Best bank to open business account in nigeria -
How Foreigners Can Open Savings Accounts in the U.S.
You're new to the U.S. and need a place to stash your money so you can start saving, but where do you start?
Opening a bank account offers security for your funds and a way to begin creating a financial footprint in the country. But it isn't as easy as it may seem. While it may seem like it takes only a minute for an American to open an account, it can take foreigners a lot longer. There are many more hurdles you'll have to jump through if you want to start saving your dollars in the U.S. Here's what it means if you're a non-citizen resident seeking to open a bank account in the U.S.
- The USA Patriot Act made it difficult for foreigners to open accounts or engage in monetary transactions in the U.S.
- Foreigners require more identification than permanent residents and citizens.
- Anyone who opens an account may need a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number.
- Although many banks allow customers to open their accounts online, nonresidents may need to visit a branch to finish their applications.
While you are permitted to open an account, the rules are different for non-citizens. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly gave private businesses in the U.S. the right to contract with foreign individuals or groups, making it easier for new residents of the U.S. to bank here.
However, the USA Patriot Act, passed after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, made it more difficult for foreigners to open accounts or engage in monetary transactions in the U.S., or even to do business with American financial institutions when abroad.
Under the Act, banks and credit unions must follow stricter guidelines when verifying the identity of an account applicant who is non-American. If you're a legal permanent resident, though, it will probably take you the same amount of time to open your account as a citizen.
You'll Need an ID
Foreign or not, applicants for a bank account must at least verify their name, date of birth, and physical address, say, from a utility bill. But if you're foreign-born, you may need to offer more. These customers also need to show photo identification that includes a numeric identity.
You may use a valid passport, other government-issued ID from your home country, or the alien identification number from a green card, work visa, or student ID. You'll have to bring originals, though, because photocopies are not accepted.
Social Security Numbers
A Social Security number (SSN) generally isn't required to open a savings account in this country. However, not having one may increase the bank's scrutiny of your other documentation. It won't necessarily hinder you from getting an account, but it will help. If you can't get one, you have other options.
Certain resident and nonresident aliens who are unable to obtain Social Security numbers may file form W-7 with the IRS to get an individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN), which may also be accepted by the bank.
You can use a Social Security number or an individual taxpayer identification number to open your account.
The laws governing bank accounts for foreigners are federal, but their application is local. Banks and credit unions have different document requirements and processes for non-Americans who open accounts.
Check in advance about what's required before you begin the process, especially since you'll almost certainly be applying in person at a brick-and-mortar location.
Most nonresident aliens need to walk into a bank branch in order to open an account. That means even if you're able to begin opening your account online, you'll probably be required to appear in person to complete your application.
Heightened security after 2001 led to the near-elimination of online applications for foreign accounts, due to the fear of terrorism-related money laundering. That all but blocks you from applying to one of many online-only banks because it will be very difficult for them to properly verify your documentation.
These, too, vary by institution but are usually modest. Some range between $5 and $50, while others have a higher requirement. It all depends on where you bank and what perks they offer which maybe, but not limited to, higher yields or no services charges.
If you're opening the account with a large cash deposit—again, the definition of large may differ by the bank—or with money from a wire transfer, you may need to show proof of funds.
The Bottom Line
Opening a bank account as a foreign national involves more effort, and perhaps more stress, than for an American citizen, especially for those who lack resident-alien status.
If you're still living in your home country, consider seeking out a U.S-based multinational bank that has branches where you live and opening an account with them before you leave. Such a move at a foreign branch bank provides international applicants with the opportunity to build up a business relationship with the institution that should simplify applying for a U.S. account at one of its branches in this country.
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A bank is a financial institution licensed by a regulating body to receive deposits and lend surplus money to borrowers, and upon demand, pay the depositor. A bank allows the depositor to open an account, make a withdrawal, pay third parties, and use a debit or credit card, among other services. Banks have different products and services like personal and business banking products for their customers. Personal banking is another name for domestic or retail banking, which involves the bank dealing with you directly or personally. While for Corporate or business banking, the bank deals with a corporate body or an incorporated company.
In Nigeria, most of the banks offer a mix of these services, and if you own a small business, your concern is how to get a loan quickly. But for the regular saver, you want a secure bank. The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation secures your deposit of up to N500,000 in all commercial banks in Nigeria in case CBN closes any of them. To help you filter the best out of the number of banks, we will list ten of the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking to enable you to make an informed choice. Let us start with some examples of both services.
What are examples of personal banking?
Examples of personal banking are savings account, certificate of deposit, credit, and debit cards, financing a car or a house, and remitting foreign currency. There is also private banking service (for high net worth individuals), insurance, stock brokerage, and wealth management, which the bank will sell to you using its subsidiary company. Extra service includes online banking.
What are the examples of business banking?
Corporate banking or business banking services include Loans and advances, treasury services, equipment leasing, trade finance, and small-medium enterprises (S.M.E.) loans, online banking, P.O.S., and more.
After showing you some examples of personal and business banking, let us go straight to the list and examine the best banks right away.
The best banks in Nigeria
Here are the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking:
1. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) is a limited liability company incorporated to carry on the banking business in 1990 and began operating in February 1991. The bank listed its stocks in the Nigerian stock exchange in September 1996.
Through the years, due to sound management, its asset base is now more than 3 trillion naira. The bank has a subsidiary office in the United Kingdom and branches in some African countries like Ghana and Uganda.
GTBank offers excellent personal and business banking to customers using its professional staff. GTbank’s personal banking service includes opening savings and current accounts, nonresident Nigerian service, and private banking, online banking, and A.T.M and P.O.S.
While the business banking gives you access to a GT business account, corporate and commercial banking, S.M.E. and loans and advances, and more.
2. First Bank of Nigeria
First bank is one of the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking. Here is why. First bank of Nigeria is true to its brand name and is genuinely the first when it comes to personal banking services.
The bank, which started in 1894, now has close to 900 branches in Nigeria, across ten African countries and the U.K. First bank has nearly ten thousand employees, and its revenues have continued to grow.
To prove how much the bank has been able to serve its personal banking clients, the bank won “The Asian Banker International Excellence” award for the best personal banking brand five times in a row.
Its personal banking solutions include loans and mortgage, bank cards, payment solutions, online banking and A.T.M and P.O.S and diaspora banking, money transfer, and fixed deposit.
Also, the bank serves its corporate banking customers well, and its loan portfolio continues to increase just like its deposit base. Rest assured that First bank will give you the best of both services. Its business banking products include Account, S.M.E. connect, loans, e-solutions, payment solutions, Agric financing, and mortgages.
3. Zenith Bank P.L.C.
Zenith Bank P.L.C. is a leading Conglomerate and provides financial services across the globe using cutting edge technology and leads while the other banks follow.
The bank was launched in May 1990 and started operating in July of the same year with a commercial bank license.
In 2014, it transformed into a Public liability company (P.L.C). Also, to meet demands for its services, it has 500 branches in Nigeria and subsidiary offices in the U.K, Ghana, South Africa, and more.
Zenith offers numerous customers customized banking services, which include S.M.E. banking, Personal banking, and Corporate banking, investment and loans, bank account, asset management solutions, Online banking, A.T.M, and P.O.S.No wonder it is now among the largest banks in Africa. Its head office is at Zenith Heights, Plot 83, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
4. Stanbic I.B.T.C. Bank
I.B.T.C. chattered bank started in 1989 and merged with Stanbic Bank Group in 2007. It is now a part of the Standard Bank Group with the Head office in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The bank provides excellent banking services in well over 180 branches locally with 560 Physical ATMs. Its professional staff is up to 3,000 and keeps increasing to match up with your demand for excellent services.
Its foreign remittances service is top-notch. If you are Nigerian living abroad, you may open a nonresident Nigerian bank account with the bank as the cost of transactions is low, and it is easy to monitor your account from anywhere you live abroad.
The bank’s personal and business banking service is first class, with an unbeatable range of services that include financial advisory services, loans, savings, investments, debit and credit cards, mortgages, pensions, and Stockbroking. Its Head Office is The I.B.T.C Place Walter Carrington Crescent Victoria Island Lagos.
5. Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria
Another one of the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking is Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria. Its head office is in London, and its branches worldwide are about 1,200. The bank boasts of over 150 years of banking experience.
Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria started operating on 15 September 1999 and has 22 branches with A.T.M’s and more than 900 employees as of 2013.
The Bank in Nigeria provides one of the best business banking services with an efficient, secure, and easy to use free online banking platform, plus a fair exchange rate service.
That said, its retail banking services are equally responsive to the demands of the customers. Its products include personal banking, priority banking, and business accounts for its retail clients.
While its corporate and institutional services include transaction banking, priority banking, and small and medium enterprises(S.M.E.). Its local head office is at 142 Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.
6. Sterling Bank Plc
When this bank began in 1960, it was Nigeria’s first Investment bank called Nigeria Acceptances Limited (N.A.L.).
Sterling Bank became a complete commercial bank when N.A.L. merged with four other banks in the 2006 bank consolidation era. With that merger, Sterling bank was born and ready to improve stakeholders’ value.
Sterling bank has repositioned itself to deliver both personal banking and business banking services plus some extra banking services. Its products include private banking and wealth management, agent banking, commercial agriculture credit scheme, loans to the telecom, power, and steel sectors.
The bank now has up to 179 branches, 847 ATM’s and 7853 point of sale (P.O.S.) terminals as of 2018. Its head office is at Sterling Towers, 20 Marina, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
7. United Bank For Africa Plc (U.B.A.)
One more bank in this list of the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking is U.B.A. This bank started in 1949, and they trade the stock in the Nigeria Stock Exchange. Like its peers, it has undergone a lot of transformation carried out by Tony Elumelu. In 2005, he merged U.B.A. with Standard Trust Bank before his tenure as M.D. ended. As a result, the bank is a lot nimbler than the former conservative company.
U.B.A. is ready to serve stakeholders and to create an enterprise that will continue to advance strategically and be ahead of other banks in all the services it offers to customers in its branches in 22 African countries.
Its core services are corporate banking and personal banking that include S.M.E. banking and internet banking, money transfer, treasury, trade and savings, current account, P.O.S., A.T.M., and online banking, and more.
The bank’s core values have these three words execution, enterprise, and excellence driving its goal of dominance in the banking sector, and has strategically positioned its subsidiary offices in New York, UK, and France. Its headquarters is U.B.A. House, 57 Marina, Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.
8. Fidelity Bank
Fidelity Bank P.L.C. started in 1988 as a Merchant bank and rebranded into a commercial bank in 1999. It is known for serving startups and has several awards as S.M.E. Friendly Bank, the Most Improved Corporate/Investment Bank, and the Best in Mobile.
It came 4th place as the best retail bank in a survey carried out in 2001 by K.P.M.G. to find out how satisfied customers are about their service providers.
Fidelity bank as of 2017 has 240 branches in Nigeria that includes digital offices with 775 ATM’s and 4346 POS’s.
The bank provides customized products for different customers, corporate banking, S.M.E. banking, private banking, and online banking. Others include mortgages, loans, credit cards, savings, and current accounts and Investments.
Its head office is at Fidelity Place, 2 Kofo Abayomi St, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
9. Union Bank of Nigeria
The bank started in 1917, and they trade its stocks on the Nigerian stock exchange. Union bank is one of the old generation banks, and like its peers is rebranding its services to become alive to its logo of a galloping Stallion.
That is why it is part of this best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking. As of 2016, it had 320 branches and two fully-owned subsidiaries in the United Kingdom. The bank offers products that target high net worth individuals and S.M.E’s.
Its banking products include savings account and current accounts fixed deposits accounts, mortgages, auto loans, personal loans, bill payments, and debit cards.
The bank’s business banking product includes credit and advances, trade finance, account and cash management solutions, union one and union 360, and local trade, Agric business solutions, and more.
Additional services include Online Banking, Mobile Banking, Debit Cards, A.T.M’s, and P.O.S. Systems. Its head office is at 36 Marina, Lagos Island, Lagos State, Nigeria.
10. Ecobank Nigeria P.L.C.
Ecobank Nigeria is a part of the Ecobank Group. The bank started operations in 1989 to provide financial solutions to enhance its clients’ growth. Ecobank Nigeria is a commercial bank with branches of up to 610 all over the country as of 2011.
It offers personal banking and business banking that includes retail, wholesale banking, treasury, and financial institutions and capital markets and investment banking to its diverse customers. Other personal bank services include Ecobank online internet banking, A.T.M’s, and P.O.S.
The stocks of Ecobank Nigeria is listed on the Nigerian stock market. Its head office is at Plot 21, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Whereas, the parent company Ecobank Group was formed in 1985 to serve the citizens of West Africa. Its headquarters is in Togo employs over 10,000 staff.
The Ecobank Group has a network of over 1,300 branches in 36 countries such as Benin, Kenya, South Africa, including offices in other parts of the world like Dubai, Paris, and London.
11. First City Monument Bank (F.C.M.B.)
F.C.M.B is the last bank in this compilation of the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking. This bank, which was initially called First City Merchant Bank and launched in 1982, evolved from City Securities Limited that began in 1977. In 2001, it became First City Monument Bank and obtained a universal banking license.
F.C.M.B. has roughly 5.1 million customers and 206 branches in Nigeria. It owns a subsidiary bank in the United Kingdom through F.C.M.B. Bank (U.K.) Limited. The bank aims to become the best financial services group of African origin.
F.C.M.B. offers personal banking products, business banking solutions, and other corporate products for its customers.
Its numerous financial services include micro-lending, asset management, stock-broking, trusteeship, and custodial services, foreign exchange, personal banking, corporate and commercial banking, investment banking, A.T.M’s, P.O.S., and online banking.
Other products it offers clients are commercial, public sector, financial institutions, small and medium-scale enterprises, trade and liquidity management solutions to businesses, and more. The bank’s headquarters is at Primrose Tower, 17A Tinubu Street, Lagos, Nigeria.
In this post, you have a list of the best banks in Nigeria for personal and business banking. We gave you their product so you can make up your mind on the one you like best. If you think their products are alike, you are right, but each bank is unique in the way it delivers similar services.
Tell us the bank that you would choose for personal banking and why and do the same for business banking.
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You can choose yourself where to set up your blocked account. It is important that the following conditions are met:
- The blocked account must have sufficient credit in order to cover the costs arising for the duration of your planned stay in Germany, unless other proof of financial support is presented in the visa procedure. Certain standard rates apply that are based on the rates for German students. From 1 January 2021, the presumed annual requirement that must be paid into the blocked account when applying for a visa amounts to 10,332 euros.
The account may only permit the withdrawal of a certain amount per month (for students currently 861 euros).
- The blocked account may only be closed with the consent of the blocked account beneficiary. The blocked account beneficiary is either the mission abroad or, after entering Germany, the competent foreigners authority. A blocking notice therefore only ensures that sufficient funds to cover living expenses are always available. It does not entitle the blocked account beneficiary to withdraw money from the blocked account.
Many countries have providers that offer blocked accounts. Information is available from the respective competent German mission abroad. Furthermore, certain banks in Germany offer special blocked accounts for students/language students for educational institutions located at their place of business.
The list of providers offering blocked accounts throughout Germany is currently being reviewed.Please note that the naming of institutions offering blocked accounts on the Federal Foreign Office website does not amount to a recommendation. For reasons of competition, the Federal Foreign Office can only name the service-providers offering blocked accounts of which it is aware. The Federal Foreign Office does not however have a business relationship with the institutions offering blocked accounts.
Information for customers of the blocked account provider BAM!:
This provider no longer offers the service of opening new blocked accounts. Please note the information by Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) regarding the dissolution of existing accounts.
What is a wire transfer? , openWhat is a Remittance transfer? , closedHow do I send a domestic or international wire transfer? , closedWhat should I do if I receive an error message that discusses exact fees from other banks? , closedAre there countries where I should only send USD and not the local/foreign currency? , closedDo business wires require exact fees to be known? , closedHow do I assert an error with my Remittance Transfer? , closedHow do I cancel a Remittance Transfer? , closedCan someone wire funds to my account at Bank of America? , closedAre there fees and limits for domestic and international wire transfers? , closedWhat else do I need to send a wire transfer? , closedWhat is a SWIFT Code? , closedWhich Bank of America SWIFT Code should I provide? , closedWhat is an IBAN number? , closedDoes Bank of America have an IBAN number? , closedHow should I obtain the IBAN numbers of another bank? , closedHow soon can an international recipient receive the funds from a wire transfer? , closed
A wire transfer is an electronic payment service for transferring funds by wire, for example through SWIFT, the Federal Reserve Wire Network or the Clearing House Interbank Payments System.
For Remittance Transfers, we're now required by law to inform you of the exact fees you will incur for international wires, including fees from other banks. For some requests, we won't have the exact fees from other banks and therefore will not be able to process it. If your request was in US dollars, you may try again in foreign currency –– this may help us determine the exact fees incurred for this transaction and enable us to send the wire request successfully.
Contact us at 877.337.8357 (or 302.781.6374 from outside of the U.S.).
You can also write to us at:
Bank of America, N.A.
PO Box 25118
Tampa, FL 33622-5118
For international wires initiated by a consumer primarily for personal, family or household purposes, you must contact us within 180 days of the date we indicated to you that funds would be made available to the recipient. Please have the following information handy:
Your name and address (or telephone number)
The problem with the transfer, and why you believe it's an error
The name of the person receiving the funds, and if you know it, his or her telephone number or address
The dollar amount of the transfer
The confirmation code (provided from the Transfer Receipt)
We'll determine whether an error occurred within 90 days after you contact us and we'll correct any error promptly. We'll tell you the results within 3 business days after completing our investigation. If we decide that there was no error, we'll send you a written explanation. You may ask for copies of any documents we used in our investigation.
Please note that in the event you provide an incorrect account number or institutional identifying number, and we are not able to recover the funds, you may lose the amount of the payment order.
International wire transfers initiated by a consumer primarily for personal, family or household purposes may be cancelled within 30 minutes of confirmation for a full refund, including any fees. We'll refund your money within 3 business days of your request to cancel a transfer as long as the funds have not already been picked up or deposited into the recipient's account.
If you initiated the international wire transfer through Online Banking, the best way to cancel is to Sign in to Online Banking; select the Transfer tab and then select Send money to someone using their account number at another bank from the dropdown menu. You can also call us at 877.337.8357. From outside of the U.S., call us collect at 302.781.6374.
If you initiated the international wire transfer at a banking center, you can get the transfer canceled by going to the nearest banking center or by calling us at 877.337.8357 (or 302.781.6374 from outside the U.S.).
Yes, someone with your account information can wire funds directly to your Bank of America account. You will need to provide your account number and wire transfer routing number. For incoming international wires, you will also need to provide the appropriate SWIFT Code.
Bank of America's SWIFT code BOFAUS3N should be used for incoming wires in U.S. dollars.
Bank of America's SWIFT code BOFAUS6S should be used for incoming wires in foreign currency.
If you do not know or are unsure of the type of currency being received please use BOFAUS3N.
To find your account number and wire transfer routing number, Sign in to Online Banking, select your desired account and then select the Information & Services tab.
Fees and limits may apply, depending on your account type and the type of wire. You will be able to review any fees and limits before completing your wire transfer in Online Banking. Latest transfer limits are also available in our Online Banking service agreement. For Remittance Transfers, we're required by law to inform you of the exact fees you will incur for international wires, including fees from other banks. For some requests, we won't have the exact fees from other banks and therefore will not be able to process it. If your request was in US dollars, you may try again in foreign currency –– this may help us determine the exact fees incurred for this transaction and enable us to send the wire request successfully.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Code is a unique identification code that may be required by some banks, broker-dealers and investment managers for the completion of international wire transfers.
Bank of America’s SWIFT code BOFAUS3N should be used for incoming wires in U.S. dollars.
Bank of America’s SWIFT code BOFAUS6S should be used for incoming wires in foreign currency.
If you do not know or are unsure of the type of currency being received please use BOFAUS3N.
Someone sending an incoming international wire to you may also ask for Bank of America’s address. The address to provide is as follows:
BOFAUS3N (for incoming wires in US dollars or unknown currency)
Bank of America, NA
New York, New York 10038
BOFAUS6S (for incoming payments in foreign currency)
Bank of America, NA
555 California St
San Francisco, CA 94104
The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is the international standard for identifying international bank accounts across national borders.
The IBAN is comprised of a maximum of 27 alphanumeric characters within Europe and a maximum of 34 outside of Europe (German IBAN: 22 characters). At present, the United States does not participate in IBAN. Therefore, Bank of America does not have an IBAN number.
When sending wire transfers to countries that have IBAN numbers, we recommend including those numbers in your wire transfer documentation. According to the European Directive, only the account-keeping bank may calculate the IBAN / check digits. To obtain the IBAN numbers of another bank, please visit that banks website or contact them directly to obtain that information.
If you are transferring funds to an international account, your account will be debited the same day and Bank of America will send the payment out immediately. The beneficiary's bank will generally receive the funds 1 to 2 days later. The funds will usually be credited to the beneficiary within 2 days. However, there are a number of factors which could delay the credit to the beneficiary. These include, but are not limited to: local bank holidays, delays by an intermediary bank or other local conditions. Note, too, that some countries have been designated as slow-to-pay layer countries. Transfers made to or from a slow-to-pay country may experience delays in crediting the beneficiary's account.
List of Slow-to-Pay Countries
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Congo, The Democratic Republic of
- Gambia, The
- Iran, Islamic Republic of
- Korea, Democratic People's Republic of (North Korea)
- Korea, Republic of (South Korea)
- Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
- North Korea
- Russian Federation
- Sierra Leone
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Syrian Arab Republic
- Tanzania, United Republic of
- The Gambia
- Viet Nam