The suggestion to set up a corporate account with a Belorussian bank may look startling at the first sight but it is a good idea indeed. The financial institution that we would like to advertise here is quite reliable and it offers fair service conditions to international clients. What is more, you can open a bank account in Belarus without visiting the country. A standard document package is required to apply for services to this bank.
Why are we suggesting that you should open a bank account in Belarus? The country has a rather poor image in the international arena: it is believed that it is closed for international businesses and that the President of Belarus practices an authoritarian style of governance.
We do not think that we are in a position to go into political issues that are not related to the Belorussian economy. We would like to note, however, that Belarus is ranked 49th for the ease of doing business (2020 World Bank report assigning ratings to 190 countries of the world). This means that the governance model practiced in the country is effective. We are not prepared to discuss how democratic this model is.
Reasons why you should choose Belarus to establish business presence there:
- The country has a favorable business climate.
- Its financial system is stable.
- National economic shows positive dynamics. In 2006, Belarus was ranked 120th, so the progress to 49th is obvious and the country’s ratings are likely to further improve.
- You will find simplified administrative procedures with the bank that we recommend. The bank managers seek to satisfy the condition that is briefly described as ‘one task – one visit’. Online services are also readily available with this bank.
- Special offers are made to large investors.
- Belarus enjoys an extremely favorable geographic position: it is located between the Eurozone and the CIS countries. If you trade with any of the former of the latter, the Republic of Belarus can become a convenient terminal point for your products.
- There are specially designated areas in the country where business conditions are especially favorable. There is a Free Economic Zone, a High Technology Park, and an industrial park called ‘The Great Stone’ (a joint project with China).
- Belorussian legislation offers incentives to businesses operating in small towns and rural areas.
- Well-trained workforce is available in the Republic.
- Its industrial sector is well developed.
We believe that these factors taken together make Belarus a very attractive jurisdiction for establishing business there. All the necessary conditions are in place. It is especially true for the possibility to set up a bank account remotely. Until recently, remote opening of a corporate bank account was not available in the country but now this restriction has been lifted.
Open a corporate bank account in Belarus: general information
The bank primarily services business clients offering them a wide spectrum of opportunities. In addition to the head office and two more branches in the capital city of Minsk, it has branch offices in Brest, Vitebsk, Mogilev, and Gomel. The bank has twenty ATM’s in Belarus and four currency exchange points. Thus, obtaining services from the bank is going to be very easy.
Main bank figures: (thousand Belorussian rubles, BYN):
- Net assets: 352,527.
- Deposits: 236,188.
- Loans: 204,181.
- Registered capital: 24,747.
As of March 1, 2020, the net profit that the bank made over the previous year was 241 million BYN.
The bank has a number of partner banks in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Armenia, the Russian Federation, Tatarstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Turkey.
In addition to that, the bank is actually part of a large international business group that includes insurance, security, leasing, and other types of financial companies in different countries of Europe and Asia.
The bank holds official licenses for banking activities, stock exchange related activities, information protection and security services.
The bank is also registered with the personal deposit insurance agency.
Open a corporate bank account in Belarus and use other services that the bank offers
Servicing corporate clients is the bank’s major task but it is not the only task that it has. The bank can become a reliable partner for individuals as well. You may want to consider the opportunity to set up a personal account in addition to the corporate one with this bank.
Here is an incomplete list of services that the Belorussian bank offers:
- Deposits for individuals and corporate clients.
- Personal and corporate accounts.
- Payment and cash services including those provided via correspondent banks.
- Any legal currency exchange services.
- Issuance of bank guarantees.
- Fiduciary management services.
- Bankcard emission and service (both national and international cards).
- Issuance of securities against the deposit made with the bank.
- Factoring services.
- Bank vaults to keep documents, cash, securities, precious metals and stones.
Stability and reliability
If you are considering setting up a corporate bank account in Belarus, you have to be aware that the Belorussian legislation provides no corporate account security guarantee. Personal accounts are insured but not corporate ones. However, this is not as disadvantageous as it might look.
Firstly, Belarus has not had a single case of bank bankruptcy, which is indicative of the effectiveness of the national financial regulator. Secondly, the bank that we are promoting here meets all the security requirements, which makes the possibility of its failure negligible.
The bank satisfies the following parameters specified in the Belorussian legislation:
- Minimal legal capital;
- Sufficiency of legal capital/ Tier 1 capital;
- Liquidity, net stable funding;
- Risk factor restrictions;
- Reserves for recovery of losses.
You can find this information at the bank website including all the financial reports over the years. This demonstrates that the bank works by transparent rules and its management is not inclined to make any risky decisions.
The document required for opening a corporate bank account in Belarus
A standard package of documents is required to set up a corporate account with the bank. However, as you are going to open the account remotely, please be prepared to send some additional documents on the bank officer’s request. Only the basic documents are listed below but you should not worry about the additional documents that you may have to supply. We will take care of the negotiations with the bank managers and thus you will know exactly what else is needed in anything.
Before we go on, however, we would like to emphasize that the bank works by the scheme that involves a preapproval of the application for account opening. This means that you have to use an authorized introducer such as Offshore Pro Group, for example, if you want to set up a corporate account with the Belorussian bank.
The list of documents required for provisional consideration (preapproval) of the application for setting up a corporate account in Belorussia:
- Copies of all (!) official corporate documents.
- A company registration certificate of the form that is used in your home country (or the country of company domiciliation). It can be an extract from the Register, a Certificate of Incorporation, or any other suchlike document.
- A Certificate of Incumbency confirming the authority of the specified person to act on behalf of the company (the original or a legalized copy).
- A passport copy and a power of attorney in the name of the authorized person.
- Signature samples (required at the final stage of account opening).
- Company founders and shareholders’ data. We would like to stress that disclosure of the ultimate company beneficiaries’ information is mandatory with all banks today.
Additional requirements to the documents that you have to meet when setting up a corporate account in Belarus remotely:
- All the application documents have to be translated into Belorussian or Russian.
- The bank is going to ask you to fill out several forms. For a private individual these are FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) forms and for a corporate entities these are KYC (Know Your Customer) forms.
Please note that this is only the list of standard documents. It is very likely that the bank is going to request additional papers. This is especially applicable to high-risk companies (see below).
Open a corporate bank account in Belarus: terms of service
Many services are free of charge with this bank, which makes it attractive indeed. When it comes to additional services, they come at an additional cost but the tariffs are absolutely transparent and fair. The situation when you are charged a higher service fee than expected is simply impossible with the Belorussian bank. We are not going to quote all service fees here but we will indicate what comes for free and list some additional services.
- A personal manager.
- Any consultations on international payments.
- Currency exchange rates information.
- Individual offers on idle money deposits.
- Opening a savings account.
- Signature validation.
- Two Visa Business cards (extra cards will come at an extra pay: 240 RUB, 120 USD or 120 EUR, depending on the card currency).
- Transactions in BYN (intra-bank, transactions within Belarus, and to Kazakhstan).
- Connection to an electronic trading floor.
- Intra-bank foreign currency transfers.
- A paper copy of a SWIFT message.
- Cash acceptance in BYN to be deposited to the client’s account.
- Internet banking: connection, use during the first month, mobile applications.
- Express payments.
-  – applies to regular and high-risk companies.
-  – commission percentage; the parentheses contain the minimum and the maximum sums.
-  – a transfer below 500,000 USD, from 500,001 to 1.000.000 USD, above 1,000,000 USD (in US dollars or the equivalent in another currency).
- Opening a current account : 200 BYN / 400 BYN.
- Monthly service fee : 300 BYN / 350 BYN.
- BYN transfers: 10 BYN (intra-bank, within Belarus, paper slip)/ 5 BYN (to or from foreign banks).
- Cash withdrawal from your account, BYN: 1.5%.
- Cash deposit to your account: 0.8% (USD, EUR, RUB) / 1.8% (other currencies).
- Cash withdrawal in foreign currency: 0.5% (USD, EUR) / 0.17% (RUB) / 1.8% (other currencies).
- Checkbook issuance: 15 BYN / 10 BYN (on the day of application/ later).
- Acceptance of a collectable payment request: 2 BYN.
- Counter payment: 0,1%.
Transfers in foreign currencies to foreign banks (excluding Kazakhstan):
- USD : 0.3% (60-400) / 0.3% (0-1,000) / 0.3% (all in USD).
- EUR: : 0.15% (35-200) / 0.15% (0-1,000) / 0.15% (all in EUR).
- RUB, other currencies: : 0.15% (35-200) / 0.15% (0-1,000) / 0.15% (all in USD).
Open a corporate bank account in Belarus: additional opportunities
When you become a client of the Belorussian bank, you will gain free access to a wide spectrum of solutions aimed at supporting your business. Our specialists will be happy to tell you about them in detail and help you select the ones that you need most of all. Please contact us via e-mail email@example.com.
Here are some additional services that look especially attractive:
- Business financing: leasing, overdraft, various loan programs.
- Lucrative deposit schemes for those who have idle money: deposit certificates, bank bonds.
- Full-scale cash and payment management services.
- Complex solutions for payment of salaries including issuance of special plastic cards.
- Distant service systems: mobile applications, ‘Internet – client’ and ‘Client – bank’ systems.
- Trade financing: Letters of Credit, bank guarantees, post financed letters of credit, etc.
- Currency exchange operations, access to an electronic trade platform.
- Various insurance programs: transport, property, financial assets, health insurance.
- Automatic regular payments.
- The possibility to purchase collaterals at a discount.
- Special conditions for exporters and financial organizations.
How you can open a corporate bank account in Belarus in 2020
Let us talk about some important practical issues here. First, we need to clarify the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Belarus. On the day when this article is written, the situation remains the same: President Lukashenko is not going to enforce quarantine. What is even more important, however, is that the pandemic-related issues should not worry you at all, as the account is going to be opened remotely and you do not have to travel anywhere.
In order to set up a bank account in Belarus you have to get in touch with our consultants first. Please write to us to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will discuss all the nuances with you and tell you what to watch out for when you are opening a corporate account with the Belorussian bank. After that, our specialists will start the procedure of setting up a bank account for you. Please bear in mind that we are going to need your help! In particular, you will have to supply to us all the application documents that the bank requests. You can send them by mail and we will inspect them carefully before submitting them to the bank.
The most pleasing thing here is the possibility to establish the account remotely, which was impossible in Belarus only a short while ago. There is an additional cost involved in remote account opening, of course, but you must agree that avoiding unnecessary risks to your health is much more important.
How much does it cost to set up a corporate bank account in Belarus in 2020?
The service prices will be different depending on the type of you company. We can open a corporate account for you in Belorussia remotely if your company falls within one of the following categories:
- 4,999 EUR – regular partnerships: LP / LLP. This is the surest company ownership type with minimal risks of service denial. Additional application documents are seldom required.
- 5,999 EUR – classical offshore companies. The legislation of the Republic of Belarus is not different from other national legislations in what concerns offshore jurisdictions. The Belorussian authorities have naturally joined the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing and this makes the due diligence requirements tougher for offshore companies. Hence the higher service price.
- 4,999 EUR – High Risk Companies (HRC). This is the hard case indeed, as some types of business activities prohibit establishing a corporate bank account not only in Belarus but anywhere else in the world as well. The list of these activity types is not long at all, so most prospective clients of ours are perfectly safe. However, if yours is a high-risk company, please be aware that we cannot guarantee that the Belorussian bank will open an account for you in 2020.
- 3,999 EUR – other companies that do not fall under any of the heading above.
The types of business activities that are considered high-risk:
- Productions and trade in bioactive dietary supplements (BADS).
- Cannabis-related business.
- Book publishing and selling companies.
- Tourist agencies.
- Escort service providers.
- Adult (XXX) goods and services.
- Cryptocurrency-related businesses.
- Computers (software and hardware).
- Electronic cigarettes.
- Debt collectors.
The required security balance
Banks in all jurisdictions usually require a minimum security balance that must remain on the account at all times. With the Belorussian bank, you can use your account to the full but later you will have to restore the security balance anyway.
Below the deposit amount (in USD/ EUR) is indicated in bold type, the security balance amount (in BYN) after the first slash applies to ‘regular’ companies and the amount after the second slash applies to offshore companies.
- Up to 200,000 / 20,000 / 30,000,
- 200,001 – 300,000 / 30,000 / 40,000,
- 300,001 – 400,000 / 40,000 / 50,000,
- 400,001 – 500,000 / 40,000 / 60,000,
- 500,001 – 600,000 / 50,000 / 70,000,
- 600,001 – 700,000 / 60,000 / 80,000,
- 700,001 – 800,000 / 70,000 / 90,000,
- 800,001 – 900,000 / 80,000 / 100,000,
- 900,001 – 1,000,000 / 90,000 / 110,000,
- 1,000,001 and more / 100,000 / 120,000.
It is quite possible and quite beneficial to set up a corporate bank account in Belarus in 2020. The first step towards this goal is getting in touch with us via email@example.com. After that, we will work together on achieving this and other goals that you may have!
We wish you good health and every success in all your endeavors!
I would like to open a corporate bank account in Belarus. Should I opt for remote account opening?
Of course, it is up to you to decide. However, you have to take the coronavirus pandemic into consideration when choosing how to set up a bank account – remotely or on site. No quarantine is enforced in Belarus but it is in most other countries. This means that you may not be able to leave your home country. Thus, if you want a bank account immediately, there is no other option today but opening one remotely. Please note that we will take care of the application documents submission.
I am thinking about setting up a corporate account with a Belorussian bank. What billing plan should I choose?
If you log on to the website of the bank that we talked about above, you will find several billing plans to choose from. You should know, however, that only one billing plan is available to foreign customers. So, there is not any choice, as a matter of fact, and you have to take it or leave it.
What does the preapproval procedure involve?
The Belorussian bank requires that the prospective client should submit the basic application document package for provisional approval first. When the bank informs you that your application has been preapproved, it thus expresses its consent in principle to open an account for you. It does not yet guarantee that the account will certainly be opened but the bank is ready to consider your application seriously. The preapproval service that we provide is especially valuable with the view of the fact that banks often deny service to prospective clients these days. If the bank where you apply does not preapprove your application, you can turn to other banks without wasting too much time on hopeless efforts.