Are you thinking about relocating to Montenegro? You could be considering investing in Montenegro, buying property in Montenegro, or starting a business in this luxury hotspot. Whatever the situation, you’ll need a Montenegrin bank account while you’re there. But how simple is it for foreigners to navigate banking in Montenegro? In this blog, we’ll review everything you need to know about banking in Montenegro for foreigners.
An Overview of the Banking System in Montenegro
It goes without saying that having a bank account is necessary for living. Therefore, owning a bank account in Montenegro will be beneficial if you intend to buy property in Montenegro or are considering business opportunities in Montenegro.
Under 20 banks dominate Montenegro’s moderately developed financial industry. However, these are split approximately equally between businesses from Montenegro and other nations. In addition, the banking industry is evolving and integrating more fully with Europe. However, given that some of these banks are now governed by the government, picking a Montenegrin bank that is a member of a larger European banking company is prudent.
You won’t need to visit a branch frequently because most large banks now offer comprehensive and well-designed online banking platforms. In addition, like in any other developed nation, there are many ATMs throughout major cities and towns, and most places accept card payments for goods and services.
Can Foreigners Open a Bank Account in Montenegro?
Foreign nationals can create a bank account in Montenegro, which is good news for expats. You can access banking in Montenegro even if you are a non-resident or someone whose primary abode is in another nation. You might be required to provide additional documentation if you’re an expat; more on that later.
However, there are some limitations for citizens of particular nations. For example, if they want to open a bank account in Montenegro, residents of certain countries, such as Sudan, Costa Rica, or the DPRK, may undergo a more complex process. Additionally, there is a chance that you won’t even get approved, in addition to the need for more paperwork. You can ask local banks for the most recent list of prohibited nations.
It would be best to physically visit your neighborhood bank branch to set up banking in Montenegro. You’ll be required to provide identification and sign a contract, and your account’s related information will be kept on file.
What Types of Accounts are Available for Banking in Montenegro?
The banks in Montenegro offer two different types of accounts, depending on the transaction being made: national accounts, which are used for payments within Montenegro, and international accounts, which are used for transferring funds into or out of the nation. Your foreign account will receive any money you send to Montenegro. However, you must transfer funds to your national account to pay bills or get cash out. The majority of institutions provide free transfers between your domestic and foreign accounts. Usually, foreigners and Montenegrins who conduct international business or travel abroad open paired bank accounts.
Options for Private Banking in Montenegro
Private banking and wealth management comprise only a minor portion of the Montenegrin banking industry. But as Montenegro’s luxury tourism business grows, expect to see more of this financial service catered to foreign, high-net-worth consumers. At present, your best option for specialized services like private banking is one of the bigger foreign banks with branches in Montenegro.
The best Bank in Montenegro for Foreigners
You can choose the ideal bank depending on your unique requirements and tastes, and banks in Montenegro offer good services and are generally dependable. In addition, you can rely on the employees speaking English because many foreign nationals hold non-resident accounts.
Here are a couple of leading contenders:
Crnogorska komercijalna banka-CKB (Bank of Commerce of Cronis)
CKB belongs to the OTP Group and services all corners of the country, with 115 ATMs and 35 branches throughout Montenegro. Out of all the banks, CKB has the most customers and supports transaction accounts for domestic and foreign payments. In addition, both the CKB MasterCard Debit Contactless Card and the CKB Visa Classic Debit Contactless Card are provided to each customer.
NLB Banka Podgorica
With 22 locations nationwide, NBL offers low-interest rates on savings and CDs, has no minimum balance requirements, and charges just 4.99 Euros monthly for personal bank accounts. You are given a multi-currency account, a debit card, and an efficient mobile app service for this nominal sum.
What Documents do I need for Banking in Montenegro?
Most people will require a few straightforward pieces of documentation to open a bank account in Montenegro. However, most institutions have the right and are willing to ask for further information if they deem it necessary. Generally speaking, you must produce the following:
- A legitimate ID, such as a passport or another type of photo ID issued by the government
- If you are employed locally, provide evidence of employment in Montenegro
- If you own a business, you must provide evidence of your operations in Montenegro.
- A lease or the title deed to a property in Montenegro you own might serve as proof of address.
Additionally, Montenegro requires anyone creating a bank account to submit a paper certifying they are not politically exposed. This is a component of the nation’s anti-money laundering program. If you are active in politics, you can still create a Montenegro bank account, but the procedure will differ.
Please note that as of January 2023, most banks in Montenegro will not open any bank account for a foreigner without already having a residence permit.
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