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Opening a private bank account in Malta

Private banking is investment, financial and other day-to-day banking services provided by banks and other financial institutions to people with high levels of income and other assets, usually called high net worth individuals. Generally, the term private refers to the more personal attitude and services provided by the bankers as part of the private banking service package in comparison the mass-market retail banking. Private banking is typically a subset of wealth management and consists of numerous services, such as general banking, brokerage, discretionary asset management, wealth structuring, insurance, advisory, lending, investment services and even tax planning.

Historically, opening a private bank account was only possible to particularly high net worth individuals with liquidity over 2 million USD. Also now, there are banks who will demand even higher amount to be deposited in your bank account to join their exclusive private banking. Typically, the biggest amounts of deposit are demanded by the offshore private banks, and it can easily surpass the level of 5 million USD. Meanwhile, there are banks that offer to open a private or sometimes called premier bank account with significantly smaller deposits. Surely, the personal attitude, as well as the range and quality of the services offered, will differ accordingly.

Customer service among other things is essential for private bank account holders. As you are handing over your wealth to be managed by professionals, you want to be confident that they will make the right decisions, work with your best interests in mind and keep your funds safe.

Banking in Malta overview

Malta with its fast-growing banking industry and specialised niches such as trust services, wealth management and private banking has managed to establish itself as an international banking centre in Mediterranean region. Banking has been the Malta’s backbone that supports the growth of numerous other sectors. Capital buffers of domestic banks are among the highest ones in Europe and solvency ratios are consistently kept at a level that is almost two times higher than the EU average. The average Tier 1 capital ratio among Maltese banks is almost double the rate required by the Basel III. Thanks to a significant transformation over the last decade, Maltese banking sector has transformed from a strictly controlled public sector to liberal and privately owned. This has helped to attract international businesses to establish their operations in Malta and expand further to Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

No matter if you are looking to open a private or a corporate bank account, Malta can offer numerous benefits. The Country’s banking sector was judged to be the 10th soundest among 144 countries in the world by the World Economic Forum in its Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15. In addition to being a trustworthy and safe location for your savings, the diverse banking industry provides their clients with wide range of quality services, including trade and project finance, custodian banking and specialist wealth management services. And this is done by highly experienced, English speaking legal and financial professionals. Additionally, Maltese fiscal policies have been among the main drivers of creating an attractive investment environment. The country’s tax system is compliant with EU non-discrimination principles and shares around 70 double tax treaties, therefore with proper structuring and planning both companies and private individuals are able to achieve considerable fiscal efficiency.

Private bank account in Malta

If you are a Maltese resident or planning to transfer your funds to a Maltese bank from abroad, you should consider the personal attitude and professional services guaranteed by the Maltese private banking. Malta is rich with banks, especially considering the size of the country, therefore you are able to choose among numerous possibilities. In case you are a foreign investor, you might choose the biggest international bank in Malta – HSBC (or maybe you already have an account in this bank in your home-country, which would significantly ease the process of bank account opening in Malta). HSBC also offers highest quality private banking for private individuals with capabilities to deposit at least 70,000 EUR.

Being eligible for private banking opens a whole new world of benefits for you and your family. Interestingly, all these benefits are for free as long as you hold at least 70,000 EUR in your account. The benefits include preferential rates and terms of overdraft and debit cards, free internet and telephone banking, exclusive services from other banking divisions, such as loans and insurance, and of course – dedicated relationship manager available to you and your family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In order to open a private bank account, the main criterion is the set minimum amount of deposit you need to keep in your bank account. Other requirements are related to Know Your Client procedures in order to make sure that your funds are not coming from illegal activities. Upon opening a private bank account you would need to declare your passport, a proof of residency and documents verifying the legitimacy of your income (such as inheritance certificate, financial statements, proof of sale of real estate or business, etc.). Generally, the opening procedure takes more time in comparison to traditional checking account due to the compliance procedures carried out by the bank. After you apply for a private bank account online or via telephone and provide all the necessary documents, a special committee will evaluate your eligibility as their client and your personal banker will defend your interests.