15 Comments on "Opening a Bank Account in Ukraine"

  1. Very informative blog. Can you provide one information as you have already opened an account in Ukraine. Is there any account opening charge involved? My point is, during the opening, I want to give a check as initial deposit rather than cash for that account.

    • That hasn’t been my experience in Ukraine but it’s not entirely unusual for banks, especially in that region, to charge for non-resident account opening. It shouldn’t be more than the equivalent to around 100 EUR for personal accounts and 2 – 300 for corporate accounts.

      • What I have heard that they don’t have any opening fee, but they need an initial deposit of 1000 dollar for savings account or 1600 dollar for current account. My concern is I am trying to open a NR account from outside Ukraine and if I need to deposit money, I have to send them. I am confused …what will happen if they deny later.

        What do you think? this is safe or I should cancel the idea of opening an account there?

        • Standard practice is to not accept deposits until the account is opened and the application approved. Some banks require a tiny deposit (under 10 USD) for verification but this sounds like the bank is just asking for an initial deposit. This should in most cases mean that once you wire in money, your account is already active and they won’t reject your application retroactively.

          However, banking in Ukraine is risky. You have practically no legal recourse if the bank takes your money, unless you are able to go to Ukraine in person and hire a local lawyer to sue or litigate.

          My personal philosophy to banking in places like Ukraine is to only deposit as much money as I would feel comfortable losing. It’s more of a novelty than a stable source of income. It’s fun to see the high interest rate payments but I accept that it comes with a higher risk than deposits in more stable banks and countries.

  2. Looking back on this article now is interesting.

    • For a couple of days when the protests in Kyiv were at the peak, I simply could not get a hold of anyone at any of the banks I use or work with in Ukraine. Internet banking worked, though, but the offices were either abandoned or they just didn’t speak to customers.

      Nowadays they are responding but I’m neither wiring funds in or out at this point.

      Risky business, banking in countries like Ukraine.

  3. Interesting blog, very useful information and fun reading. Also caught more interest in the Ukrainian experience you write about.
    Can you elaborate on which bank you were able to open an account as described in your article?
    I want to open account there to see if i can play both, USD, EUR and UAH currencies as Fixed deposits.

    Best regards

    • Thanks, glad you like the blog!

      I’d be very hesitant to recommend any specific bank, since your needs likely differ from mine. That said, my short-list consisted of Privat Bank, Piraeus, UkrSibbank (owned by BNP Paribas), Prominvestbank, and Platinum Bank. They are the ones that gave the best impression upon initial contacts. All of them assured me that they open accounts for non-residents and had fairly similar products and procedures.

      • Tried all these banks, and they all say they do not open accounts for non-residents. Only prior to 2010 there were some loop holes someone could use, but no more. Just wonder if there were some additional information you could provide these banks as you tried and got acceptance to open an account.
        Was it normal account, or investment accounts?

        • That is very surprising. The only thing I can think of is that maybe they considered you high-risk for some reason, such high-risk citizenship or residency — or just some misunderstanding.

          I opened savings/investment accounts. Normal accounts might require a local address and fixed income.

  4. I find this blog very interesting. I found it out through some long-tail google search and have been looking forward to every new blog post ever since – keep up the good work!

    With regards to open an account in Ukraine, the high income stream sounds attractive, seen even in usd accounts one can get 11% return, paid monthly, through several banks according to banki.ua

    Do you know many non-residents doing that, for this purpose? In this low interest world, that sounds good to my ears, no?

    • Glad you like the blog!

      I have seen high-interest rates on foreign currencies. While tempting, I would personally not place any significant amounts in such accounts initially. The Ukrainian economy, albeit growing, is still fragile. Since it’s such a new territory to me, I am being extremely cautious.

      I know more and more people are looking to the eastern parts of Europe to find (offshore) high-interest savings account, but I do not know of anyone in particular doing precisely what you describe. As long as the bank agrees to open the account and you consider the risks, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

  5. I look forward to your article on HK and Macau!

    I spent a day in Macau and was glad I only spent a day there…that place has too many people in too small an area. I wish I had looked into banking while I was there.

  6. I think I’ll be giving Ukrainian banking a miss…for now!

    Will you ever do an article on Macau banking for non-residents?

    • I have been thinking about writing an article on Hong Kong and have a small paragraph in each segment about Macau. There isn’t a whole lot to say about Macau, but it’s definitely an interesting, up-and-coming jurisdiction.

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