Each client of Dr Werner & Partner who founds an LTD in Malta sooner or later needs a bank account to guarantee the company’s payment transactions. In so doing it is not, however, absolutely necessary to open an account in Malta. Thus we have some clients who maintain their bank accounts with an international bank outside Malta. However, if the client wishes to open a Maltese bank account, our colleague Ms Calov will lend her support by preparing documentation. She is also happy to help in communicating with the bank.
Below you will find an overview of the banks available in Malta. The descriptions that follow are not intended to constitute an evaluation, but rather reflect our subjective experiences with the banks in question.
BOV – Bank of Valletta: Malta’s largest bank
All foreign BOV customers are looked after at the ICC, the International Clients Centre in Valletta. The ICC is relatively large so communication with the bank can be slow and tedious. Furthermore, the personnel and procedural structures frequently change here which means that it sometimes takes 6 months or more to open an account. This is particularly annoying in view of the fact that most companies want to take up their operative business as quickly as possible, and for this, receipt and transfer of business payments is of huge significance. One advantage of BOV is the fact that it also opens accounts for gambling providers and offers customers both internet banking and debit and credit cards.
HSBC – The most international bank in Malta
For international customers, in particular, HSBC is assuredly the first and also the safest choice. Some even already have an account with HSBC in the bank’s homeland, the UK. Unfortunately, this does not mean that such customers will enjoy an advantage when opening an account in Malta. Thus, we have already several times experienced that even in the case of HSBC Premier customers NO bank account was opened in Malta. The reason for this is that HSBC Malta applies very strict requirement specifications for opening a business account, among the strictest of all the banks known to us. The bank is in general only interested in business with substance, i.e. a “genuine” business with existing office premises and a certain rate of turnover. Moreover, there are special requirements as to the applicant’s field of business and/or business operations. Because of this, we advise our clients not to open an account at HSBC until after a certain “acclimatisation” period in Malta.
Banif Bank – the 3rd force in Malta
One of our offices in St Julian’s lies only a few minutes on foot from a branch of Banif Bank, which is why we have been collaborating with this bank for a long time. Here too, the bank’s compliance procedures entail a fair amount of effort, but here the process itself is well structured. This means that the bank’s guidelines are formulated in a clear and logical manner and are processed by Ms Calov and her team with the greatest care. Depending on the bank’s necessary due diligence processing period, opening an account here takes around 8 weeks. Banif Bank offers its customers both cards (debit and credit) and internet banking. Furthermore, the bank’s customer services operate very reliably.
All the above-mentioned banks take their compliance mandate very seriously, i.e. they check all directors and shareholders with great care. In this context we do not simply mean a thorough examination of submitted documents, but also comprehensive background checks in the internal banking system.
Anyone contemplating establishing a company in Malta and wishing to engage the services of Dr Werner & Partner for this purpose can be assured that we have in-depth knowledge of the banks available in Malta and can offer our clients active support in selecting the right bank. Help in opening a bank account is one of the core elements of our service package for company establishment in Malta.
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