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Bank Account in Slovakia: For Legal or Natural Persons, for Offshore

We offer you a possibility of opening a bank account in Slovakia. Along with the bank account you automatically get electronic banking system for account management, in Slovakia it is called Internet banking. At the request of the customer, we can supply a plastic card: standard, embossed, credit.

  • Characteristics of the Slovak banks
  • Bank account opening.
  • Account management – Internet banking
  • Bank cards and operations with an account.

 

Banks in Slovakia:

  • Československá obchodná banka, a. s. 
  • ČSOB stavebná sporiteľňa, a. s. 
  • OTP Banka Slovensko, a. s. 
  • Poštová banka, a. s. 
  • Prima banka Slovensko, a. s. 
  • Privatbanka, a. s. 
  • Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa, a. s. 
  • Sberbank Slovensko, a. s. 
  • Slovenská sporiteľňa, a. s. 
  • Slovenská záručná a rozvojová banka, a. s. 
  • Tatra banka, a. s. 
  • Všeobecná úverová banka, a. s. 
  • Wüstenrot stavebná sporiteľňa, a. s.

All thirteen above mentioned banks offer their services on the ground of license issued by National Bank of Slovakia (NBS). One of the license requirements is a deposit in the amount of 16 600 000 EUR as a bank’s registered capital. If bank also offers mortgage services, minimum amount of registered capital is 33 200 000 EUR.

According to EU rules, first of all regarding the free movement of services within the EU, a right to provide banking services within the territory of Slovakia without having a license issued by National Bank of Slovakia can be enjoyed by foreign credit institutions, registered in European Economic Space, in case of having a banking license in a country of establishment.  These banks offer their services in Slovakia in most cases through opening a branch office in Slovakia. At present, there are 14 banks of this kind. 

Branches of foreign banks in Slovakia: 

  • Banco Banif Mais S. A., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • BKS Bank AG, pobočka zahraničnej banky v SR 
  • Citibank Europe plc,  pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • COMMERZBANK Aktiengesellschaft, pobočka zahraničnej banky, Bratislava 
  • Fio banka, a. s., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • ING Bank N. V., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • J & T BANKA, a. s., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • KDB Bank Europe Ltd., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • Komerční banka, a. s., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • mBank S.A., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • Oberbank AG pobočka zahraničnej banky v Slovenskej republike 
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, a. s., pobočka zahraničnej banky 
  • ZUNO BANK AG, pobočka zahraničnej banky

There is a credit cooperative from the Czech Republic, which has a right to provide its services in Slovakia without NBS license:

  • AKCENTA, spořitelní a úvěrní družstvo, pobočka Slovensko

Foreign credit institutions and foreign financial institutions have a right to provide services in Slovakia according to Directive 2006/48/ES if their license for carrying out of activities was issued in other member state of European Economic Space. Such institutions can offer their services either through opening a branch office or providing cross-border services. Nowadays there are 322 such banks. 

 

Characteristics of the Slovak Banks

As was mentioned above, there are 13 banks registered in Slovakia and throughout history of Slovakia National Bank of Slovakia revoked the license only of three banks but it was a long time ago. AG Banka, a. s. and Slovenská kreditná banka, a.s. announced their restructuring in 2000 and DEVÍN BANKA, a.s. in 2001.

Among 13 banks, only one bank, Slovenská záručná a rozvojová banka, a.s, is national, which is not involved in the standard banking operations, but focuses primarily on small and medium-sized business lending. Its establisher is Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic. Slovaks are majority stakeholders in three banks: the owner of Prima banka Slovensko, a.s. and Privatbanka, a. s. is Penta Investments, and the owner of Bank Poštová banka is J&T Finance. Penta and J&T are the main financial groups in Slovakia.

All other banks belong to international banking institutions (network). Tatra banka, a.s. is the “daughter” of German Raiffeisen Banking Group. Československá obchodná banka, a. s. and ČSOB stavebná sporiteľňa, a.s. belong to Belgian KBC Group. The owner of OTP Banka Slovensko, a.s. is a Hungarian bank OTP Bank Nyrt and it belongs to OTP Group. Všeobecná úverová banka, a.s. belongs to Italian Intesa Sanpaolo Group. The owner of 32.5% of shares of Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa, a.s. is German Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall AG, Raiffeisen Bausparkasse Holding GmbH owns the same share, Austrian Erste Group Bank AG owns 25% and Slovak bank Slovenská sporiteľňa, a.s. owns 9.98%, which in turn belongs to Austrian Erste Group Bank. Wüstenrot stavebná sporiteľňa, a.s. belongs to the Germans; Bausparkasse Wüstenrot AG owns 60% of shares and Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG owns the rest 40% of shares.

Austrian bank Volksbank International was an owner of the Slovak VOLKSBANK Slovensko, a.s., however, in 2012 it was merged with JSC “SBERBANK OF RUSSIA” therefore Sberbank Slovensko, a.s. is a lower-tier subsidiary (“granddaughter”) of SBERBANK OF RUSSIA.

The largest of foreign banks’ branches is UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, a.s., pobočka zahraničnej banky, which is due to the fact that Slovak UniCredit Bank was merged with Czech UniCredit in 2013 and now is its branch.

According to EU rules even if a parent foreign bank is having problems, it can’t use the Slovak deposits and move them out of Slovakia.

Since 30 December 2010, all deposits in the EU are completely insured up to 100 000 EUR. Deposits in Slovak banks are part of the Slovak Deposit Protection Fund, and deposits in braches of foreign banks are included in the deposit insurance system in the country of registration. In Slovakia deposits of all individuals and those legal entities, whose tax returns are not audited (it is necessary to inform bank about this) are insured. Tax residency of depositors has no relevance to deposit insurance; deposits of Slovak citizens and, for example, Russia or Ukraine are insured under the same terms and conditions.

 

Opening of an Account for Foreigners

There are no legal restrictions governing or prohibiting the opening of an operating account for foreigners in Slovakia. The law regulates account opening procedure, what banks are obliged to do, check, how to identify a client and final beneficiary – a final recipient of goods.

Practice shows that every bank has different approach and requirements. Some banks, for example, open accounts for foreigners only after approval from bank’s central office. Other banks do not open accounts on the basis of power of attorney. Some banks do not open an account for legal entities from third countries at all. Some banks require not only a foreign passport, but also the translation of residence address indicated in a national passport. There are banks that prepare all documents by themselves, in other banks you need to fill in a long questionnaire. For customers who want to apply for a temporary residence in Slovakia, it is also important that in some banks we can do everything in one day, in other banks the same procedure will take 3 days.

Nevertheless, we have opened accounts for our foreign customers in all banks in Slovakia, wherever it was possible, we know their demands, their differences and approaches. We have opened accounts for citizens of the following countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Serbia, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the USA, Syria, and Iran.

We also have opened accounts for legal entities registered in the following countries: Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, as well as Hong Kong, the British Virgin Islands, Panama and Belize.

There was no client that we could not open an account for in Slovakia. But sometimes there are difficulties. For example, there was one client – 26-year-old citizen of Belarus with the most common name and surname. In his case, one of the banks said that, despite his age, he was a General of the Army of Belarus, and for such persons bank wouldn’t open accounts. However, we managed to open an account in another bank, it had apparently another database. There was also incident when the bank said that one of the client’s family members was working for the Federal Security Service and refused to open an account. After explanation an account finally was opened. There was an incident when bank refused to open an account without any explanation. However, one won’t find more than 5 difficulties like this in the history of our company. Citizens of the CIS countries can open an account in the Slovak banks that we work with, without any problem. Problems arise for the citizens of “non-standard” for Slovakia countries such as Iran or Syria, but eventually, we have opened accounts for them too.

Approaches to opening of an account differ greatly in the case of foreign legal entities. It is impossible to open an account in some banks even for the legal entity from the EU, or banks require the presence of company’s representative. Nowadays we can open an account for legal entities from offshore jurisdictions in two banks. In order to open an account we need extract from the state register, analog of the Business Register of Slovakia. For countries with the British system of registration of legal entities we use Good Standing. Almost always, in the case of legal entities we fill in a form indicating the final beneficiary, and some banks require the notarization of its signature.

Opening of an account in the bank that we cooperate with, usually takes a little time, as all documents are prepared in advance. Some banks also can open an account on the basis of power of attorney without the presence of a bank account holder. A power of attorney can be signed at Consulate of the Slovak Republic, even at the Honorary Consulate, and sometimes even at the Consulate of the Czech Republic.

 

Internet banking

A great advantage of opening of an account in Slovakia is that there is no need to obtain a bank approval for funds transfer. A bank never asks in advance where and why you transfer money, it doesn’t require indicating the basis for payment. Sometimes, in fact, very rarely, questions arise, however, they are not related to the business activities of the payer, and follows from the Act No. 297/2008 Coll. on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Every bank offers Internet banking service, with the use of which it is possible to make all payments by the computer, view your payment history and, depending on the bank to do any actions related to account except cash withdrawal. Currently, almost every bank enables to transfer funds using Internet banking, without restrictions, there is no fixed maximum amount for payment, or it is very high, as for instance 1 billion EUR in Všeobecná úverová banka, a.s. Therefore, the account holder has the possibility to transfer funds without limit in any country for any reason or without reason, for no particular reason, and a bank won’t ask why do you make the payment.

Internet banking is always in the Slovak language, almost in every bank in English, often it is in German, in two banks it is even in Hungarian. However, only in SBERBANK OF RUSSIA it is in Russian.

There are different methods of payment confirmation. This is most commonly the token, grid card or SMS sent to indicated number. Token is a small device, which shows the code that changes every 30-60 seconds, for example, in SBERBANK OF RUSSIA it displays the code after turning on and password entry (Československá obchodná banka, as and UniCredit Bank). Grid map is a plastic map with an indication of many codes and Internet banking will tell you what should be selected. In the case of SMS, banks usually allow to use any phone number, not only the Slovak.

 

Examples of tokens in Slovak banks

TBD

It is not possible to make payments based on a telephone call to the bank because of safety reasons. The only exception is Tatra banka, a. s., which uses the software, which determines the voice and if calls a man whose voice is recorded in the system, the bank allows to transfer the funds on the basis of a verbal order by phone.

 

Bank cards and operations with an account

Slovakia is one of the world leaders in the adoption of high technologies in bank operations. Credit cards are very popular in Slovakia and won wide acceptance in 1990th of the 20th century. Their number is already higher than the population of Slovakia.

All cards issued in Slovakia in addition to magnetic stripe contain chip. By the way, Slovakia is the second country in the world, after the United Kingdom, which has changed cards with magnetic stripe to chips. The first international payment transaction in the world using chip cards was executed in Slovakia in 1999. Swipe (contactless) cards started to be issued in Slovakia in 2008, and now their share in the Slovak market is the highest in the world. 2010 is the beginning of Mobile banking use and in 2012 contactless payments using mobile phone became possible.

Regarding the currency of accounts, banks open accounts besides Euro, in many other currencies such as dollar, CZK, HUF, PLN, British pound, Japanese yen, Swiss franc, etc. And only SBERBANK OF RUSSIA opens accounts in rubles, which is also the only bank accepting rubles in exchange offices.

Usually it is possible to transfer funds not only in the currency of the account, but also in many other currencies. If money is received on the account in another currency, it is automatically converted to the currency of the account, using bank’s current exchange rate.

Interests on deposit accounts are very low and now are not so popular as they were at the beginning of the 20th century. Maximum interest rates on deposits range within 2 percent per annum. In fact, that makes sense, as banks’ mortgage interest is 2 percent. Sometimes it happens that the lowest interest rate on a mortgage in one bank is lower than interest rate on deposits in another bank.

 



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