In this article, delve into our MAJORITY review. Explore insights and opinions about its services, features, and alternatives.
Russia has a huge population, and established expat communities in major cities, where individuals have moved for work or study.
One of the first things you’ll need to do, if you’re planning a move to Russia, is open a local bank account. This guide walks through some basics of how to open a bank account in Russia, as well as a few large banks you might want to consider.
Although you may be able to start the process of opening a bank account in Russia from abroad, most banks will require you to visit a branch to show your supporting documents and provide a signature sample to activate your account.
One option which is supported by some large banks is for you to have a legal representative in Russia who has power of attorney, and can act on your behalf. This is one way to kickstart the application process before you arrive.
Once you have chosen your bank, you’ll be able to find out details of the relevant process. Whichever branch you apply to will be where your account details are held permanently. If you ever need to make changes to the account, you would need to visit that particular branch again, so choose a convenient location.
Whether or not you can open a non-resident bank account in Russia will depend on your personal situation and the specific bank you pick.
You may be able to open a specialist non-resident account with either an international bank based in Russia or one of the larger national banks. However, you would usually need to attend a bank branch in person to give a signature sample.
There are many different types of accounts available through Russian banks. You’ll need to double check the detailed requirements to open your preferred account with the bank you’ve selected.
However, in general, to open a bank account in Russia as an expat, you’ll be asked for the following:
Russia has a sophisticated banking network with an easy availability of ATMs. If you have the time and patience, opening a bank account in one of the larger cities should not be too difficult. Below is an overview of some of the major national banks in Russia, to start you on your search.
Sberbank¹ is Russia’s largest bank network, making it easy to find a branch. You can open an account, get a payment card or access other products like loans and investments.
Telephone, mobile and Internet banking are available. Some services also come with perks and a loyalty card.
|Here’s what you can get from Sberbank in Russia:|
Rosbank² is well placed to offer services to international clients, and has dedicated information and support for expats.
You can make an appointment with an international client manager to find the right product for you. Mobile banking is offered in English as well as Russian.
|Rosbank also offers:|
Raiffeisen³ offers all you would expect from a large, international banking group. There are products to suit everyone, including a premium service specifically designed for international clients.
As their ATM and branch network cover the entire region, this is a good choice for those who plan to travel outside of Russia frequently.
|Here’s what you can expect:|
When you open a bank account in Russia, it's important to read the terms and conditions carefully. Look especially at the banking fees and charges, which might be quite different to what is standard in your home country.
It’s normal to be charged a fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM operated by a different bank. When you choose the right bank for your specific needs it’s usually worth picking one which has ATMs in locations that are convenient for you - close to your work and home, for example - so you don’t need to go out of your way to make free ATM withdrawals.
Check also if there are regular charges levied to keep your account open or use a credit or debit card. Although usually relatively small, these account handling fees mount up over time.
Another unusual aspect of Russian banking is that not all payment cards can be used to make web payments to foreign firms. Check with your bank so you understand the functionality of the cards you’re issued.
An additional challenge for expats is that fees can be particularly steep, if you need to move money between accounts which use different currencies. These can kick in when you send money from the US to Russia or visa versa. Compare your options and read all the fees carefully before you make payments.
At the time of writing, banking restrictions mean that some transfers out of Russia are restricted or limited, so you’ll also need to check the rules before you start to make international transfers, no matter which provider you select.
Before you open your bank account in Russia, use this guide to build a picture of what documents you’ll need and which specific institutions may suit your needs, and good luck getting everything organized.
Sources checked on 10.19.2023
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
Learn about Deriv Currency Accounts, their features, benefits, and how to open one. Discover a new way of participating in forex trading with Deriv.
Learn about foreign currency savings accounts, their benefits, drawbacks, and how to open one. Discover the best banks for these accounts and how to manage fore
Explore the process of opening a foreign bank account, the advantages, the required documentation, and important considerations.
Learn the intricacies of US foreign currency accounts, how to open one, and the advantages they offer. Find out which US banks provide this service and their fe
Everything you need to know about the HSBC Expat account.