Opening a Bank Account in Montenegro

Opening a bank account in Montenegro for property owners – in theory it is a straightforward procedure. If you had a valid reason to open a bank account, like employment or ownership of property, you were able to open one. This has changed slightly for several reasons. The biggest being the overwhelming influx of people into Montenegro over the last year, and the prevention of money laundering. 

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Owning property in Montenegro means you will probably have bills to pay in Montenegro. Having a local bank account just makes sense. Montenegro relies on two accounts, a foreign account to make and accept international payments, and a local account to make and accept payments locally. Application for an account must be made in person at your local branch of choice. This is proving to be more difficult in practice as branches are limited by the number of accounts they are permitted to open. This means even if you meet the requirement, your chosen branch may not be able to assist you either. 

Banking regulations have been tightened, some regulations from the government itself, and some from the banks parent companies. These parent companies are predominantly EU member state owned meaning that they follow EU banking legislation and therefore so does their local subsidiary banks in Montenegro. 

So far there are several banks that won’t assist you even if you own property in Montenegro, but there are a few that will. I am not sure if I am permitted for giving out names so in this article, I will simply state two in red and one in orange. If this still isn’t clear enough get in touch with us and I will give you further clues ; ). My advice is if you are struggling, start off small. There seem to be more savings accounts available than a transactional accounts. 

Once you have a savings account transitioning into a full transactional account seems simpler, and, if you have temporary residency and own property it becomes even easier. To get temporary residency some municipalities request money in a local bank account (if applying through investment) to prove funds to sustain yourself for a year. You can see the requirements for temporary residency here. The only way this will be likely is to deposit money into a savings account and receiving a deposit slip from the bank. This stays in your name.  

Overall, there seems to be a few kinks that Montenegro Banks are trying to iron out in their banking systems, and I am sure it’s not going to be so complicated forever. It seems the country was understandably overwhelmed by the conflict in Europe over the past year seeing thousand flock into Montenegro. I have touched on the topic and if you need further info, please get in touch with us. We are always happy to provide more advise.

Last point is that some banks may charge you an account fee, between €10 and €30 is average. Charging €4000, and trust me some branches try, IS NOT allowed. Account fees are available on their websites. I will do a follow up article on opening a personal bank account through employment, and business banking accounts soon! I will also issue any updates on this article under the heading updates, and post below.


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