This is a list of the best banks in the world with whom to open non-resident accounts. The main criteria used are bank stability, jurisdiction stability, product quality, customer service, practicality and future potential.


Jurisdiction: Hong Kong
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: 10000$HK
Monthly fee: 400$HK if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Visa
No ATM fee, 1.95% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: citibank.com.hk

While it may surprise some to find Citibank on this list, it is important to understand that it is Citibank HK that is on the list, not Citibank USA. Citibank HK is a great bank and it offers some of the best banking products in the world. One such product is the PremierMiles credit card which offers 2.5 miles per USD spent, has no annual fee and grants lounge access in many cities. Opening a non-resident account with Citibank HK is relatively easy provided that you hold the passport of a respected country and can visit a branch in person.

 


Jurisdiction: Hong Kong
Bank stability: Very stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Hard
Minimum deposit: 2000$HK
Bi-annual fee: 100$HK if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
20$HK ATM fee, No FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: hangseng.com

Hang Seng has recently been named the most stable bank in the world. It is a partly-owned subsidiary of the British bank HSBC. Opening a non-resident is fairly hard but not impossible. A visit to Hong Kong is definitely required and so is a letter of recommendation from a reputable bank. A Unionpay debit card is issued with the account but if you prefer a Visa debit card, simply ask for the enJoy spending card.

 


Jurisdiction: Hong Kong
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: 10000$HK
Quarterly fee: 120$HK if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Unionpay
No ATM fee if Priority, no FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: sc.com/hk

Standard Chartered is an Asia-focused British bank serving primarily the needs of multi-national corporations. In Hong Kong however it is possible to open both a personal and a business account (in most countries, SCB only accept business clients). In both cases, a visit to a branch is necessary. Make sure to prepare an explanation as to why you need the account. SCB offers both online and mobile banking. It’s Breeze app is well liked by its users and is frequently updated.

 


Jurisdiction: Singapore
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: 2000$SG
Monthly fee: 5$SG
Debit card: Yes, Mastercard
2% ATM fee (Min. 5$SG, Max. 60$SG), 3.5% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: sc.com/sg

SCB Singapore offers essentially the same products and services as SCB HK albeit at a higher cost. A visit to Singapore is necessary to open the account and so is a letter of recommendation from a reputable bank.

 


Jurisdiction: Singapore
Bank stability: Very stable
Best for: Business
Difficulty: Hard
Minimum deposit: 30000$SG
Monthly fee: 20$SG
Debit card: Yes, Mastercard
3% ATM fee (Min. 5$SG, Max. 20$SG), 1.8% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: ocbc.com

OCBC is one of the big three local Singapore banks. It has consistently made its way to the top 10 of the most stable banks in the world over the last few years. OCBC offers current accounts compatible with day-to-day banking. All transactions can be completed online and a debit Mastercard is issued with the account. Opening an account requires a visit to Singapore and is definitely not as easy as it used to be. Bring the usual documents along with a letter of recommendation. Most importantly, prepare a good answer for when they ask why you want to open the account.

 


Jurisdiction: Singapore
Bank stability: Very stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Hard
Minimum deposit: 3000$SG
Monthly fee: 7.50$SG if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Visa
5$SG ATM fee, 3% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: dbs.com.sg

DBS is the largest bank in Singapore and the ASEAN region. It also is one of the best and most stable in the world. As with OCBC, opening an account has become somewhat of an uphill battle but it is still absolutely possible. A visit to Singapore is required. bring the usual documents along with a letter of recommendation from a reputable bank. Most importantly, prepare a good answer for when they ask why you want to open the account.

 


Jurisdiction: Singapore
Bank stability: Very stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Very hard
Minimum deposit: 1000$US
Monthly fee: 10$US if below minimum deposit
Debit card: No
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: No
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: uob.com.sg

UOB is the smallest of the three big Singapore banks. It operates across the Asia-Pacific region and, in my opinion, is one of the most pleasant banks with whom to do business. As with the other Singapore banks, a personal visit is necessary to open an account. Bring the usual documents along with a letter of recommendation from a reputable bank. Most importantly, prepare a good answer for when they ask why you want to open the account.

 


Jurisdiction: United Arab Emirates
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Hard
Minimum deposit: 5000AED
Monthly fee: 25AED if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Mastercard
20AED ATM fee, 2% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: adcb.com

The Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank is the best bank in the UAE and one of the best in the Asia-Pacific region. It offers a wide range of products, most of which are accessible to non-residents. Opening an account isn’t easy and can be a fairly bureaucratic endeavor. The process has to be completed in person in the UAE and can take weeks (not kidding). Once the account is opened, a debit Mastercard is issued along with an internet banking token.


Jurisdiction: Bahamas
Bank stability: Very stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Visa
2.5% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: cibcfcib.com

FirstCaribbean is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIBC, one of Canada’s big five banks. CIBC also is one of the most stable banks in the world. It offers accounts in multiple countries but I recommend the Bahamas branch as they are used to opening accounts for non-residents. A visit to the bank is necessary and a debit Visa will usually be issued on the spot. Online and mobile banking are both available.

 


Jurisdiction: Bahamas
Bank stability: Very stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: 4$US
Debit card: Yes, Visa
3$US ATM fee, 1.5% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: scotiabank.com/bs/

Scotiabank Bahamas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scotiabank, one of Canada’s big five banks and one of the largest banks in the world. Similarly to FirstCaribbean, it offers accounts in multiple countries but I recommend the Bahamas branch as they are used to opening accounts for non-residents. A visit to the bank is necessary and a debit Visa will usually be issued on the spot. Online and mobile banking are both available.

 


Jurisdiction: United States
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: 10$US if balance below 1500$US
Debit card: Yes, Visa
5$US ATM fee, 3% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: No
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: wellsfargo.com

Wells Fargo is one of the big four American banks and one of the most valuable financial companies in the world. It also is the most stable banks in the US. Opening a non-resident account is fairly easy, you simply need your passport and a proof of address. Having an SSN number will obviously help but isn’t a requirement; A visit to the bank is necessary however.


Jurisdiction: Isle of Man
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal
Difficulty: Easy
Minimum deposit: 6000$US
Monthly fee: 90$US if below minimum deposit
Debit card: Yes, Visa
1.75% ATM fee, 2.75% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: No
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: No
Official website: international.standardbank.com

Standard Bank is Africa’s leading bank and a major player in the global offshore market. It is the only bank on this list who accepts remote account applications. To open an account, simply click on the link above and follow the instructions. Once the bank receives your initial deposit, they will issue your debit Visa and activate the account for normal use. A great advantage of banking in the Isle of Man is that it shares its IBAN code with the United Kingdom. As such, IOM banks are considered UK banks when it comes to transferring money and use financial services (PayPal for example).

 


Jurisdiction: Estonia
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: None
Debit card: Yes, Visa and Mastercard
0.58€ + 2.5% ATM fee, 1% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: seb.ee

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) is a Swedish-based bank operating in the Nordic region. It is one of Europe’s most stable and profitable banks. The Estonian branch is used to opening accounts for non-residents, for that reason I recommend opening your account there. A personal visit is currently necessary but this should change later this year when e-Residents are granted the right to apply remotely.

 


Jurisdiction: Estonia
Bank stability: Stable
Best for: Personal and business
Difficulty: Moderate
Minimum deposit: None
Monthly fee: 1€
Debit card: Yes, Maestro
1.95€ ATM fee, 2.5% FOREX fee
Multi-currency accounts: Yes
Credit card: Yes (with safety deposit)
Online banking: Yes
Mobile apps: Yes
Official website: nordea.ee

Nordea is a Swedish bank operating in the Nordic region. Similarly to SEB, it is one of Europe’s most stable banks. The Estonian branch is used to opening accounts for non-residents, for that reason I recommend opening your account there. A personal visit is currently necessary but this should change later this year when e-Residents are granted the right to apply remotely.

  • Jim

    Simon,

    I would like to open a commercial bank account in Hong Kong.

    Is it necessary to use a banking introducer ?

    Thanks

    Jim

  • Jim

    Simon,

    I would like to open a commercial bank account in Hong Kong.

    Is it necessary to use a banking introducer ?

    Thanks

    Jim

  • Hi Jim,

    No need for an introducer, simply book an appointment with your favorite bank 2-3 days in advance and show up with your documents. Please note that HK banks charge a search fee to foreign companies (non-HK registered) that can be rather substantial. The fee varies from 2000HKD to 8000HKD.

  • Hi Jim,

    No need for an introducer, simply book an appointment with your favorite bank 2-3 days in advance and show up with your documents. Please note that HK banks charge a search fee to foreign companies (non-HK registered) that can be rather substantial. The fee varies from 2000HKD to 8000HKD.

  • Max

    Hey,

    Just as an FYI: I tried to open a citibank HK account this morning and was told that the minimum deposit for non-resident accounts is 1.000.000 HKD now.

    Cheers,
    Max

  • Hi Max,

    The minimum deposit is still 10000 HKD as of today. If a branch asks you for a million, try another branch. A friend of mine opened a non-resident account two weeks ago and only deposited 10000 HKD.

    Cheers,
    Simon