How to open a bank account in Latvia

How to open a bank account in Latvia

Latvia, specially at its capital Riga, receives a large number of expats with a thriving expat communities for its size and population. What people want is simple: the ability to have quality of life, a European vibe, beautiful architecture and people.

If you are a student, worker, retiree or investor looking to make this country home, it is important to take the step of opening a bank account in Latvia. Here is our guide.

Documents needed to open a bank account in Latvia

You will be required to present a list of documents to open a bank account in Latvia and here are the minimum requirements:

  • Passport or resident ID card
  • Work contract

If you have information on your account balance from your previous bank it would be helpful as it may help you prove that you have clout to have a bank account without a residence permit. It would also be helpful to have a Latvian to help out as speaking the language is simply easier as it creates positive rapport.

Can I open a bank account in Latvia as a non-resident?

It will be generally harder to open a bank account as a non-resident, but at least banks have information in English widely available, english speaking staff and phone services that you can utilize to find specific information about any additional requirements such as evidence of a job or study in Latvia. All the banks listed here are major institutions in Latvia with many branches and a full range of banking products with low monthly fees and debit cards included.

Best banks in Latvia

Banking in Latvia is big business considering the size of population of the country. There are dozens of national and international banks that combined amount to hundreds of branches and ATM locations around the country. All their major banks offer services and information in English, with agents also speaking English although it is helpful to have a Latvian to help you out during the application process.

  • DNB: with a lot of ATMs and branches and one of the most attractive banking packages in the market, DNB has current accounts starting at only 0.65 cents per month for their internet only account, a basic package with a debit card for 1.65/month and others all the way up to a gold package for 6.65 monthly which includes travel insurance and unlimited contactless debit cards.
  • SEB: With a pretty large network and a series of accounts available from student, youth, senior and family accounts to investment and corporate accounts, SEB can serve your every need.  Accounts have debit cards, transfers, low monthly fees and you can apply online. Fees start at only 0.43 cents per month going up to 5 euros.
  • Swedbank: with a million customers in Latvia and salary, child, youth, family and business current and savings accounts, there will be something for you. You can open an account online easily and have 24/7 access to your money thanks to a wide reaching ATM network and a lot of branches.
  • Citadele: their accounts come with a contactless debit card, discounts in partner stores, a minimum of 5x withdrawals per month, 3% cashback and various other perks including a comprehensive mobile banking set of functions. They have plenty of branches and ATMs available for your convenience. Additionally, they have low interest rates on credit cards and mortgages.

All of these banks are good options and what is best is for you to base your choice in convenience and service. Account fees are generally straightforward but you have to be careful in your choice. For example, if you travel outside of latvia regularly it could be helpful to have an account with lower fees for international ATM usage.

We recommend that you find your bank's fee list online (or ask the bank agent) so you are familiar with all charges.

The virtual bank account alternative

It can be expensive to send money outside of Latvia

If you need to send money outside of Latvia, chances are you will use your bank. When you approach the agent you will hear that the transfer will only cost you 20 or 30 euros (or free depending on your account) thanks to the SWIFT fee. This is not accurate. Your bank will charge you more because in order to perform the transfer it will have to convert the money into the current that you are sending money into. This conversion should be done using the mid market rate but they have to charge above it to cover costs and for a profit. For example, if you transfer 10 thousand euros to India, you will receive the equivalent of 9000 euros in rupees thanks to excessive charges.

There is a more affordable and smarter alternative called the virtual bank account with B2B Pay. You get a European IBAN number that you can send and receive money choosing from a long list of currencies and countries. You get charged with a flat fee of 1% only, which is 80% lower than normal banks and your money gets there twice as fast. In other words, that transfer to India would get your an extra 900 dollars worth of rupees and that is a good deal.

Sign Up with B2B Pay

How to open a bank account in Europe

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple European countries and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.



How to open a bank account overseas

We have a few guides to guide you through the process of opening a bank account in multiple countries all over the world and explaining why a virtual bank account with B2B Pay may be a better alternative if you are transferring money outside of Europe and taking advantage of a better rate.


  • Barclays
  • Techstars
  • Nestholma
  • Nordea
  • Tekes
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