The island of Malta is nestled in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, near mainland Europe. It's fairly straightforward to open a bank account in Malta. The account is denominated in euros, and you can use bank cards in 15 other European countries that have adopted the euro. This saves you currency conversion fees. ATM withdrawals are free. Banks are regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority and have to be licensed, so your money is safe. The United States does not impose restrictions on citizens opening a bank account in Malta, though you must report assets greater than £6,500 to the Internal Revenue Service in your annual tax return. If you receive interest or dividends into your Maltese bank account, declare them.
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Go to the Malta Financial Services Authority web site (see Resources) to check out a list of licensed banks before opening a bank account in Malta. Click on "Banking," then "Credit Institutions," followed by "Licence Holders." Click on each bank to find out contact details and the types of banking facilities available.
Select two or three banks. Call them and get the requirements to open a bank account in Malta. Minimum requirements will include a passport, proof of address and a reference from your bank. The bank will run a credit check. Check the deposit required to open the account.
Get the banks to mail application packets to you. Read and compare the information in the packets. Select the bank where you want to open your bank account in Malta. Complete the application form carefully. Check to make sure you have the required documents. (They must be originals.) Mail the application form, documents and deposit to the bank. Use secure mail.
Wait for your documents to be returned. You will receive your account details and bank cards separately. The process may take several weeks due to mail services.
Tips and warnings
- If you travel to Malta, open your bank account in person. Go to the bank with your documents and deposits. Complete the application form. Your bank account will be open in a few days once your identity has been verified.
- Check whether there are limits on transfers between the U.S and Malta. You may need to complete a declaration for transfers above certain limits.
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