How to open a bank account in Ukraine

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How to open a bank account in Ukraine

How to open a bank account in Ukraine

Ukraine is a beautiful nation, the largest in Europe in fact, home of expansive natural landscapes, several strong economic sectors specially in natural resources and plenty of modern European cities which are home of the country’s largest expat communities.

If you are looking to make the move, you will need a bank account which will give you a sense of stability and control over your financial life. Here is our guide on how to open a bank account in Ukraine.

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

Yes, it is possible to open a bank account in Ukraine as a non-resident and the process is just as easy with accounts offering similar features.

Documents needed to open a bank account in Ukraine

It should be a rather straightforward process to open a bank account in Ukraine in terms of required documentation, at least in theory. However, in practice things may change and you may be asked a combination of the following documents:

  • International passport (original sample). It is worth considering the fact - the stay of a foreign person in the territory of the state must have legal grounds. You can prove the fact of a legitimate visit to the country by providing a visa or entry-exit mark. The sum of days allowed for staying on the territory of the Ukrainian state is 90 days/year and cannot exceed this indicator.
  • Notarized translation of a foreign passport into the national language of the country (optional measure for the non-residents). Although financial institutions in the country do not require a translated sample of passport data into the state language, it's still advisable to perform this operation before the client uses the service to open an account. This is necessary provided that the non-resident plans to open an account for active use in the implementation of key transactions (acquisition of real estate, transfer of money for the purchase of goods, etc.). The presence of a finished translation is necessary because, during transliteration, the name and surname of the client must fully comply with other documents of the Ukrainian sample (an agreement, IIN of an individual, etc.). Without it, managers at the bank can use their own transliteration of data, and it may not correspond to official papers. This can cause a number of troubles.
  • Proof of address which may include your hotel address if you are a visitor or a lease contract if you are going long term. This information can be written by the managers of the financial organization according to the client, however, specialists can request an official document confirming the words. For example, if a foreign citizen lives in a hotel, he can provide a receipt for payment for accommodation.
  • A card with the IIN number from the State Register of Individual Payers (a TIN of an individual) or a document confirming the origin of cash from a non-resident. The first one is not a binding document. It should be noted that the period of issue of the number varies within 7–10 days from the moment of contacting the tax organization. For this reason, it’s worth planning the time spent in the country taking into account this period. The service of opening an account with a financial institution is paid. When closing an account, they may be asked to pay an annual service charge. At the same time, a foreign citizen is required to have documents in his hands that are able to confirm the legality of the origin of the funds used by him as payment for the banking services provided or to replenish an open account. In order to avoid problems at this stage, it is recommended to have the declaration of the necessary amount of funds for various kinds of money transactions when entering the territory of the country indicated in the.
  • A minimum deposit. Some banks charge account opening fees. Overall, there is too much paperwork in Ukraine especially if you go to smaller towns where people aren’t accustomed to working with foreigners. Therefore, opening a bank account in a larger city will be significantly easier - in theory.

How to Close an Account

To successfully close the current account, you must:
  • In order for the account not to be connected with any other products in the bank (for example, not to be an account for writing off the commission on other accounts in the bank, not to be associated with deposits/savings deposits, loans, etc.);
  • so that this account is zero, but at the same time there are no debts on commissions, late payments on credit products at the bank, penalties;
  • so that there are no arrests or other burdens on this account (court decisions and other state bodies).
The client needs to remember that in order to close an account, it's necessary to submit an application for closing in writing. In order to avoid additional costs, the client needs to be careful at the stage of opening an account and take an interest in the rates for closing it. Some banks provide paid account closure. Typically, such pricing is applied by financial institutions with a monthly service fee, and paid closure allows the bank to earn either a service or a closure, depending on the client’s choice.
Another charging option is to conduct a certain level of turnover on the account or the presence of a certain balance on the account. In this case, a monthly maintenance fee is not charged, and account closure is carried out at no extra charge to the client.
Thus, when opening an account, the client should carefully read the terms of tariffing and pay special attention to the cost of servicing and closing the account.

Best Banks in Ukraine

As with any modern nation, the choices are numerous between national and international banks. We recommend you investigate your options carefully and talk to the locals about the financial stability of banking institutions in general. We also recommend you go for larger institutions as these tend to have more financial clout and better ties with other international institutions making them safer.
  • Pravex Bank: this is a Ukranian bank which is now under ownership of an Italian group. With a wide reaching branch and ATM network this is a convenient bank which also offers all the standard services includes debit cards, cheques and mobile banking facilities as standard in many accounts. You can get multi-currency accounts too.
  • Privatbank: with nearly 7500 ATMs and 2500 branches across Ukraine, this is a large bank with a modern infrastructure including mobile banking applications and free phone service that works 24h. Their basic accounts have the option of debit cards and as a customer you can purchase insurance and loans too.
  • UniCredit Bank: this is a pretty large bank with nearly 250 branches and a wide reaching ATM network. They are a full fledged offering banks accounts of all types in their English language website which includes accounts with gold and platinum cards with travel health insurance included.
  • Piraeus Bank: this is a Greek bank present all over the southeast of the EU with thousands of branches and ATMs in the region and a large number of account offers. This could be a very convenient bank if you travel a lot as it has partner networks that extend beyond Ukraine.
As with any contract, it is important to read the fine print and we recommend you bring a translator or a friend that speaks Ukrainian to help you read the details of the documentation. There could be hidden fees such as account closure fees, high fees for usage outside the network and minimum balances. Regardless, opening an account should be easy and it should not take more than 60 minutes in total.

What are the account options?

Non-residents of the country are provided with the service of opening a bank account in a state and foreign currency unit. The main foreign currencies used by Ukrainian banks are dollars, hryvnias and euros. In this case, it’s worth considering the fact that the choice of the desired type of a bank account will depend on the purpose. The following types of accounts are offered to customers of banks: card, current and deposit.
The first 2 types of accounts differ from the last in that the user can withdraw cash at any time. When choosing a bank account of a card type or current, the user has the right to make a money transfer between his own open accounts, as well as to the account number of the third person.
A distinctive feature of the first two types of accounts is a different type of access. In the first case, the client is given the opportunity to conduct transactions through an ATM, in the second - only with a personal visit to a financial institution.
A deposit account is special in that the funds often must remain in the user's account for the period specified in the contract. The manipulations of settlement before the end of this period are not provided for by more than one financial institution.

Things to Keep in Mind

Having decided on the type of necessary account and the bank, having collected the necessary documents, a non-resident can contact the bank to open an account. Before this, it's recommended that you familiarize yourself with the tariff plans and conditions of banks in Ukraine.
Non-residents of the country should know:
  • on the territory of the Ukrainian state, cash can only be withdrawn from an ATM in the national currency - the hryvnia, however, if a foreigner opened an account in dollars and credited them to a bank account, then he can withdraw cash in foreign currency by contacting the cashier of the institution;
  • the bank's client is allowed to conduct transactions and find out the balance on his own account through the use of his personal account (Internet banking), even if he is located outside the country;
  • tariff plans and service conditions are fundamentally different from each other, in other words, in the 1st institution there may be a commission charged for opening an account, and in the 2nd there can be none;
  • in case of bank transfer between the user's own funds a transfer fee may be charged;
  • in the absence of the required amount to pay the commission, the bank can complete the transaction by providing the user with an overdraft (loan) at a high interest rate (up to 100% per year).

The virtual bank account alternative

It is expensive to transfer money abroad from Ukraine if you use a bank

It costs as much as 9x more to transfer money out of Ukraine using a bank than with B2B Pay. For example, if you need to send 10 thousand euros worth of rupees to India, you only receive about 9000 euros worth of rupees. This is a bad deal and really the only deal a bank can offer thanks to high operational costs.
With B2B Pay, we do the same transfer for about 900 euros less. You get 9900 euros worth of rupees back home and you also get a free virtual bank account (with a private IBAN number) you can use to send and receive money within the EU and send money abroad to about 200 countries in over 30 currencies.


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