How to open a bank account in Malta

How to open a bank account in Malta

How to open a bank account in Malta

Malta is an amazing nation with a lot to offer. That is why it attracts nearly 2 million visitors every year. It is a lot considering the country is home to 500.000 people. Some of these visitors stay and compose the growing expat population, looking to live and work or retire enjoying its sunny coastline.

If you are thinking of moving there and joining the nearly 25.000 strong expat community - 5% of the population - you will need a bank account to feel financially secure. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Malta for non-resident visitors.

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

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Malta as a non-resident as it is not required - generally speaking - that you provide proof of address in Malta. Please call your choice of bank to determine what are the specific documents you may be required as a non-resident.

Is it hard to open a bank account in Malta as a non-resident?

In general, opening a bank account in Malta for foreigners is easy. The biggest difference is that you will need a reference from your current bank so that you have a sort of history of your good standing as a client of a bank.

However, it can be tricky at times because requirements can vary depending on which bank, or even on which branch you are opening an account. The worst-case scenario would be that you would be required to submit redundant documents, or even go through months of processing. You see, banks in Malta will have to dig up your whole banking history, documents and credit standing before they open a bank account for you.


If you are an EU citizen, you may be assuming you are under the protection of EU regulations, thus, opening a bank account in Malta would be a breeze. But that is not always the case. Now, just imagine how much hassle it could be for non-EU citizens. Regardless of whether or not they pay taxes as Maltese residents, they have to pay an additional annual fee just because they are “international clients.” 

Documents needed to open a bank account in Malta

  • A passport or your Maltese identification card (if you are living in Malta)

  • A recent utility bill or other proof of address

  • A letter of reference from your current or previous bank showing you have a good credit standing

  • A filled application form issued by the bank.

Maltese banks may also require a good credit score as most current accounts come with debit or credit cards which are ready to use upon account activation. HSBC and some other banks will ask for additional documentation, such as proof of employment and income details.

The bank will also ask for additional requirements if you are opening a business account for which you will need additional information such as documents verifying your business purpose, articles of incorporation and documents proving the identity of shareholders.

Once you have gathered the necessary papers, you need to visit the branch to personally open an account. If you have a Maltese ID card (which is mandatory if you reside in Malta), then the process could be much easier. If you are a non-EU citizen, you may have to go through more a rigorous probe compared to EU citizens. For this reason, non-EU citizens must present a reference letter from their current or previous bank.

Best banks in Malta

There will be plenty of options for you to open accounts of all types in malta, from personal accounts to investment banking options. There are at least a good 4 full stack banks which means they offer a full set of services including cards, insurance, loans, mortgages and so on for all types of individuals and business entities. Also, there are numerous foreign banks, but most are more interested in private banking and wealth and estate management.

  • Bank of Valletta: BOV is one of Malta's most popular banks with regular promotions and plenty of branches and ATMs across the island state. Accounts come with debit cards, enhanced security via dual authentication via phone and their product line is extensive. One extra perk is English speaking 24-hour phone service. The BOV Current Account is their standard bank account offering. It has no monthly fees and includes internet banking and a Visa debit card. If you are heavy on sending money online, their fee for online payments (including SEPA payments in Euros) ranges between €1 and €4 per transaction. This is a pricier choice than other options in the market. Just like all Maltese (and EU) banks, BOV offers a basic payment account for an even lower cost that you can open even if you are a non-resident.

  • APS Bank: another full stack bank with internet banking, current accounts, debit cards, retirement planning, insurance packages, loans including home and student loans and various options for investors, APS is a good option which a wide-reaching (albeit comparatively smaller) branch and ATM network too.

  • FCM Bank: with offers to diversify your savings and investments even if you are not a big investor, FCM has plans and staff ready to help you prepare for your financial future. They also have all the traditional service offers, online banking, SMS notifications and you can apply for an account right from their website.

  • Lombard Bank: a bank with a long history and in comparison a small number of well located ATMs and branches, if you choose this bank it better be convenient. It is a complete bank with offers ranging from basic current accounts to high-level investments. They have a nice internet banking app.

Banking in Malta is a highly sophisticated and modern enterprise with options for local and for the international investor. With that said, it is important to investigate what makes a good bank for your needs, including looking into a bank's fee structure which may vary substantially. We reckon it is extremely important to look into this and also convenience, for some banks may not offer the convenience you require and cost a lot more in the long run.

The virtual bank account alternative

Sending money out of Malta is expensive if you use a traditional bank


If you need to transfer money anywhere outside Europe, you will probably consider using a traditional bank transfer. Because banks use the mid-market rate to transfer and convert money between one another, in order to cover their expenses and to profit, your bank transfer will be subject to considerable charges. 


With a virtual bank account offered by Narvi Pay, you get your own European IBAN account, which you can use to receive or send money from/to anywhere. It is especially convenient in Europe. The convenience it offers starts from account opening and onboarding making to international money transfers. You open an account which you can do fully (not just initially) online. And you can send or receive funds within 24 to 48 hours, and even make euro transfers instantly, thanks to its Instant SEPA Payments.


Narvi Pay is not just about faster and more convenient transactions. It’s also about savings and cheaper fees and charges. Since it uses mid market rates as a basis, it only charges a flat fee of 1% of the total transaction. Owing to these advantages over traditional banking, this Finnish-licensed and regulated Electronic Money Institution backed by a solid 10-year Fintech experience is now becoming the banking alternative that global businesses prefer and trust.


Can A Foreigner Open A Bank Account In Malta?

Yes, it is possible to open a Malta bank account as a non-resident. However, as mentioned above, the process could get tricky depending on the bank or branch you are transacting with. Refer to the documentation requirements enumerated above. Or call your choice of bank to determine what are the specific documents you may be required as a non-resident, as these could vary from bank to bank and even from branch to branch.

An alternative option would be to open a digital bank account with digital banks like Narvi. Narvi is a Finnish licensed company that can operate in Malta as an EU bank. It is a subsidiary of B2BPay.

How Much Does It Cost To Open A Bank Account In Malta?

The cost of opening a Maltese bank account includes the cost of securing the required documents. But since you already have your passport and utility bill, and getting a Maltese ID card if free, you will not incur any costs for these. You will incur an expense when getting a bank reference from your previous or current bank as many banks charge for this service.

For non-EU residents, expect an additional annual fee for being “international clients.” Plus some banks may require deposits ranging from a €50-minimum-deposit to €500 for a 12-month term deposit.

Banks in Malta typically do not charge monthly fees on current accounts. However, be aware of costly fees for payments, falling below minimum deposits, prematurely closing accounts, and other services which typically incur no charges in other parts of the EU. Your Maltese bank may also charge you for ATM withdrawals, overdrafts, cheques, and international money transfers. Expect to pay for exchange rate margin for international transfers to another currency. 

A cheaper way to transfer money to and from Malta is through a digital bank account with neobanks like Narvi Pay. Narvi Pay is a Finnish licensed company that can operate in Malta as an EU bank.

How Long Does It Take To Open A Bank Account In Malta?

Opening a bank account in Malta can take months of processing as Maltese banks will have to scrutinize your entire banking history, documents and credit records before they will open a bank account for you. You will have to go through this process even if you are an EU citizen under the protection of EU regulations.

Can I Open A Bank Account In Malta Online?


Yes, the online bank account opening is possible with a traditional local bank, or international banks like HSBC, or with digital banks in Malta. For local and international banks, you can visit their website to do that.


An alternative to traditional banks where you can open an account online is digital banking. They may not have a physical branch, but these full-fledged banks offer many of the services traditional banks offer. The best part about these online banks is the significant savings you make from their cheaper fees and an easy-to-use web or mobile app.


One of these virtual banks is Narvi Pay where you can use:


  • Dedicated IBANs to send and receive payments all over the world using your unique bank account.

  • Instant SEPA payments to enable instant processing of euro transfers in the EU/EEA and switches to SWIFT for global wire transfers when required.

  • Global SWIFT wire transfers to send and receive euro payments to 100+ countries across the globe.


What Narvi and other digital banks in Malta offer that traditional banks cannot offer are speed and cost efficiency. Backed by an agile core banking system, Narvi enables direct integration with other payment systems. It ensures faster and more accurate payment processing for all of its customers. Because of this efficiency, plus the absence of massive manpower and brick-and-mortar branches to pay for, Narvi and other digital banks can afford to operate with cheaper transaction charges and fees.

How To Open An Offshore Account In Malta?


Now you may be wondering how to open a bank account In Malta as a non-resident. If speed and cost efficiency are important to you, you can open an offshore account in Malta using a digital bank like Narvi Pay. You can learn more about Narvi by clicking this link and opening an account by clicking here.


But if you want to open an account in Malta with HSBC, you can visit their site to read up on things you should know, such as General Terms and Conditions and Fee Information.


Then take a few minutes to fill out their online application form. Be sure to have on hand the following:


1- Your identification documents, such as your passport, national ID or Maltese residency card

2- Second identification document (required if your identification document does not reflect or incorrectly reflects your residential address.)

  • letter from a central or local government authority, department, or agency within the last 4 months

  • police conduct issued within the last 4 months

  • bank statement issued within the last 4 months

  • utility bill in relation to services linked to the permanent residential address issued within the last 4 months

  • rental agreement valid for at least 6 months

3- Document showing why you have to have an account in Malta (whether for work, study business,  property ownership or rental). 

4- Tax Identification Numbers and Countries of Tax Residency.


Generally, these are the documents they require for opening a personal account. They may be requiring more depending on your case.


Which Bank Is Easy To Open an Account In Malta?

Unsurprisingly, opening a bank account with traditional banks is not the way to go if you want ease and speed because of the bureaucracy associated with it. For a faster online bank account opening, going the digital banking route is the fastest. With Narvi, you can open an account faster and send and receive payments more cost-efficiently.

With the banking landscape shifting into the more digitalized future, it is vital that international businesses and even individuals already embrace these new ways of banking or be left behind with old sluggish systems.

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.

Join the 10 thousand plus businesses already with B2B Pay