply. That means considering all of your available options from around the world.
If you need help determining which countries you should be considering, which banks are best for you or your business, or you just want to determine which Armenian bank you should apply to, we can help…
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